Dante (r.) is set to return for Bayern when they travel to Augsburg this Saturday
Dante (r.) is set to return for Bayern when they travel to Augsburg this Saturday

Bayern looking to strike a balance ahead of Augsburg clash

Augsburg - Respect and a good dose of realism will accompany FC Bayern München on their short trip to neighbouring FC Augsburg this Saturday (kick-off 13:30 GMT/15:30 CEST), with coach Pep Guardiola not hiding where his priorities lie.

Divided loyalties

The Bavarians have already wrapped up the Bundesliga in record-breaking fashion, and while Guardiola says his side are keen to end the season with as many points as possible, there is something else on the former FC Barcelona coach's mind these days.

On Wednesday, Bayern host Manchester United FC in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final and, after being held to a 1-1 draw in the away leg at Old Trafford, Guardiola admits he has one eye on next week's return fixture. "The Bundesliga's done and dusted and the most important game for our future is on Wednesday," said the Catalan in no uncertain terms.

"We've got to respect Augsburg - their coach Markus Weinzierl is one of the best in the Bundesliga - but the Champions League is very, very important for me, and for us. We've already achieved one goal in winning the title. Augsburg is important, but I'll be making a few changes."

Dante back

Guardiola's words were in no way intended to undermine his side's achievements in the league this season. Rather, it was a proclamation of the insatiable desire of the record champions to steamroller everything in their path, and win even more trophies. "We always try to play well," added Guardiola. "But maybe only two or three players in the team [against Augsburg] will play in the United game."

One is likely to be Dante, who did not feature at Old Trafford due to suspension, but will now get 90 minutes under his belt ahead of Wednesday's clash. The Brazilian is itching to get back on the field. "The best preparation for the return leg against Manchester is to play a good game in Augsburg," he said. "We're already champions, but we're certainly not going to give them any gifts and take it easy. We want to win for our fans."

Baier: 'We can win'

FC Bayern are not as unbeatable as they are currently making themselves out to be, though, according to Augsburg midfielder Daniel Baier. The former TSV 1860 München man believes his former city rivals are on a pedestal, just waiting to be knocked off it. "It would be truly amazing if we could be the first team this season to beat Bayern," Baier told his club's official website.

"If all of us in the team are 100 percent convinced that we can win this game, then we can do it," added the 29-year-old. The Fuggerstädter's chances have been dealt a blow with the loss of Andre Hahn (suspension) and Tobias Werner (injury), however. "They're both important players who've had a hand in plenty of our goals," Baier said. "But we'll try to compensate for their loss as a team. We've got some good young lads who can replace them. Besides, team work is the secret to our success."

Possible line-ups:

Augsburg: Hitz - Verhaegh, Callsen-Bracker, Hong, Ostrzolek - Baier - Esswein, Kohr, Halil Altintop, Holzhauser - Bobadilla

Bayern: Neuer - Rafinha, van Buyten, Dante, Alaba - Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger - Shaqiri, Pizarro, Götze - Mandzukic

Click here to find your local broadcaster for this match.

Check out Bayern's last Bundesliga outing, a six-goal thriller with Hoffenheim, courtesy of the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel.