Guardiola: I'm a big, big fan of Bayer Leverkusen

The Catalan has revealed that he is a huge admirer of Rodger Schmidt’s side and is particularly concerned by their dead-ball specialist, Hakan Calhanoglu


Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has talked up the threat posed by Bayer Leverkusen to his side’s unbeaten Bundesliga record ahead of Saturday’s showdown at the Allianz Arena.

The Bavarians have won 10 of their 13 games to date and sit seven points clear of second-placed Wolfsburg, with Leverkusen three points further back in third.

However, Guardiola has the utmost respect for Roger Schmidt’s side and is expecting a fearsome contest.

“I am big, big fan of this team, their coach and their style of play,” the Catalan told reporters at his pre-game media conference on Friday.

“They have done very well so far with their great ability to press and I’m sure that they will come here to play. We will have little time to think on the ball.

“This game is very important for us in terms of the Bundesliga.

“If both sides play attacking football then it will be a very good game – and we want that!”

Guardiola is not only warning his side against complacency, but also against the danger of giving away silly free kicks within the range of Bayer’s dead-ball specialist Hakan Calhanoglu.

“He has enormous quality,” the former Barcelona boss said. “He is one of the best free-kick takers in the Bundesliga, which is why we have to keep the game away from our box.

“This is going to be a top, top game and we will need to be at our best.”

Guardiola also confirmed that he has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game, which is scheduled to kick off at 18:30CET.

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