Werder Bremen - Bayern Munich Preview: Wholesale changes for the Bavarians ahead of Champions League semi-final showdown
A win may not be enough for Jupp Heynckes' side as Dortmund will retain the title should they defeat Gladbach, so the coach will rest key players for their visit to Madrid
By Tom Webber
Prodl, Affolter, Naldo, Schmitz
Hunt, Ignjovski, Trybull
Rafinha, Boateng, Tymoshchuk, Contento
Luiz Gustavo, Pranjic
Usami, Muller, Olic
Thomas Schaaf's side have slid down the table in recent weeks with a series of disappointing results making qualifying for Europe only a distant possibility with just three games remaining.
Going into the fixture Werder possess a number of absentees with the suspensions of Clemens Fritz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Sebastian Boenisch in defence as well as Philipp Bargfrede (Achilles), Mehmet Ekici (groin) and Marko Marin all on the sidelines through injury.
Should Borussia Dortmund defeat Borussia Monchengladbach this weekend they will be crowned Bundesliga champions so Jupp Heynckes is likely to rest as many key players as possible ahead of the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
With Holger Badstuber suspended, and Breno and Daniel Van Buyten still recovering from suspension, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk will likely plug the gap at centre-back.
No fewer than seven first-team players could be rested by the Bayern coach including Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez. Takashi Usami could therefore make his first start for the Bavarians while Nils Petersen could return to the fold for his first appearance since the 2-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in March.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Werder Bremen have suffered a dramatic decline in their form since the winter break, winning just two games in 13 Bundesliga fixtures since the turn of the year.
- The hosts have also failed to win a game in their last six outings. Three defeats and three draws have seen the Weserstadion outfit drop out of the European places and into eighth position.
- Werder last beat Bayern Munich at home back in the 2006/07 season. Brazilian playmaker Diego was among the scorers in a 3-1 victory.
- Bayern Munich's triumph over Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena in midweek was their first victory since being beaten by Borussia Dortmund on April 11.
- The Bavarians came out on top in the reverse of this fixture earlier this season. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery netted twice each in a 4-1 win.
- Mario Gomez needs three goals from his side's remaining three fixtures to equal his 28-goal haul from last season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Werder Bremen 0-2 FC Bayern München
- 12.96 %
Werder Bremen 1-3 FC Bayern München
- 9.6 %
Werder Bremen 1-2 FC Bayern München
- 8.89 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Dec 7, 2013||Werder Bremen 0 - FC Bayern München 7|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 23, 2013||FC Bayern München 6 - Werder Bremen 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 29, 2012||Werder Bremen 0 - FC Bayern München 2|
|Club Friendlies (FR)||Aug 4, 2012||FC Bayern München 2 - Werder Bremen 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Apr 21, 2012||Werder Bremen 1 - FC Bayern München 2|
|Dec 7, 2013||Werder Bremen 0 - FC Bayern München 7||GER1|
|Nov 30, 2013||Hoffenheim 4 - Werder Bremen 4||GER1|
|Nov 24, 2013||Werder Bremen 2 - Mainz 3||GER1|
|Nov 9, 2013||Schalke 04 3 - Werder Bremen 1||GER1|
|Nov 3, 2013||Werder Bremen 3 - Hannover 96 2||GER1|
The 33-year-old has only found the net twice against his former club since leaving the Bavarian side in 2007 but has been a consistent goalscorer fo his current side. He has struck 16 times so far this season and needs just three more goals to match his most successful season for the Green-Whites. The Peruvian will fancy his chances up against a defence that may lack cohesion and if his team are to find a goal, he will no doubt be involved.
With so many players being rested, much of the responsibility to guide the team's attack will fall on Muller's shoulders. The 22-year-old has not had a particularly great season and has only scored four times despite playing a part in every Bundesliga fixture for his side in this campaign. Having begun on the bench against Real Madrid in midweek he will want to put in a strong performance and put himself back in the frame for a starting berth in the return leg on Wednesday evening.
Bayern will try to play as much of the game as possible without a large number of first-team players which could well lead to a fairly disjointed performance. Werder will also be missing some key players for the match, weakening their defence and midfield. It may take Jupp Heynckes' second-string line-up a while to get going but they should still have enough quality to see of the hosts, though it will be a close game.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed