Posts Tagged ‘ Bayern Munich ’

Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg DFB Pokal Preview: Hosts to keep up treble pursuit

Robben and Shaqiri

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

BAYERN

Neuer
Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Martinez, Schweinsteiger
Robben, Muller, Ribery
Mandzukic
WOLFSBURG
 
Benaglio
Fagner, Naldo, Kjaer, Rodriguez
Medojevic, Polak
Olic, Diego, Arnold
Dost

Bayern Munich should name a full-strength side for the visit of Wolfsburg. Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Dante, David Alaba, Javi Martinez, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Mandzukic all got a rest for the 4-0 win over Nurnberg on Saturday, but are likely to come back into the line-up.

Toni Kroos and Holger Badstuber are the only two long-term absentees with thigh and knee injuries respectively.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, will be able to welcome back Fagner, who missed out against Hoffenheim over the weekend due to suspension.

However, Vaclav Pilar (knee) and Vieirinha (muscle strain) are both injured. After a disappointing performance on Saturday, Makoto Hasebe could be axed and replaced by Bas Dost.

  • Bayern Munich have reached the DFB-Pokal final on a total of 18 occasions, winning the competition 15 times. The team with the next most appearances are Schalke on 12.
  • Mario Gomez has scored nine goals from just eight starts this season.
  • Roten striker Mario Mandzukic was brought to German football by Wolfsburg in 2010.
  • Wolfsburg have got the to the Pokal final on one occasion, losing 3-0 to Borussia Monchengladbach.
  • However, they claimed a shock 2-1 quarter-final win over Bayern in Munich to get to the final.
  • Felix Magath, who was sacked by Wolfsburg earlier this season, had also coached Bayern.

Ronaldo Must Be at His Best for Real Madrid to Beat Borussia Dortmund

Ronaldo Celebrating

 

When Real Madrid faces Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semifinals, you might think that the Spanish side is the prohibitive favorite to advance to the final.

You would be incorrect, I’m afraid.

Borussia Dortmund still hasn’t lost a single game in this year’s Champions League, beat Los Blancos 2-1 in Germany during the group stage in November and tied them 2-2 in Madrid two weeks later, after Mesut Ozil tied the game for Real Madrid in the 89th minute. For that reason, it will be up to Cristiano Ronaldo to lead his side to victory.

Again.

It may seem obvious that Ronaldo must be on his form against Dortmund, but generally Los Blancos have enough talent to beat opponents even if he isn’t the man of the match. Against Dortmund, I’m not so sure that’s the case.

While Bayern Munich has already wrapped up Bundesliga, Dortmund has lost just once in all competitions since the beginning of March and has proven to be one of the elite sides in Europe this season. Players like Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski would start for most clubs in the world.

Plus, Dortmund has the look of a charmed team after scoring two goals in stoppage time against Malaga to advance to the semifinals. Sometimes, nothing in sports is more insurmountable than a team with a bit of luck on its side.

And seeing as they would have moved forward on aggregate had the team’s group stage meeting been a semifinal, some folks might even consider Dortmund the favorites.

Real Madrid is the more popular squad, however, so it’s no surprise that over at Bovada Los Blancos are considered the favorites to reach the final. The fact that Ronaldo is the best player in the game might alone be the reason Real Madrid is favored.

And Ronaldo will have to play like the best player. He’s once again having an epic season, with 50 goals and seven assists in all competitions for Los Blancos. He’s been particularly dangerous of late, scoring in seven straight games for Real Madrid (with nine goals during that time).

With a league title pretty much out of the question at this point, winning a Champions League title is now the top priority for Real Madrid. And you have to think Ronaldo would like nothing more than leading his team to that title rather than seeing it go to Lionel Messi and Barcelona.

Not that it’s a given that Barca can get past Bayern Munich, of course. In fact, I think it’s the German side that will win that tie, but that’s just me.

In the end, must like Messi must come up huge for Barca against Bayern Munich, Ronaldo must be at his very best against Dortmund. Barcelona and Real Madrid might be considered the top superpowers in European football, but these German sides are the real deal and aren’t about to be intimidated.

