Guardiola demands focus for City clash

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola is not taking things for granted with regard to where his team will finish in Champions League Group D and has stressed the need for concentration in Tuesday's home clash with Manchester City.

Bayern Munich's Spanish head coach Josep Guardiola

Both sides have already qualified for the knockout stage ahead of what is their final Group D fixture, with Bayern currently top of the section and City three points behind in second.

The defending champions have registered victories in all five of their group games so far, including a dominant 3-1 win at City, who would need to better that result in the Allianz Arena to leapfrog them.

It looks an unlikely prospect, but Guardiola has been keen to emphasise how great a threat he thinks City pose.

The Spaniard said at his pre-match press conference: "Coming second in the group is not really an option for us. It is something we want to avoid.

"I have a lot of confidence in my team, but I also know how dangerous Manchester City are.

"They have incredible players - they can get three or four chances within a few minutes. So we have to really look out for that.

"My players have to really concentrate and be aware of the situation. We have a very big chance to be first in the group and that is what we have to aim for."

Bayern have full-back Philipp Lahm, who Guardiola has been deploying as a defensive midfielder, available again after he recovered from a thigh problem.

The coach is "optimistic" Mario Gotze will be able to feature as well despite picking up a knock in Saturday's match, while fellow midfielders Arjen Robben (knee) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (ankle) remain sidelined.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini admits he is preparing to face Bayern with thoughts of the Barclays Premier League meeting with Arsenal that follows it in mind.

City have already secured qualification for the knockout stages of the continental competition and while they can still move up a place to secure top spot in the section ahead of current leaders Bayern, the odds look stacked against them doing it.

The Blues then host Premier League table-toppers Arsenal, who they trail by six points, on Saturday.

And asked on Monday if he regarded the Gunners clash as the priority and was thinking of resting players on Tuesday, Pellegrini said: "Tomorrow we will see the XI that starts.

"Of course, it was one of the most important things to achieve - qualifying for the next round (already) and not deciding that here in Munich. So we will see tomorrow.

"Of course we are thinking about both things - firstly to do a very good game tomorrow, which is very important for us, and also what will happen in the tough game we have against Arsenal on Saturday."

It appears goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was dropped from the team in October after making a string of high-profile errors, will start against Bayern in place of Costel Pantilimon.

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