Pep Guardiola: We are ready
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has declared his side “are ready” for his first game in the Bundesliga.
Reigning champions Bayern have the honour of opening the new season with a home match against Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday.
Sporting director Matthias Sammer recently said now was the time for results, and Guardiola believes his side are more than capable of getting off to a flying start.
“The season starts now, and we are ready," he said. "It’s difficult to say where we are right now. We are in a process."
Bayern humiliated Monchengladbach 5-1 in a pre-season game, but Guardiola is sure Friday’s clash will be a far tighter affair.
“They are one of the best teams in the Bundesliga,” he said. “They can be very, very dangerous.”
The Treble winners may have to do without Thiago Alcantara, who missed the last training session with flu, while Mario Gotze will definitely be missing after only recently returning to team training. The former Borussia Dortmund man is set to make his Bayern debut in a friendly on Sunday.
Out-of-favour holding midfielder Luiz Gustavo will also be absent from the European champions' squad.
Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference that his instructions to his team will be to “take the ball, enjoy, and attack as much as possible. And when Gladbach have the ball, help each other. And win”.
The game at the Allianz Arena is set to be a sell-out, however, recent turbulences between Bayern and the influential Club Nr.12 fan group could result in a lack of atmosphere inside the stadium.
“There will be a call for a boycott,” Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was quoted as saying by Merkur-Online, although a Club Nr.12 spokesman replied: “Nobody plans a boycott on Friday. Nobody knows what the atmosphere will be like.”