December 10, 2013
Guardiola and Mourinho lock horns again in European Super Cup
Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will renew their long-standing rivalry when European champions Bayern Munich take on Europa League winners Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup today.
New Bayern coach Guardiola and Mourinho, back for a second stint at Chelsea, have tangled repeatedly in their careers especially when the Spaniard was at the helm at Barcelona and the outspoken Portuguese held the reins at Real Madrid.
Both clubs are unbeaten in their respective leagues this season but Mourinho knows his team will have their work cut out to repeat their 2012 Champions League final win over the Bavarians.
The Chelsea coach hailed Bayern's "fantastic" feat in landing a Champions League-Bundesliga-German Cup treble last season.
"Only great teams with a great mentality, with fantastic football qualities ... manage it," said Mourinho, who also captured a Champions League-Serie A-Italian Cup treble with Inter Milan in 2010.
"To play against the best team in the world last year ... is a big challenge for us. It is good for us to measure where we are in terms of playing against the best," he told reporters.
The Chelsea squad are still adapting to life under Mourinho, who left Real for Stamford Bridge in the close season to succeed Rafael Benitez.
The Londoners have had an extra day to prepare for the Super Cup after drawing 0-0 at Premier League title rivals Manchester United on Monday.
Mourinho can call on Brazil defender David Luiz for the first time this season following a hamstring injury while Spain playmaker Juan Mata could come back into the side after being left on the bench at Old Trafford.
Chelsea's new signings from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o and Brazil midfielder Willian, are not in the 26-man squad.
Bayern playmaker Bastian Schweinsteiger has travelled to Prague but faces a race against time to recover from the ankle injury he sustained in the 1-1 Bundesliga draw at Freiburg on Tuesday.
Holding midfielder Javi Martinez is also in the squad despite having had an abdominal injury.
"There is no desire for revenge," club president Uli Hoeness said, referring to the shootout defeat in the Champions League final at Bayern's Allianz Arena 15 months ago.
"Last season we were the best team in Europe."
Arjen Robben scored the 89th-minute winner when Bayern beat fellow Germans Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final in May under Guardiola's predecessor Jupp Heynckes.
The Dutch winger played under Mourinho during his first spell in charge at Chelsea between 2004 and 2007 and is looking forward to locking horns with his former boss again.
"Chelsea have had two wonderful years and now their old coach has returned," said Robben.
"I think very highly of Mourinho. It will be a great match."
Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Dante, David Alaba, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos, Franck Ribery, Mario Mandzukic.
Chelsea: Petr Cech, Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Marco van Ginkel, Ramires, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar, Fernando Torres.
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)