“It’s not a decisive game, but it’s a good test of where we are against a team that has improved a lot.”
BARCELONA, Sep. 12 (.) –
The coach of Bayern Munich, Julian Nagelsmann, stressed that “they must forget” the last duels against FC Barcelona, where the Bavarian team severely punished the azulgranas with goals in the Champions League, although now they have a “completely different spirit” and with new signings like Robert Lewandowski, who hopes he will receive “a good reception” on his return to the Allianz Arena.
“We have to erase the last games against Barça from our hard drive. They are an active team, which makes a counter-pressure that is very reminiscent of the time when Xavi was still playing. They have evolved very well and have interesting players like Pedri and Gavi Nagelsmann said at the pre-match press conference.
Last season, Barcelona twice lost 3-0 to Bayern in the group stage, following a humiliating 8-2 loss in the 2020 quarter-finals, which were played in a single game in Lisbon, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On the return of Lewandowski, who played with Bayern for eight seasons, the coach has acknowledged that he hopes the public will receive him in a good manner. “It would be normal, when a player who has given you so much comes back. He was a key part of the Bayern family. I look forward to seeing him and I wish him the best,” he declared.
“They have a completely new spirit. They want to attack differently. It’s not a decisive game, but it’s a good test of where we are against a team that has improved a lot,” added the German, who hopes to “win at home” to leave behind the doubts raised in the Bundesliga, where they have tied half of the games played (6).
Nagelsmann had the entire squad available for training today, with the exception of winger Kingsley Coman, who has a thigh injury. Bayern have been rotating their starting eleven in recent games and the coach confirmed that Lucas Hernández will start in defence. Sadio Mané, Leroy Sané and Benjamin Pavard are also expected to be called up again.