International

Guardiola's final Bayern lap begins at Hamburg

2016-01-21 10:45
Pep Guardiola (Supplied)

Berlin - Pep Guardiola starts his swansong as Bayern Munich coach on Friday at Hamburg with his team running away with an historic fourth Bundesliga crown and eyeing a hat-trick of titles.

Having said he wants to coach in England next season, Guardiola's three-year tenure will ultimately be measured in Munich by whether he can repeat his predecessor Jupp Heynckes' feat of winning the treble of Champions League, German Cup and Bundesliga titles in 2013.

Bayern have won the German league title for the last three seasons and are bidding to become the first team to win four straight Bundesliga titles.

They have also reached the quarter-finals of the German Cup, but the Champions League will be the acid test having been knocked out at the semi-final stage of Europe for the last two years running under Guardiola.

Bayern return from the Bundesliga's winter break eight points clear in the table, but Guardiola knows his reign will be judged by whether or not his side reach the Champions League final on May 28 in Milan.

"I know people want us to win the Champions League and if we don't manage it, we will have failed," Guardiola has said.

Bayern kick-off the second-half of the season against mid-table Hamburg, who are waiting on the fitness of striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga, who has a shoulder injury, and captain Johan Djourou (knee).

Hamburg last beat Bayern back in September 2009 and Bruno Labbadia's team were winless in their last three league games of 2015.

Despite winning their last two previous meetings 5-0 and 8-0 in Munich, Bayern have struggled to leave Hamburg with three points of late and in their last five games at the Volksparkstadion they have only won twice. 

Read more on:    bayern munich  |  bundesliga  |  pep guardiola  |  soccer
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