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"We have one goal"

Bayern "hungry" for first title of the season in UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla

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The new season isn’t even a week old, but Bayern are already competing for their first title of the campaign. Six days after the sublime 8-0 win over Schalke in the opening match of the Bundesliga, the reigning Champions League winners take on their Europa League counterparts Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on Thursday (kick-off at 9pm CEST, coverage available through our live text commentary and web radio).

The prospect of adding to the treble with another cup is pushing the Munich men on, even though they have great respect for their opponents. “Of course, we’ve been warned. They won the Europa League. Sevilla play good football,” said Serge Gnabry, who appeared particularly motivated. “At the end of the day, we need a top performance to claim a cup I’ve never won. It doesn’t matter how, the main thing is the trophy comes back with us to Munich.”

The situation for Bayern

After lifting their sixth European Cup, FCB are favourites going into Super Cup, which they could win for the second time, after 2013. On top of that, Hansi Flick’s side demonstrated in the eight-goal showing in the opening Bundesliga game that they have been able to maintain their outstanding form from the previous campaign. The Reds are on an incredible 22-match winning run in all competitions, which makes them a target in Europe. “The fact you’ve been so successful means everyone wants to beat you. We don’t want to let up. We’re on a great run and want to continue it,” declared captain Manuel Neuer. That’s exactly how his coach sees it: “We have one goal: to win the UEFA Super Cup.”

Check out the best photos from Bayern the day before the game: 

The opposition

Sevilla won the Europa League/UEFA Cup for the sixth time in their history in 2020, extending their record as the most successful club in the competition. Just like Bayern, the team that finished fourth in last season’s Spanish La Liga also have a streak to defend, coming into the game on a 21-match unbeaten run. It means they arrive in Budapest in assured form. “We come into the game with great confidence,” said head coach Julen Lopetegui. However, that form was last season, because the Super Cup is the Andalusians’ first competitive match of 2020/21. Nevertheless, their previous performances are no secret to Bayern. “Sevilla are a strong team, they’re good in possession. They’ve frequently won the Europa League in recent years,” warned new signing Leroy Sané. “We’ll prepare well. We’re all hungry to win the title.” It would be his first in Bayern colours.

We took a closer look at opponents Sevilla:

Personnel

Flick remains without Kingsley Coman. The scorer of the winning goal in the Champions League final against Paris Saint-Germain is still in self-isolation at home due to contact with someone infected with COVID-19. However, Robert Lewandowski, who was top scorer in all three competitions last season, is back after an ankle problem. “I’m assuming Robert will take full part in training today. Everyone else who’s come with is fully fit,” the coach confirmed at Wednesday’s pre-match press conference.

Robert Lewandowski was back on the pitch with his teammates in the final training session ahead of the UEFA Super Cup.

View from the dugout

Hansi Flick: “We have one goal: to win the UEFA Super Cup. It’ll be tough, but we know we’re capable of winning it. Sevilla have a great team and a very good coach, who has lifted them to a good level and set them up excellently in a tactical sense. We want to be well prepared, be at 100 per cent, and show intensity and all our ability in the game to make sure we win. Just 99 per cent won’t be enough against Sevilla.”

Julen Lopetegui, Sevilla head coach: “We go into this game with great confidence. We’re really looking forward to being challenged again. Just the idea of facing this Bayern team has to motivate us. That’s the only way we can progress.”

Hansi Flick and captain Manuel Neuer spoke to the media ahead of the Sevilla clash:

The referee

The referee is Anthony Taylor from England, who takes charge of his first European final. The 41-year-old has previously overseen two Bayern matches, that both ended in victory, against Rostov in the 2016/17 Champions League group stage (5-0) and a year later at Anderlecht (2-1). 

Check out the best facts and stats for this match:

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