Your guide to Bayern Munich’s pre-season friendlies

With Bayern Munich returning to training, Goal's Aman Arora takes a look at the friendly games lined up for Guardiola's new side.

The Bavarians are back in action after an immensely successful season under former coach Jupp Heynckes who signed off with a treble. New coach Pep Guardiola took charge of the squad just over two weeks ago and will need to settle in quickly considering the amount of friendlies they play in the coming days.  

Back to work since 26th June

Having already beaten Wildenau Fan Club and Paulaner XI by massive scores of 15-1 and 13-0 respectively, Guardiola has gotten off to a flyer with his new team, but they are yet to face a stern test.

Against Wildenau Fan Club, a team made up of local fans, Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos all hit the back of the net while it was youngster Patrick Weihrauch who caught the eye with four goals.

In Arca against Paulaner XI, Bayern cruised past their opponents of the Paulaner Cup, with Emre Can, Xherdan Shaqiri, Claudio Pizzaro and Vladmir Rankovic on target.

Pre-Season Friendlies

Brescia Calcio vs Bayern Munich
Date: 9th July, 2013

Venue: Trentino, Stadio MarioRigamonti

Kick Off: 18:30 LMT
     16:30 GMT
         22:00 IST

Bayern played Brescia Calcio, a side that finished 8th in the recently concluded Serie B campaign. The Bavarians won 3-0 as Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos opened the scoring in the first half before new signing Jan Kirchhoff added another after the break.

About the opposition-

Brescia Calcio have spent most of their time in Serie B, while making appearances in the top flight in the early part of the century and most recently in 2011. Founded in 1911, the club has notably won the Serie B and finished runners up in the Intertoto Cup in 2001, when Roberto Baggio led the charge for the Rondinelle. Baggio, who spent four years at the club until 2004, led them to their most successful spell in Serie A.


SG Sonnenhof Großaspach vs Bayern Munich
Date: 13th July, 2013

Venue: Aspach, Baden-Wurttemberg

Kick Off: 19:00 LMT
        17:00  GMT
          22:30 IST

Next up for the Bavarians will be a friendly match against German Association football club, SG Sonnenhof Großaspach. The club plays in the Regionalliga Sudwest (IV), the fourth division of the German football league system. The game will be yet another opportunity for the defending European champions to test their reserve squad.

About the opposition-

SG Sonnenhof Großaspach, who have never been crowned champions of the Regionalliga Sudwest (IV), are a club founded as recently as 1994, with its sides also participating in bowling, table tennis and gymnastics.

The football side has been the most successful though, as they got promoted to the Regionalliga Sudwest (IV) as recently as 2008-2009. They have also made two appearances in the DFB Pokal, losing out to Bundesliga sides on both occasions in the first round itself.


Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund (Telekom Cup)
Date: 20th July, 2013

Venue: Monchengladbach

Kick Off: 18:30 LMT
              16:30 GMT
              22:00 IST

The squad travel to Monchengladbach to face Borussia Dortmund for the semi-final of the Telekom Cup, which is an annual pre-season tournament with games of 60 minutes each. Hamburger SV and Borussia Monchengladbach are the participants of the other semi-final while the final set to take place on the 21st of July (18:30 local time).

The game will be a repeat of the hotly contested Champions League final, which Bayern won by a score-line of two goals to one. The rivalry between the two sides has further increased this summer, with Mario Gotze, who played for Dortmund since the age of 11, transferring to the Bavarians after they triggered his release clause rumoured to be around €37 million.


Bayern Munich vs Barcelona (Uli Hoeneß Cup)
Date: 24th July, 2013

Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich

Kick Off: 20:30 LMT
              18:30 GMT
              00:00 IST (25th)

Pep Guardiola will welcome his former side FC Barcelona for the first time since taking charge at Bayern to the Allianz Arena for the Uli Hoeneß Cup. The Cup is played every year in honour of Uli Hoeneß, the former Bayern forward who was forced to retire at the age of 27 after making 250 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern and FC Nuremberg combined.

The proceeds of the game will go towards the Uli Hoeneß charity. The game promises to be a cracker, as the same fixture in the semi-final of the Champions League last term brought a spectacular 7-0 aggregate win for Bayern en route to winning the trophy.

Barcelona will be looking for a bit of revenge and to get the better of their former manager. Neymar will be on show for the Catalans while Guardiola's plan for Bayern will take up all the attention as the two powerhouses of Europe clash.

Bayern Munich vs Sao Paolo (Audi Cup)
Date: 31st July, 2013

Venue: Allianz Arena

Kick Off: 20:15 LMT
18.15 GMT
23:45 IST

The Audi Cup, hosted by Bayern Munich will see Manchester City FC, Sao Paulo and AC Milan compete for the trophy. The British and the Brazilian sides will make their debuts in the competition while the other two teams have participated in the previous two editions of the tournament. 

The hosts take on 2012 Copa Sudamericana Champions Sao Paulo in the semi-final while Manchester City and AC Milan face off in the other semi-final.

About the opposition-

Sao Paolo participates in Brazil's national league, the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A. Having won the league six times, 21 state titles and three Copa Libertadores championship, Sao Paulo are one of the most successful sides in the history of Brazilian football.

On the continental level, they are the third most successful team behind Boca Juniors and Independiente, with a total of 12 titles. Most recently, they won the national league in 2008 and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2005 when the beat then Champions League winners Liverpool.





Bayern Munich's Man to Watch- Mario Gotze

21 year old Mario Gotze, recently switched from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich. He will be the man to watch in this Bayern side. He is usually deployed in the hole behind the striker and efficiently links midfield with the attack. His sleek passing and runs in between the lines are his major attributes along with the ability to dribble past defenders. His creativity coupled with his vision makes him a threat in the final third. 

His ability to play as a false nine is up for debate as many believe Guardiola has singled him out for that role. Given that he has pace, agility and intelligence, theoretically there is no reason why he can't be the German Messi. With Toni Kroos the man being used last season in that role behind Mario Mandzukic or Mario Gomez, questions have been raised over the use of Gotze with respect to his position.

The friendlies over the next four weeks should make fans aware of how Guardiola plans to use him so that he can be most effective.


 What the Bench-warmers need to do...

Considering the strength in Bayern's first team and the options they have on the bench, players who are on the fringes of the squad will certainly need to prove their worth to Guardiola. Emre Can and new signing Jan Kirchhof will be among those looking to impress.

With Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez and Luis Gustavo all ahead of him in the defensive midfield role, Can needs to make sure he performs in the pre-season. The German U-21 international, has only made 4 appearances for the Bavarians last term but is still young and can use these fixtures to make an impression.

Jan Kirchhoff, who in January agreed a deal to join Bayern, is a 22 year old defender who has previously had spells at Mainz and Eintracht Frankfurt. The highly rated youngster has been widely tipped to be a top
defender in the future but getting games at the Allianz Arena might prove difficult. Dante, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber and Daniel Van Buyten occupy the central defensive department.


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