Hannover v Bayern Munich: Coman urges team-mates to rise above Guardiola speculation

Kingsley Coman says speculation about Pep Guardiola’s future will not affect the Bayern Munich squad ahead of their trip to Hannover in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

The former Barcelona coach’s contract with Bayern expires at the end of season and he will reportedly announce a decision about his future at the club after this weekend’s encounter.

Several reports earlier this week suggested Guardiola has already told the Bavarians that he plans to move on come the end of the season, but neither of the parties involved has officially confirmed anything as of yet.

Coman though is adamant the uncertainty will not influence Bayern ahead of the match against Hannover.

“I would be sad if Guardiola would leave Bayern. He is the best coach in the world for me. He has helped me develop more than anyone else, gave me a lot of playing time and always believed in me,” Coman told Sky.

“But the ongoing decision about his future does not affect the team in any way. I can assure you that’s not an issue.

“I hope that he stays. I never got the feeling that he wants to move on. Guardiola will find his feet wherever he goes. I have no doubts about it. I can only wish him the best. But it is his decision.”

Guardiola’s focus will be on Hannover only on Saturday and the Spanish coach has plenty of injury concerns ahead of the match at the HDI Arena.

Arjen Robben (muscle problem), Mario Gotze (adductor) and Franck Ribery (thigh) are all unavailable in attack, while David Alaba (ankle), Juan Bernat (groin) and Medhi Benatia (thigh) are all expected to miss the Hannover clash as well.

Hannover, meanwhile, will be hoping to end a disappointing first half of the season on a positive note and spring a surprise against Bayern, but a tough task awaits Michael Frontzeck’s men.

This is Hannover’s worst campaign for 27 years as they sit 16th on the Bundesliga table with 14 points.

Additionally, Bayern have won their last eight competitive games against Hannover, scoring 30 times and conceding just four goals in the process. Bayern recorded a 3-1 win in this fixture last season.

Hannover’s heaviest-ever Bundesliga defeat took place in Munich in April 2010 (7-0, the same as against Stuttgart in 1986).

However, Hannover can draw confidence from their last Bundesliga match at the HDI Arena, beating Ingolstadt 4-0 courtesy of goals from Marcelo, Leon Andreasen, Kenan Karaman and Uffe Bech.
Key Opta stats:

– Thomas Muller netted a brace in his last two league games versus Hannover. He has never scored three consecutive doubles against a Bundesliga side. He has netted seven goals against 96 and Hamburg. He hasn’t scored more times against anyone else.
– Robert Lewandowski has missed 22 clear-cut chances in the league this term – more than the entire Hannover team have created (20).
– Hannover haven’t won their final match of the year since returning to the top flight in 2002-03 (drawing six, losing seven) – Bayern are unbeaten in this fixture for 30 years (winning 16, drawing 14).
– Michael Frontzeck faces Pep Guardiola for the first time in any competition this weekend. He did, however, play with Bayern’s sporting director Matthias Sammer at Stuttgart (1990-1992).
– Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is on the cusp of making his 300th Bundesliga appearance. A shut out this week would see him draw level in the clean-sheets chart with Uli Stein (143 clean sheets) – only three keepers have kept more in the history of the division.

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