Bayern and Frankfurt look to rebound from loses in Round 14.
The last seven days have been difficult for Bayern, who have twice blown early leads. In last week’s Bundesliga action, Mario Gomez scored an early opener against Leverkusen on Saturday before Arturo Vidal equalised from the penalty spot. Then, in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Roma, the Bavarian giants blew a two-goal lead en route to a 3-2 loss.
The team that featured against Roma may have largely been a B-team, but coach Louis van Gaal was disappointed in the result nonetheless.
“It’s disappointing and unbelievable that we’ve thrown away a 2-0 lead,” he said.
Sporting director Christian Nerlinger echoed the coach’s sentiments:
“Once Bayern Munich are a goal or two up, the match should be over, and it’s something our opponents ought to be thinking, too. Unfortunately, the opposite is currently true.”
Bayern will have to be more careful if they are to qualify for the Champions League next season. The Bundesliga title holders face a potentially difficult test in Frankfurt. Earlier this week, club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge set 30 points as his team’s pre-winter break goal; three on Saturday would put the defending champions well on their way to such a finish.
Skibbe Aiming For Draw
Frankfurt saw a seven-match unbeaten streak end in last Saturday’s 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Hoffenheim. Die Adler had been on an improbable run that brought them into the nosebleeds of the table, and after earning the best October record in the Bundesliga (even better than Dortmund), have since won, drawn, and lost one match each.
Now seventh in the Bundesliga table, Frankfurt remain near-to their peak position, and will hope to avoid slipping much further before the end of the fall campaign. A match against Bayern always inspires extra motivation, and coach Michael Skibbe made it clear that the match will not be one with “nothing to lose.”
“No, I am not of that opinion,” he told the official Eintracht website. “It will be a really tough game, but no harder than any other league fixture. You have to prove yourself in every league game.”
“Our goal is to bring a point back from Munich.”
Mark van Bommel has returned to training, but is only likely to feature as a substitute. With Franck Ribery fit and ready to play from the start, Van Gaal is expected to shuffle his line-up, moving Anatoliy Tymoshchuk into a central defensive position to partner Breno. Ivica Olic, Arjen Robben, Miroslav Klose, and Holer Badstuber will miss out on the action due to injuries.
Probable Starting XI: Butt – Lahm, Tymoshchuk, Breno, Pranjic – Ottl, Schweinsteiger – Mueller, Kroos, Ribery – Gomez
Michael Skibbe is expected to use a 4-2-3-1 line-up to preserve at least a point. Chris, Marcel Titsch-Rivero, Sebastian Rode, and Zlatan Bajramovic have been ruled out due to injuries, and Giorgos Tzavellas and Maik Franz are suspended due to accumulated yellow cards.
Probable Starting XI: Nikolov – Jung, Vasoski, Russ, Koehler – Schwegler, Clark – Ochs, Meier, Altintop – Gekas