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Three Things to Look For in FC Bayern München's Friendlies in Qatar

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A time for rest and a time for recovery is also a time for fitness and a time for impressions

Lars Baron

FC Bayern München commence a three match friendly schedule. With both senior players and reserves in camp, the players will look to maintain fitness and the youngsters will try to make a lasting imprint on manager Pep Guardiola.

First up is Al-Merrikh SC, part of the Sundani Premier League, which is Thursday at 18:00 GMT on Sport1 in Germany (highlights on FCB.TV). The other two are Al Kuwait SC on Monday (January 13) and RB Salzburg next Saturday (January 18). Here are things to watch for over the next week and a half:

  1. Who plays out of the reserves – since it is a friendly, many youngsters will get a look in. What will differ is the amount of playing time each reserve gets. Julian Green burst onto the scene in the preseason, but now he is a little more established with him and Alessandro Schöpf signing professional contracts. The fact also remains that the contracts of Patrick Weihrauch and Lukas Raeder expire at the end of the season, so if Guardiola doesn't give them a shot now, he might never.
  2. Where players ply their trade – The preseason revealed many fascinating propositions: Philipp Lahm playing the single pivot, Thiago Alcântara playing the single pivot, Thomas Müller and Franck Ribery playing at the top, and Diego Contento playing center back just to name a few. Guardiola mixed and matched with the left flank when Ribéry and Xherdan Shaqiri was down, so perhaps Mario Götze and/or Müller could exchange with David Alaba a few times.
  3. Does Schweinsteiger and/or Robben play – The answer right now is no. Bastian Schweinsteiger and the club is urging caution, but is back in team training, according to the club website. Arjen Robben is still a few strides behind in his rehab, but the friendly against Red Bull Leipzig could mean the Dutchman's return. Holger Badstuber is also in camp, although him playing is very unlikely.

Jérôme Boateng has warned the team about complacency, and Guardiola will probably have similar sentiments in the upcoming matches, so these friendlies still have the potential to be great spectacles.