Bayern Munich return to action from a coronavirus-related Bundesliga suspension with a four-point lead, and aim to shine on and off the pitch as role models as they seek another league title and possibly even a treble. Photo: Reuters
Bayern Munich return to action from a coronavirus-related Bundesliga suspension with a four-point lead, and aim to shine on and off the pitch as role models as they seek another league title and possibly even a treble. Photo: Reuters

Bayern Munich ready to continue title - possible treble - chase

By John Bagratuni Time of article published May 16, 2020

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BERLIN - Bayern Munich have used Bundesliga suspension to renew

the contracts of coach Hansi Flick, Thomas Mueller and Alphonso

Davies, and now turn their attention back to the pitch as they

continue their bid for a another Bundesliga title or even a treble.

The coronavirus-related break over two months also allowed them to

have start striker Robert Lewandowski fit again.

Bayern led Borussia Dortmund by four points when play was suspended

in mid-March and with seven wins and a draw after the winter break

were well on course towards a record-extending eighth straight league

crown.

Had they achieved that under normal circumstances they would have

received the trophy - and had the trademark beer showers - on

Saturday which would have been the last matchday.

Instead, they must now prove their worth and like everyone else cope

with the unusual scenario of games behind closed doors in the final

nine rounds before possibly really lifting the trophy on June 27.

The circumstances may have changed but not so the ambition at the

club which is also still in the German cup and Champions League.

"We play without spectators. If we play, we want to play

successfully, we owe it to the fans at home. Our job is to play

beautiful, attractive football, but at the same time to be

successful," Flick told a news conference Friday.

"It's nine matchdays, a power season, a small tournament. Everyone

has the same conditions. Everything starts from scratch and we hope

that in the end we will have more points than our opponents."

Bayern have made a remarkable turnaround since Flick took the reigns

in November, which earned the former Bayern defender and Germany

assistant coach a three-year contract renewal until 2023 as Bayern

bosses are immensely satisfied with his work.

Bayern veteran Mueller also renewed until 2023 and the sensational

young left-back Davies even until 2025. Thiago Alcantara, David Alaba

and captain Manuel Neuer are also tipped to stay beyond 2021.

With 25-time scorer Lewandowski back from a shin-bone fracture that

would have made him miss the Union and Eintracht Frankfurt games,

possibly even the date with Dortmund now set for May 26, and Kingsley

Coman also fit again, Flick has plenty to chose from.

"I am very satisfied with the state of the team," he said, while also

urging that it will take a big effort to win in Berlin and also

elsewhere.

"It's about showing our quality in every game. Everyone prefers to

play in front of spectators. But it is the same for everyone. I think

we are quite well prepared ... I hope we can get used to the

conditions very quickly and show our quality."

Alaba has said that everyone in the team is "very hungry" ahead of

the restart, and Mueller said the team is "greedy for regular

competition." Neuer said that "of course we are happy that we can

play but we would prefer different circumstances."

Flick has welcomed the temporary rule to make five substitutions per

game and has said that the team is very conscientious in observing

all the social distancing and quarantine measures - he himself

appearing for the video link news conference with a red face mask.

He knows they are role models, and that the whole world will be

watching the Bundesliga from Saturday onwards, not just for the

football.

"The whole world is watching Germany, how we do it. This can send a

signal to all leagues. Then sport in general can perhaps be resumed,"

he said.

dpa

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