Guardiola ready to rekindle Mourinho rivalry
Bayern Munich tackle three games inside a week, culminating in the Super Cup against Chelsea next Friday which will pit the Bavarians' coach Pep Guardiola against former rival Jose Mourinho.Updated: Aug 24, 2013 02:19 IST
Bayern Munich tackle three games inside a week, culminating in the Super Cup against Chelsea next Friday which will pit the Bavarians' coach Pep Guardiola against former rival Jose Mourinho.
Guardiola's Bayern have a taxing schedule en route to the UEFA Super Cup showdown in Prague where the Champions League winners take on Europa League champions Chelsea, but the Spaniard is relishing facing Mourinho.
"Yes, it's not the first time we've met and we know each other well," said Guardiola of the self-styled "special one" Mourinho.
"I have huge respect for his career and you can't forget the Bayern-Chelsea game, but we have two more games before us and the next match is always the most important one.
"Bayern have never won it (the Super Cup) and it's an important title.
"I don't know what will happen next Friday, but they will win it sooner or later."
The Prague showdown rekindles memories of past El Clasico clashes with ex-Barcelona boss Guardiola against Chelsea's former Real Madrid coach Mourinho, but before that Bayern face Bundesliga matches at home to Nuremberg on Saturday, then away to Freiburg on Tuesday.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has described the next seven days as "the first hot phase" of the Bavarians' season and the triple-bill of matches will test Guardiola's new 4-1-4-1 formation.
Bayern host Nuremberg at Munich's Allianz Arena without Spain's Javi Martinez, who is lacking match fitness according to the Bayern boss, while France winger Franck Ribery is back in the team after an ankle injury kept him out of last Saturday's 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Germany star Mario Goetze is set to make his league debut for Bayern following his transfer from Borussia Dortmund having last played in April after a hamstring injury.
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder was on the bench for last Saturday's win at Frankfurt, but has yet to play a Bundesliga match for Munich.
"The important thing is that he feels fit," said Guardiola.
"His legs are fit and his head is right, which is good for us.
"I don't know if he'll start or play a few minutes and I'll decide that in the morning."
Only goal difference behind Dortmund is keeping joint second-placed Bayern off the top of the German league table after winning both of their opening league matches.
Although Nuremberg have drawn both of their opening games, Guardiola was full of respect for the Bavarian derby.
"A derby is very special and they are always tough games, Nuremberg will be 100 % focussed, so it will be difficult," said Guardiola, while Nuremberg coach Michael Wiesinger has said his team will not heading to Munich "to go sightseeing".
First Published: Aug 24, 2013 02:16 IST