Bayern Munich v Werder Bremen Bundesliga Match Preview
BIG WEEK FOR BAYERN AS GUARDIOLA’S SECRET SLIPS OUT
With Juventus visiting the Allianz Arena on Wednesday for the second leg of their finely balanced Champions League last 16 tie, Bayern Munich need to take care of business domestically on Saturday, after going two games without a win. Last time out at home, they were surprisingly beaten by Mainz before battling out a 0-0 draw in “Der Klassiker” last weekend in Dortmund. The mood around the camp seems a little muted at the moment, and this won’t have been helped by coach Pep Guardiola being spotted arriving at an Amsterdam hotel this week to meet his new bosses at Manchester City, to discuss their transfer policy for next season. The reigning champions have already dropped more points in the second-half of the season than they did in the entire first-half; the last few months of Pep’s reign in Munich, look set to be interesting.
BREMEN REVITALISED AHEAD OF VISIT TO THE CHAMPIONS
After a disastrous start to the season, Werder Bremen are improving and having rifled in eight goals in their last two outings, will be confident heading to the home of the champions. Their two previous victories against Bayer Leverkusen and Hannover 96 respectively, was the first time for six months that they have won back-to-back contests in the Bundesliga. Their current purple-patch has eased their relegation fears, but they are not out of the woods just yet and are currently quoted on the best football betting sites at *6.00, to drop into Bundesliga 2 next season. Another positive for Ukranian coach Viktor Skripnik is that no team in the top-flight has picked up more wins against Bayern than Bremen, although in recent meetings, the hosts have dominated proceedings.
Bayern are without Holger Badstuber, who is out for the season with an ankle injury. He is joined by fellow defender Jerome Boateng and midfielder Javi Martinez in the treatment room. Polish striker Robert Lewandowski will be hoping for a place in the starting XI, against the only side in the Bundesliga he has yet to score past this season. For him to put that statistic to bed within the opening 20 minutes on Saturday, the betting exchanges will once again offer you odds of *6.00.
The visitors are without midfielders Zlatko Junuzović and Clemens Fritz who are both suspended, whilst Phillip Bargfrede is missing because of a knee injury. American striker Aron Jóhannsson is also a doubt for the trip to the champions. Skripnik’s side boasts the best attack since the winter break, with veteran Claudio Pizarro still leading the line at 37 years of age.
THE SQUADS FOR THE ALLIANZ ARENA
Bayern Munich (from) Neuer, Starke, Ulreich, Rossi, Hundertmark, Rafinha, Bernat, Lahm, Alaba, Friedl, Scholl, Alcantara, Ribery, Costa, Xabi Alonso, Rode, Vidal, Coman, Dorsch, Kimmich, Weihrauch, Green, Benko, Lewandowski, Robben, Muller, Steeven, Ribéry, Pantovic
Werder Bremen (from) Wiedwald, Gebre Selassie, P. Djilobodji, Garcia, Vestergaard, Bartels, Oztunali, Pizarro, Grillitsch, M. Veljkovic, Ujah, Kleinheisler, Galvez, Tremmel, Garcia, Lorenzen
HEAD TO HEAD
Saturday’s meeting will be their 100th in the Bundesliga, with Bayern having won the last ten encounters between the two. You have to go back to September 2008 for Bremen’s last win against the Bavarians, which came in spectacular 2-5 win in Munich. The corresponding fixture last season saw Guardiola’s team hit their visitors for six, with a Thomas Muller goal securing a 1-0 win for the champions in the reverse fixture in September; A win which set a new Bundesliga record of nine consecutive victories.
Bayern Munich 1.12 Draw 9.00 Werder Bremen 21.00
*odds courtesy of Bet365
By: Steve Mitchell