Coach Pep Guardiola has demanded holders Bayern Munich finish the Champions League’s group phase with the perfect record of six wins by seeing off Manchester City at home on Tuesday.
Bayern are on a record run of 10 consecutive Champions League victories, but Guardiola wants to finish with 18 points – something they failed to achieve last season under Jupp Heynckes, despite winning the title.
Even with City and Bayern already into the knock-out phase, only a victory at Munich’s Allianz Arena and guaranteed top spot in Group D will suffice for the Spaniard.
“We’re not yet confirmed as first in the group, but we have the chance to finish with six wins,” said Guardiola. We have a big chance to be first, which would be good for us in the knock-out phase, so that is what we have to aim for.”
Guardiola said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm is set to return after a two-week absence following a hamstring injury, while Germany midfielder Mario Goetze should play despite suffering from a thigh knock.
Having broken Barcelona’s record for consecutive Champions League wins, Guardiola said he is only interested in seeing Bayern finish the group stage campaign with a perfect points haul.
“The records aren’t important to me, they are important only for the history of the team, the club and the record books,” he said. 18 points for winning all the games means prestige and there is prize money at stake, that is what we must focus on.”
Bayern swept aside City 3-1 at the Ethiad Stadium in October, and that was only time Manuel Pellegrini’s side has lost at home this season.
Moreover, Pellegrini is still seeking his first win over Guardiola, who as Barcelona coach never lost against the Chilean’s Villareal, Real Madrid and Malaga teams.
Nevertheless, Guardiola will send his side out with victory as the only acceptable outcome.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a dangerous game against dangerous opponents,” insisted Guardiola. They have top players – the likes of (David) Silva, (Alvaro) Negredo and (Sergio) Aguero who can score two or three goals in as many minutes. Last season, Bayern beat Arsenal 3-1 away, but they won 2-0 in Munich and we could have lost first place. I expect a very tight game, there won’t be much space and we’ll have to create chances.”
Despite Saturday’s 7-0 rout at Werder Bremen, which extended Bayern’s record unbeaten run to 40 Bundesliga games, Guardiola still found faults.
“We lose the ball too often over 90 minutes. I can’t stand losing possession,” he said. A 7-0 win at Bremen is good for the confidence, but they had their chances in the first half. We have to keep improving and that’s why we are here.”
City needs to win by 3-0 against the defending champions in order to top the group.
Written by Martins