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07.04.2009 14:31

Guardiola: “We’re ready for the challenge”

Anna Segura

Barca boss Pep Guardiola refuses the mantle of favourites for his team when they meet Bayern Munich tomorrow, but is confident that his players will go into the tie in the best possible condition.

Guardiola was fatalistic about the team’s progress so far this season and about their chances of taking a historic triple when he spoke to reporters at the Nou Camp this lunchtime: “we’re just lucky that we are here, still in the competition. We have to simply take things one game at a time and see where that takes us, which I hope is as far as possible”.

International break

07-04-09_WEB_TV_02.jpgGuardiola took advantage of the recent 10-day international break to thoroughly analyse Wednesday’s opponents and plan the win the fans are hoping for. The break also gave some of his squad time to recover from injuries and the news that he can again count on Hleb and Toure was clearly well received: “it’s great that I can count on the whole squad again - that’s a good omen, we’re ready and prepared for the challenge”.

No to favourites tag

07-04-09_WEB_GUARDIOLA_01.jpgEven though the two teams enjoyed varying fortunes at the weekend, with Barca winning to stay top of La Liga and Bayern taking a hiding at Wolfsburg to slip to fourth, Guardiola doesn’t see his team as automatic favourites: “it’s not worth anything to be pre-match favourites. We are two big clubs and we both have the same chances of getting through to the next round. If either of us are favourites at this point it’s Bayern, who have the second leg at home”.

True to the Barca style

07-04-09_WEB_GUARDIOLA_03.jpgGuardiola also promised his team would not sacrifice their attacking style to pragmatism in the tie: “we’ll play at our best and we’ll play our normal game but keeping in mind who we are up against. We’re looking for a good result to take to Germany and we’ll come out to attack and make chances”.

Finally, Guardiola expressed his confidence in the players. “they know that tomorrow they have to be at their best to get a good result”.
Guardiola: “We’re ready for the challenge”

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Luca Toni and Ribéry
Bayern’s threat in attack is likely to come from Luca Toni and Ribéry and Guardiola warned that Toni is “a very dangerous player in and around the box, who knows how to win free kicks. He’s a great goalscorer and one of the best front men in Europe right now”.

As for Ribéry, Guardiola knows just what to expect: “he’s a player who’ll come straight at you. He’s fast and knows how to cut in from the wings”.

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