Bayern look to win their sixth match in seven competitive fixtures as they visit faltering Gladbach.
Winless since matchday two, Gladbach have lost three straight matches and are rapidly falling into a tailspin. Poor luck with injuries can be blamed for some of their shortcomings, but die Fohlen have conceded a dismal 30 goals in 10 matches, prompting frustration from not only fans, but a number of players who have been dismissed for acts of petulance. It comes as no surprise that, with nearly a third of the season gone, Gladbach are last in the Bundesliga table.
On the bright side of things, coach Michael Frontzeck will welcome back centre half Roel Brouwers, who has been out since late September with suspension and injury. The Dutch defender is has been a stabilizing force for his side, and is especially known for his ability to score from set plays.
Ahead of the match, Gladbach coach Michael Frontzeck hailed his opponents, but stressed that his side would not be pushovers.
“Bayern are favourites to win every game given their immense quality,” he said in a pre-match press conference. “Nevertheless, we will be playing to win.
“I don’t understand the saying that playing Bayern is the easiest game of the season because you have nothing to lose. There are three important points at stake even in this game.”
Bayern To Begin Assault On League Leaders
Their 4-0 thrashing of Cluj on Wednesday confirmed that Bayern Munich are back. After suffering their worst ever start to a Bundesliga campaign, the reigning German champions have won five of their last six matches in all competitions, and appear to have found their scoring touch.
Bayern’s resurgence of form has come from the most unexpected places; previous outcasts such as Mario Gomez, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, and Andreas Ottl have stepped into the shoes of their injured and out-of-form colleagues, and delivered fine performances indeed.
“We’ve had a very nice evening,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said after the Cluj match. “And all credit to the team for this magnificent performance.”
“As of now, we start our assault on the top of the Bundesliga.”
Bayern may be ten points behind leaders Dortmund, but despite their early season woes, die Roten are just three points off Hoffenheim, who are occupying third place in the table.
Rummenigge now hopes to make Bayern’s rivals rue their inability to capitalise on opportunities to pull ahead in the Bundesliga table.
“I think it’s now a good time to say this to our rivals: Bayern are strong, and not just in the Champions League and the cup.”
As they prepare for this Saturday’s clash, Gladbach are without Logan Bailly, Thorben Marx, Karim Matmour, Jean-Sebastian Jaures, Dante, Christian Dorda, and Toni Jantschke (all injured), as well as Thorben Marx and Juan Arango (both suspended). Due to all the absentees, there aren’t many positions in question, although Michael Frontzeck will have to choose between Patrick Herrmann and Raul Bobadilla as his fourth attacker.
Probable Starting XI: Heimeroth – Levels, Brouwers, Daems, Schachten – Neustaedter, Bradley – Reus, De Camargo, Herrmann – Idrissou
Franck Ribery and Holger Badstuber are fit again and available to play, although due to lack of match practice, the Frenchman will only be available to feature as a second half substitute. After being rested for most of the Cluj match, Thomas Mueller is expected to return to action at the expense of either Toni Kroos or Andreas Ottl.
Probable Starting XI: Butt – Lahm, Van Buyten, Badstuber, Pranjic – Tymoshchuk, Ottl – Altintop, Schweinsteiger, Mueller – Gomez