Bayern look to put troubled week behind them

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola will be glad to turn his attention to on-field matters after club president Uli Hoeness was jailed this week.

Bayern Munich's Dante and Mario Mandzukic

Hoeness was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for tax evasion on Thursday and admitted his decision the act, completed by using a 'secret' bank account in Switzerland, amounted to the ''biggest mistake'' of his life.

The 62-year-old has tendered his resignation as president of the Bavarian giants and Guardiola believes his friend Hoeness would want attention to turn back onto football itself ahead of Bayern's clash with Bayer Leverkusen this weekend.

"We've got to be able to concentrate on this game," Guardiola said. "I believe that Uli and other people in the club would want that.

"It's not easy for me to talk about this today - I wish I could speak better German to put my feelings into words better.

"I've only been here for nine months, but I have realised how important Uli Hoeness is for this club.

"This club is one of the best in the world and it is his great personality which has made it become that.

"He is my friend and he will remain my friend. We as a club need to carry on with what we have learnt from Uli."

Bayern reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in midweek after a 3-1 aggregate victory over Arsenal in the last-16 and will attempt to make it a half-century of Bundesliga matches unbeaten against the last team to beat them in the league.

It was October 2012 when Leverkusen picked up a 2-1 win at the Allianz Arena, inflicting the one and only defeat on Bayern in the league last season.

Sami Hyypia's men are one of only two sides to have taken points off Bayern this season too with a draw in the reverse fixture, leaving Bayern with enough reason to fear their 49-game unbeaten domestic record could come to an end on Saturday.

"We will lose sooner or later," said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola. "But we have to remain focused on retaining our title."

Leverkusen arrived in Munich directly from Paris, following their elimination from the Champions League in midweek.

They will be looking to put that latest disappointment in a winless run of seven matches behind them at the scene of one of their finest hours in recent years.

"If we take to the field with the right attitude, then we can make life difficult, even for Bayern," said Hyypia, who is hoping to welcome Germany international Lars Bender back into his squad after injury.



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