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VfL Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich: Pep Guardiola Press Conference Roundup

We listen in on and pick out the important stuff from Pep Guardiola's press conference before every game, be it Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, or UEFA Champions League.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

After the mid-week Champions League showdown with Juventus, it's back the daily grind of Bundesliga.  Up next, last season's DFB Pokal winners, and runner-up in the league, VfL Wolfsburg, who are always tough to play in their own house, the Volkswagen-Arena.

Pep Guardiola sat down for the customary press conference with the sports media representatives.

FC Bayern Press Conference, February 26th, 2016

Here are the highlights of today's questions and answers (my interjections in italics):

On how Bayern will approach the away game against Wolfsburg - Tomorrow, we'll be playing against one of the best teams in the Bundesliga, the DFB Pokal winners and vice-champions.  This will be one of the most important weeks of the season.  The next three games are against Wolfsburg, Mainz and Dortmund, and we will see what we can do the rest of this season.

On whether Pep will let Robert Lewandowski start, or come off the bench again - (The last time they played the Wolves, Lewandowski came in at halftime, and then proceeded to score five goals in just under nine minutes.  If he starts, he should be able to get 10, right?) The past is the past, this is a new game, and we'll see tomorrow.

On what the strengths of Wolfsburg are - They don't have "real" forwards, and they are tough to control.  They're a team that switches sides a lot, they are strong in their outside attackers and backs, they generate a lot of crosses.  If you give Naldo and Dante time, they can make the passes, they are very experienced.  Four or five years with the same coach, that's an advantage, because they are familiar with the tactics and what they need to do.  Of course, we know each other well.  This is a Champions League level game.  They won 3-2 (against Gent in the first leg away), they are one step closer to the quarterfinal.  It's a good team.

On Pep's memories of Lewandowski's legendary performance - That wasn't normal, and, of course, it won't happen again.  It was once in a lifetime.

On whether Pep wishes he still had Dante on the team, in light of all the injuries - There's no point in talking about that subject.  The club and Dante made a decision, and it was in the best interest of the club and Dante to transfer to Wolfsburg, and I wish him well.  Dante helped the club a lot in his time here.

On Arturo Vidal's, Franck Ribery's and David Alaba's alleged night out in Turin after the CL game - (There were media reports that the three players left the hotel late, and went out, which has neither been confirmed or denied) They are all very professional, that's the most important for me.  They trained well before and after.

On Mario Götze's opportunity to finally play - (He has been training with the team for a few weeks now, but hasn't seen any game action) He is on the roster.  But we can't forget that he was out for four or five months, and so was Mehdi Benatia.  Mario may play 15 minutes, or he may play 90, I don't know yet.  He trained, and he is on the roster.

On the importance of Uli Hoeness for the development of the youth system - (Hoeness is scheduled to be released from prison on Monday, and has been working in the youth system as part of his work release) I've said it before, that's the most important thing for the club.  The club knows my opinion about the academy.  It's not a process for the next day, it takes a long time.  Bayern has a clear objective, and needs to stay patient.  That is currently Hoeness' task, of course he's very important.

On the current rift between coaches and referees, and how it compares to Spain - (Roger Schmidt's ejection and subsequent refusal to leave the field has created a lot of controversy and discussion) It's the same.  The quality of the coaches and the referees is the same, and they have the same problems and the same positive things.  I didn't notice any differences.  The referees need to know that we are here to help them, not to create problems.  If they want to talk to us, we are there.  We want the best for the game.

On whether Pep has sought out the advice of Hoeness in the last year, while he was back at the club - In the last six months, he was here at Säbenerstrasse, I saw him a lot, and we talked many times.

On what FIFA needs to do to improve - (FIFA just held elections for president, with UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino winning in the first runoff) Always think about what is best for football.  You need good people, and when you are in that position, and you think about what is best for football, you will always make the right decision.

On why Sebastian Rode hasn't played much - If someone deserves to play, then it's Sebastian, but we have a lot of players at the moment.  There's no real reason why he isn't playing more (well, there is one, it isn't called a coach's decision for nothing) Sure, it's my decision, but his attitude is fine, it's not easy for me.  He doesn't deserve this situation.

On why Pep said he "didn't give a shit about conditioning" when asked if Bayern were tired when they gave up two goals to Juventus - (An Italian reporter had asked the question, and there were apparently some translation problems, according to Markus Hörwick) I was asked a question about the conditioning, and I didn't think that was the case, it was more mental and emotional. We had scoring chances at the end of the game, and we played well at the end.  Of course, physical conditioning is important, but that wasn't the issue at that time, and that's what I said.

On whether Bayern will defend with the same high line from the Juventus game against Wolfsburg, to compensate for the lack of center backs - Our center backs were so far up, because Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala were so deep.  If Mandzukic and Dybala were at our penalty box, doing their pressing, we would be there.  It depends on the other team.  I've seen Wolfsburg aggressively press, or hang back.  But, I don't know what will happen.

Disclaimer - Due to the nature of having a coach whose native language is not German, the translation of the quotes is not exactly word for word, but includes some interpretation on the part of the author of this article, in order to more accurately portray what the coach is intending to say. There is some necessary guesswork involved.

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