Nurnberg - Bayern Munich Preview: Heynckes' troops face short trip across Bavaria
Dieter Hecking's side have been in poor form of late, and could be in for another tough afternoon when they entertain their local rivals on Saturday
By Enis Koylu
Chandler, Nilsson, Klose, Pinola
Gebhart, Kiyotake, Frantz
Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Muller, Kroos, Ribery
Nurnberg can be expected to make a couple of changes from the side that lost 2-1 to Mainz last week at the Coface Arena. Firstly, Raphael Schafer is back to take up his place in goal and will replace Patrick Rakovsky, but Alexander Stephan is still sidelined with a knee injury.
At the back, Javier Pinola should return in the place of Marvin Plattenhardt, while Hanno Balitsch picked up his fifth booking of the season last week, with Markus Feulner set to step in for him in midfield. However, Almog Cohen, Adam Hlousek and Markus Mendler are all trying to regain fitness.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich have only a couple of absences ahead of the short trip to Stadion Nurnberg. The sole major absence is Jerome Boateng, who missed Germany's friendly draw with Netherlands with a hamstring problem. Daniel Van Buyten is likely to continue at centre-back in his absence, but Holger Badstuber could also return after missing the last few weeks with a thigh strain.
In midfield, Luiz Gustavo is likely to be preferred to Javi Martinez, who endured a long-haul journey after Spain's friendly with Panama, but Bastian Schweinsteiger is fit after pulling out of the Germany squad due to illness. Similarly, Toni Kroos should be fine to take his place in attacking midfield behind Mario Mandzukic, while Mario Gomez could make the bench after playing in a midweek friendly, scoring four goals in the process.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Nurnberg had boasted the record of having won the most national championships until 1987 when they were overtaken by Bayern.
- Der Club have won just one of their last eight matches. Their slump has seen them drop to 15th in the table.
- Nurnberg skipper Raphael Schafer played alongside Bayern counterpart Philipp Lahm, and Mario Gomez, during his time at Stuttgart.
- Bayern Munich have not lost to Nurnberg in the Bundesliga since matchday 20 of the 2006-07 season, when they crashed to a 3-0 away loss.
- Die Roten overcame their Bavarian rivals in the 1982 DFB-Pokal final. Current club president Uli Hoeness (pictured, right) scored the final goal in a 4-2 victory.
- Two goals for Claudio Pizarro on Saturday would see the Peruvian climb to ninth on the all-time list of Bundesliga top scorers.
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Top 3 Predictions
Nürnberg 0-3 FC Bayern München
- 23.48 %
Nürnberg 0-2 FC Bayern München
- 13.91 %
Nürnberg 0-4 FC Bayern München
- 11.3 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 8, 2014||Nürnberg 0 - FC Bayern München 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Aug 24, 2013||FC Bayern München 2 - Nürnberg 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Apr 13, 2013||FC Bayern München 4 - Nürnberg 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Nov 17, 2012||Nürnberg 1 - FC Bayern München 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Mar 31, 2012||Nürnberg 0 - FC Bayern München 1|
|Mar 1, 2014||Borussia Dortmund 3 - Nürnberg 0||GER1|
|Feb 22, 2014||Nürnberg 2 - Eintracht Braunschweig 1||GER1|
|Feb 16, 2014||FC Augsburg 0 - Nürnberg 1||GER1|
|Feb 8, 2014||Nürnberg 0 - FC Bayern München 2||GER1|
|Feb 2, 2014||Hertha BSC 1 - Nürnberg 3||GER1|
|25||Horacio Javier Pinola||Defender|
|5||Daniel Van Buyten||Defender|
In the absence of Raphael Schafer, and second-choice Alexander Stephan missing through injury, Nurnberg struggled last week against Mainz, but, with their skipper set to be restored to the starting line-up, Dieter Hecking's side will be far more secure at the back. And they will need a mammoth performance from the 33-year-old if they are to survive the Bayern onslaught.
It is perhaps no coincidence that Franck Ribery was missing for the one Bundesliga game that Bayern Munich have lost this season. The France international has been in fantastic nick of late, tearing defences apart with his direct running and excellent crossing. And, with Nurnberg's back line leaking goals at the moment, the former Marseille man could be in for another fruitful afternoon.
Despite the short distance separating Nuremberg and Munich, these two teams could not be further apart in terms of form. Jupp Heycnkes' side have been simply unstoppable, and although a host of their star players have faced long-haul journeys in midweek, I cannot see the hosts putting up much of a fight against their rivals.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed