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Bayern beat Brescia 

Thomas Mueller (FC Bayern Muenchen) am Ball

 In their first real pre-season test of the new season, treble-winners FC Bayern Munich ran out 3-0 victors against Italian second division side Brescia Calcio. Thomas Mueller tapped in after good work from Mandzukic before the goalscorer found Kroos on the edge for the second. New signing Jan Kirchhoff added a late third with a close-range header.

Franck Ribery, in a pre-season tussle. Photo: DPA

Guardiola’s decision to play 4-1-4-1 again may just be in relation to their opponents but it does appear to be his favoured formation so far at Bayern. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was the holding midfielder for the first half, Emre Can for the second as Guardiola sought the strengths of his player. Müller and Kroos played in the centre of the park, with Xherdan Shaqiri (later Julian Green) and Franck Ribery (later Patrick Weihrauch) out on the flanks.

Mario Gomez’s recent transfer to Fiorentina means that Bayern are left with only two out-and-out strikers, perhaps three with the inclusion of youngster Patrick Weihrauch. This certainly adds weight to Guardiola opting for a packed midfield, formation variable, and either one striker or a much coveted false nine. Mario Goetze, currently still recovering from the thigh injury that saw him miss the UEFA Champions League final, and Thomas Mueller are the most likely to play that role for the club but it will depend on the way Guardiola sets up.

Nevertheless, after the game the Spaniard was quoted as saying, “We still need time. There are still some big players out with injury. The formation isn’t the most important thing.”

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