Bayern's Philipp Lahm set to face City
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm is set to return to the team for the Champions League clash against Manchester City on Tuesday, while Mario Goetze is a doubt for Pep Guardiola’s side.
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Lahm, 30, is fit again following a thigh injury that has kept him out since the 3-1 victory at CSKA Moscow on Nov. 27.
“Philipp Lahm is ready for tomorrow [Tuesday]. He has trained really well,” Guardiola told a news conference.
Midfielder Goetze, however, is doubtful after receiving a knock at the weekend during the 7-0 thrashing of Werder Bremen.
“We will decide tomorrow,” Guardiola said. “I am optimistic.”
Bayern will be attempting to become the first team to win all 18 points during the Champions League group stage at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.
The European champions beat City 3-1 in the reverse fixture in early October -- Manuel Pellegrini’s men’s only defeat in their European campaign this season.
Despite the loss, City -- who are already through to the last 16 alongside Bayern -- still have an outside chance of winning Group D if they beat the Bavarians by three goals or score at least four and win by a margin of two.
“Tomorrow is a dangerous game,” Guradiola said. “But I have faith in my team. If we concentrate we have a chance to finish on top of the group. We want to win the group and play the second leg at home in the last 16. That is very, very important.
“Should we win the match, we will have 18 points -- that is a good goal. This has never been achieved in Champions League history. Records are always something for the history books of a club.”
During the history of Champions League, no team has ever managed to defend their European crown, and Guardiola believes the only way to achieve that goal is to take it step by step.
“Bayern are the last European champions. We need to go from game to game. There are many, many incredible teams in this world,” Guardiola said.
And Guardiola feels City are one of those sides, adding: “I am convinced that Manchester City will play great games in the last 16 and will be a very strong opponent for every team.”