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No gifts from Bayern in busy pre-festive period

05 December 2014, 17:26

Berlin - Christmas is rapidly approaching, but Bayern Munich are determined not to gift their rivals any points as they tackle five games in 15 days, starting with Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

Despite the season of giving, the Bavarian giants are determined to maintain their iron grip on the Bundesliga title as they look to maintain their seven-point lead going into the winter break, which starts on December 21.

"We must be extremely focused and motivated to go about our work and keep our lead," insisted Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Bayern have a busy period coming up as they host CSKA Moscow in their final Champions League group match next Wednesday, then play Augsburg, Freiburg and Mainz with a league game every three days.

Also read: Grant says Ghana will survive Group C

Leverkusen were the last German team to win in Munich in October 2012, but Bayern want no repeat for Saturday's Bundesliga clash.

"We have nothing to give away," insisted goalkeeper Manuel Neuer ahead of the Allianz Arena clash.

Roger Schmidt's Leverkusen have climbed up to third in the table and Bayern boss Pep Guardiola expects a battle royal.

"It's a top match. When two teams play on the attack, then it's always a spectacle," said the Spaniard.

Schmidt coached his former club Red Bull Salzburg to a shock 3-0 defeat of Bayern in a friendly last January before taking charge of Leverkusen in July.

Guardiola is a big fan of the 47-year-old and says he expects Bayern to be under pressure and will need to deny Leverkusen's dead-ball specialists Hakan Calhanoglu and South Korea's Son Heung-Min the chance to show off their skills.

"We have no time to think, we must make decisions quicker and it will be important to keep them away from our penalty area," said Guardiola.

The benefit of Bayern's huge star-studded squad is apparent as Guardiola can cope without the injured Philipp Lahm, Javier Martinez, Holger Badstuber, David Alaba and Claudio Pizarro.

"It has impressed me tremendously how professionally the coach and the team have dealt with the setbacks, without complaining or moaning about it," added Rummenigge.



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