Bayern Munich form is a mystery for coach Guardiola

Published 01/21/2016, 9:32 AM EST
Bayern Munich’s coach Pep Guardiola gestures during a training session at his team winter training camp in Doha, Qatar January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich resume their season against Hamburg SV on Friday with coach Pep Guardiola uncertain what to expect from his team.

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The German champions resume their hunt for a record fourth straight Bundesliga title following the one-month winter break, eyeing a treble of trophies for the second time in four years.

Guardiola, who will leave at the end of the season for the Premier League, said Bayern’s good winter training camp in Qatar now needed to be consolidated in the league.

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But he believes it may take a few games to judge.

“I really don’t know at what level my team is currently at,” Guardiola told reporters on Thursday. “We need to play two or three games before I am able to know. So I won’t know it for sure even after the Hamburg game.”

Bayern, who played just one warm-up match throughout the one-month break — a 2-1 loss to second-tier Karlsruhe — are eight points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund after winning 15 of 17 league matches so far.

However, Guardiola, warned the title race was far from over.

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“Are we German champions already?,” he asked. “Are we? Because I did not know it.”

“Dortmund are one of the five best teams in Europe this season and there a lot of matches left where we will have to defend our title,” he said.

Guardiola will have winger Arjen Robben and versatile full back David Alaba fit again for Friday’s match.

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But Bayern will need to wait a bit longer for Mario Goetze and Franck Ribery, who, Guardiola believes, need more time to fully recover from their injuries.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann,; Editing by Neville Dalton)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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