Guardiola: Champions League match vs Olympiakos ‘a final for us’

Photo credit: AFP.

Photo credit: AFP.

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola insists Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Olympiakos is effectively ‘a final’ for the Germans in the battle to finish top of the group. Both Olympiakos and Bayern have nine points in Group F, but Guardiola’s Bavarians lead the table with an overwhelming goal difference and beat their Greek rivals 3-0 in Piraus in September. A draw would put both teams in the knockout phase, but Bayern want the win at the Allianz Arena which guarantees they will win the group.

Bayern are looking to build on their 5-1 thumping of Arsenal at home three weeks ago, which avenged their 2-0 loss in London — their only defeat this season.

“This is a final for us. We’ll try and do everything we can to win the game and hold first place,” said Guardiola.

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Left back David Alaba suffered an ankle knock in Saturday’s 3-1 league win at Schalke, and Guardiola is hoping to have the Austria star fit.

“The injury isn’t so bad, the game was only two days ago, he won’t train today and we’ll see if he can play,” said Guardiola about Alaba.

“We don’t want to take any risks, but as I said, this is a final for us, so we want him to play.

“It won’t be an easy game, I was pleased we won 3-0 in Athens and Olympiakos beat Arsenal in London, which shows how strong they are. They have a lot of quality.”

Arsenal are on brink of a stunning failure to make the knockout stages for the first time in 16 years after three defeats from their four group games. The Gunners must beat Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday to keep their hopes alive and need second-placed Olympiakos to lose in Munich.

“We’ll be doing all we can to win the game, not to help Arsenal, but for ourselves,” said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

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