Created on 23-08-2013 at 15:30 PM
It's been a good week for the players, with no international commitments, no friendly matches and only a couple of minor injuries. FCB are fully prepared and fired up for the 187th all-Bavaria derby against Nürnberg on Saturday (Live in English from 3.30 pm CET on FCB.tv Web Radio). “It's looking good for the weekend," confirmed Thomas Müller, “it was important to have a few back-to-back sessions, and we've used the time well."
The champions are determined to make it three wins out of three Bundesliga matches this term, although it will not be easy, as Pep Guardiola warned: “A derby is special. Nürnberg are always extremely aggressive against Bayern." Müller described FCN as “awkward" opponents: “They're physical, they give it everything they have, and they’re dangerous at set plays."
However, the striker is well aware of Nürnberg's dismal record at the Allianz Arena. “Fortunately we've had very few problems with them at our place in recent years. I hope we can produce a similar performance." Guardiola is expecting to see his team continue their footballing progress. “It was much, much better in Frankfurt," he said, calling on his men to “take the next step.”
Potential Götze debut ‘is good for us’
The Spaniard is delighted that Mario Götze has finally shaken off a long-term injury. The summer signing made the squad for the first time away to Frankfurt last weekend, and on Saturday he will either play “from the start" or for “a few minutes," meaning he is very likely to make his competitive debut for the club. “That's good for us," declared Guardiola.
Thiago and Franck Ribéry have also overcome injury problems and are available for selection. Jan Kirchhoff is a doubt, and Javi Martinez will not feature as he continues to work his way back to full fitness. Following the week of training, Guardiola is now looking forward to an action-packed seven days: “It's good we have three matches in a week, and one of them is even a final."
Nürnberg still undefeated
The coach was referring to the UEFA Super Cup final against Chelsea in Prague next Friday. Prior to that, Bayern travel to Freiburg on Tuesday and must first deal with their Bavarian neighbours, who have started the season with two draws. FCN will naturally be respectful on Saturday, but by no means intimidated. “You don't have to motivate anyone specially before playing Bayern. It's a highlight for us," commented coach Michael Wiesinger, “but you need brutal mental strength to survive in Munich."
Former Bayern player Wiesinger welcomes back Swedish centre-half Per Nilsson from injury, with FCB youth product Marcus Feulner also back in contention. Midfielder Timo Gebhart is sidelined with a pelvic injury. But regardless of the Nürnberg line-up, Bayern are determined to win. “And we want to play well, so everyone's happy, because then we'll be happy too," said Müller.