Greuther Furth - Bayern Munich Preview: Heynckes' troops begin Bundesliga campaign against Bavarian rivals
Last season's runners-up make the short trip to the Trolli Arena to face their neighbours, who are competing in their first ever top-flight game in the league's modern format
By Enis Koylu
Nerhig, Kleine, Marvaj, Schmidtgal
Sararer, Furstner, Tyrala, Mikkelsen
Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Can
Robben, Muller, Shaqiri
Greuther Furth got their season under way in disastrous fashion last week, crashing to a 2-0 defeat to third-tier Kickers Offenbach in the DFB-Pokal with two men being sent off, and coach Mike Buskens is set to make one change as they prepare for the visit of the Bundesliga's most successful club.
Edgar Prib was one of the players to receive his marching orders in the Sparda Bank Hessen Stadion, and could be replaced by Heinrich Schmidtgal on the left-hand side of a four-man defence. The other change could see former Kaiserslautern midfielder Athanasios Petsos step in for Sebastian Tyrala to make his Bundesliga debut for his new side.
Midfielder Robert Zillner is set to miss out with a knee problem, as is defender Kevin Kraus, while striker Frank Ohandza is a long-term absentee with a broken leg. Gerald Asamoah and Christopher Nothe will lead the line, with Sercan Sararer, who turned down a move to Turkey this summer, slotting in on the right-hand side of midfield.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich are still without a number of players as they get their league campaign started. Full-backs Rafinha (ankle), David Alaba (foot) and Diego Contento (foot) remain sidelined, meaning that young midfielder Emre Can will continue as a makeshift left-back alongside more experienced defenders Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber.
In midfield, Bastian Schweinsteiger is still struggling for fitness after sustaining a pre-season ankle injury, and is likely to continue on the bench, with Toni Kroos filling his berth next to Luiz Gustavo in front of the defence. Of the usual triumvirate behind the striker, Franck Ribery has been taken sick during the week, meaning that Xherdan Shaqiri may start on the left wing.
Mario Mandzukic will continue up front after scoring three goals in his first two games since joining the club from Wolfsburg this summer as Mario Gomez continues his recovery from ankle surgery.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- This contest will be Greuther Furth's first game in the top flight since the modern Bundesliga's inception in 1963.
- However, the Bavarian minnows had won three national championships, in 1914, 1926 and 1929, before the change in format.
- Wolfgang Hesl, Lasse Sobiech, Zoltan Stieber, Baba Rahman, Athanasios Petsos, Baye Fall and Tobias Mikkelsen are all line to make their Bundesliga debuts for Furth.
- The last time these two sides met was in the 2009-10 DFB-Pokal quarter-final. Louis van Gaal's Bayern cruised to a 6-2 victory en route to winning the competition, with Thomas Muller (pictured) scoring twice.
- Xherdan Shaqiri netted his first goal for his new club in last weekend's 4-0 drubbing of another Bavarian team, Jahn Regensburg. He is set to make his first start since his summer move from Basel.
- The last time Die Roten went three seasons without winning a Bundesliga title was between 1990-91 and 1992-93. They pipped Kaiserslautern to the 1994 title by a mere point.
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Top 3 Predictions
Greuther Fürth 0-4 FC Bayern München
- 19.36 %
Greuther Fürth 0-3 FC Bayern München
- 18.34 %
Greuther Fürth 0-2 FC Bayern München
- 9.3 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Jan 19, 2013||FC Bayern München 2 - Greuther Fürth 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Aug 25, 2012||Greuther Fürth 0 - FC Bayern München 3|
|Germany - DFB-Pokal (GERC)||Feb 10, 2010||FC Bayern München 6 - Greuther Fürth 2|
|Dec 8, 2013||SV Sandhausen 1 - Greuther Fürth 3||2.BL|
|Dec 1, 2013||Greuther Fürth 1 - Cottbus 0||2.BL|
|Nov 25, 2013||TSV 1860 1 - Greuther Fürth 0||2.BL|
|Nov 8, 2013||Greuther Fürth 3 - SC Paderborn 07 0||2.BL|
|Nov 2, 2013||Erzgebirge Aue 2 - Greuther Fürth 6||2.BL|
A thrilling winger with a great turn of place and an excellent cross, Sercan Sararer will be one of the key players if Greuther Furth are to retain their Bundesliga status in their first season in the top flight. The 22-year-old was in excellent form during Turkey's friendlies at the end of last season, setting up a host of goals at his country swept aside the likes of Portugal and Ukraine. He rejected a move to Fenerbahce in July in order compete in Germany's top flight with his current side, and will be eager to showcase his full potential against the biggest of opponents.
There are few players who will go down as symbols of the decade of near misses for Bayern Munich and the Germany to the same extent as Philipp Lahm, the captain of both sides. It was the full-back's missed header that allowed Didier Drogba to net a late equaliser in May's Champions League final defeat to Chelsea, and Lahm was the one who played Mario Balotelli onside in the 2-1 loss to Italy in Euro 2012. After such disappointment, the onus will be on the 28-year-old to showcase his leadership qualities and lead his team and country to victory.
Not only is there an obvious, gaping gulf in quality between these two teams, but after being stung by two trophy-less campaigns, Bayern Munich seem angry. Their squad seem united in winning back some pride by getting their hands on that elusive trophy. The likes of Mario Mandzukic and Xherdan Shaqiri have fit seamlessly into Jupp Heynckes' side, and Thomas Muller has started the season in good nick, making their front line a formidable force. Accordingly, I'd expect the visitors to cruise to an easy victory.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed