The Audi Cup (pre-season tournament) reaches its conclusion today with Bayern Munich and Manchester City contesting the final to be played at the Allianz Arena. Both teams are well into their pre-season schedule, suggesting that both should be close to ready, in terms of fitness, to begin their seasons. For City, after losing out on the Premier League and FA Cup last season, their ambitions for this campaign will be to join Europe's elite trophy winning clubs, of which Bayern is certainly a member. The Bavarian outfit won the Bundesliga, German cup and UEFA Champions League last season. Bayern Munich are of a level that City aspire to be at and this game should give an early indication of the gap between Euope's elite and the Manchester club.
Both teams are under new Spanish management this season. City have employed former Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini, while Bayern now play with a style determined by former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. The coaches know each other well from their time in Spain. Pellegrini spoke of his excitement at the prospect of playing Guardiola's team.
"Pep's teams always play good football and if we play his team during the Audi Cup it will hopefully be an enjoyable occasion for everyone," Pellegrini said before the start of the tournament.
City defeated AC Milan 5-3 in the previous game to book a place in the final. City raced to a 5-0 lead in the first half before Milan were able to claw back three goals before half-time. The second half proved to be a disappointment as no further goals were added. Pellegrini will be concerned by his team's lack of defensive discipline after taking a commanding lead.
Bayern endured a frustrating evening against Brazilian side Sao Paolo. The South Americans defended resolutely until deep in the second half where substitute Mario Mandzukic was able to find breakthrough. Bayern were able to add a second late in the game through Weiser. The game finished 2-0 to the Bavarians.
Where to Watch
Kick-off is at 12am (Friday August 2) and live coverage is available on Sony Six.
City will be without Matija Nastasic who picked up an injury against Sunderland in the Barclays Asia Trophy. Bayern could still be without Thiago Alcantara after the player missed the game against Sao Paolo. Philipp Lahm is expected to play one again in the midfield three.