Guardiola keeps eye on Barca as Bayern face Leverkusen

Pep Guardiola: proud of Bayern’s achievement

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola is expected to ring the changes for Saturday’s Bundesliga trip to Bayer Leverkusen.

Guardiola has several injuries and with the Bundesliga title wrapped up last weekend wants to rest some players ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg game at Barcelona.

“The Bundesliga is over. We have already won it. Our sights are now on Wednesday,’’ the Spanish coach said on Friday.

“If we can rotate we will,’’ he said.

Guardiola indicated that Spanish midfielder Javi Martinez could start, more than eight months after tearing cruciate ligaments in his left knee during the German Super Cup match against Borussia Dortmund in mid-August.

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski will not play but could yet make the Champions League trip to Barcelona.

Lewandowski suffered a fractured nose and upper jaw in Tuesday’s defeat on penalties to Dortmund in the semi-final of the German Cup.

“We will see Monday, Tuesday what shape he is in,” Guardiola said. “In the first few days the injury is painful.’’

Whether or not Lewandowski plays against Barcelona, possibly wearing a face mask, will depend entirely on the judgment of the team doctors, Guardiola said.

Guardiola meanwhile praised midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who came off the bench against Dortmund and “played his best game in my time at Bayern.’’

He added: “His body language was also good. That is very important for the game in Barcelona.’’

Guardiola, who is now without Arjen Robben for the rest of the season after the Dutch winger suffered a calf muscle tear against Dortmund, is likely to pick veteran striker Claudio Pizarro up front for Lewandowski against Leverkusen.

Bayern Munich: team to be rotated

“Claudio is the best for us in the penalty area,’’ he said.

Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt meanwhile said on Friday that he expected Bayern to have a strong side on Saturday even if Guardiola rests some players.

“No matter what the coach decides Bayern will have a top team on the pitch,’’ he said.

“After going out to Dortmund in the cup they will want to gain self-confidence and stability for the Barcelona game.’’

Leverkusen are in a fight for third place and direct Champions League qualification and will also be out to avenge a quarter-final cup defeat to Bayern on penalties.

Schmidt’s side are fourth, two points behind Borussia Moenchengladbach.

“We want to fight with everything we have for third place,’’ he said.

Schmidt only has 16 players of the first-team squad available against Bayern after injuries to Gonzalo Castro, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Robbie Kruse, and the termination of Emir Spahic’s contract following a fight between the defender and stewards following the cup defeat to Bayern on April 8