Juventus vs Bayern Munich 2nd Leg UCL Preview: Die Roten to reach third semi-final in four years

Nicolas Anelka

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

JUVENTUS

Buffon

Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini
Padoin, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Peluso
Vucinic, Quagliarella
BAYERN MUNICH

Neuer
Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Martinez, Schweinsteiger
Robben, Muller, Ribery
Mandzukic

Juventus will be without Stephan Lichtsteiner and Arturo Vidal for the second leg clash in Turin following their first-leg bookings, as the Bianconeri look to overturn a 2-0 deficit against newly-crowned German champions Bayern Munich.

The bulk of the Old Lady’s starting XI were rested at the weekend which means there could be up to seven changes to the side that beat Pescara 2-1. Gianluigi Buffon should return, while Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini are welcomed back from their domestic suspensions, meaning the back four that has served Juve so well this season will be unchanged.

Federico Peluso is likely to start ahead of Ghanaian Kwadwo Asamoah, who has suffered indifferent form since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations. Simone Padoin could fill the right wing-back slot while Paul Pogba is in contention to start in place of the suspended Vidal.

Mirko Vucinic has fully recovered from illness but Sebastian Giovinco will miss the match after being stretchered off on Saturday, leaving Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri to battle it out for the remaining place upfront.

Javi Martinez is available again for Bayern after being suspended for the first leg, but Toni Kroos injured his adductor in Munich which means there is likely to be a reshuffle in attack, with Arjen Robben wide on the right, Thomas Muller drifting inside to occupy the No.10 role and Franck Ribery wide left.

Mario Mandzukic was rested against Frankfurt at the weekend but he is likely to start again against Antonio Conte’s men.

  • Juventus’ 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the first leg encounter ensured their 18-game undefeated sequence came to an end in the Champions League.
  • The Bianconeri have not lost in their last five games at Juventus Stadium and Emmanuel Cascione’s strike at the weekend for Pescara ended Juve’s 465-minute run without conceding at home.
  • Juventus managed a 2-0 comeback earlier in the group stages when they came from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw against Chelsea. Fabio Quagliarella  got the equaliser 10 minutes from time.
  • Bayern Munich wrapped up their 22nd Bundesliga (23rd title) with a record six matches to spare thanks to their 1-0 win over Frankfurt on Saturday.
  • Die Roten have won 13 of 14 away games in their domestic league this season, conceding only twice and their only away defeat in the Champions League was a 3-1 loss to BATE Borisov.
  • Bayern have won 14 of their 15 games in 2013, with the defeat to Arsenal in the second-leg of their last 16 clash their only loss so far this year.

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayern Munich Bundesliga Preview: Bundesliga crown awaits visitors

Robben and Shaqiri

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

FRANKFURT

Nikolov
Jun, Zambrano, Anderson, Oczipka
Schwegler, Rode
Aigner, Meier, Inui
Lakic
BAYERN
 
Neuer
Rafinha, Van Buyten, Boateng, Contento
Tymoshchuk, Martinez
Robben, Muller, Shaqiri
Gomez

With the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Juventus looming large, Bayern are set to shuffle the pack once more, with Rafinha, Jerome Boateng and Diego Contento all getting run-outs in defence in the places of Philipp Lahm, Dante and David Alaba, respectively.

In midfield, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk will get a rare start as Bastian Schweinsteiger is given a rest, while Franck Ribery should make way for Xherdan Shaqiri, who will form an attacking midfield trio with Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben in Toni Kroos’ absence.

Finally, Mario Gomez is likely to play up front ahead of Mario Mandzukic and Claudio Pizarro. Holger Badstuber, of course, is out for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, for the hosts, goalkeeper Kevin Trapp is unavailable due to a broken hand, giving Oka Nikolov a rare opportunity to impress in the Bundesliga.

Elsewhere, though, they have no fresh injuries or suspensions, though Pirmin Schwegler and Martin Lanig will be competing for a spot in midfield, with the former returning from injury.

  • Eintracht Frankfurt have the best home record against Bayern of any team in the Bundesliga, having won 18 games against them and lost just nine.
  • What’s more, no team has ever claimed a 1-0 victory over the Bavarians more times in their history than the Hessians.
  • Frankfurt coach Armin Veh made all 65 of his Bundesliga appearances playing under Bayern counterpart Jupp Heynckes at Borussia Monchengladbach.
  • Bayern Munich can win the title with six games to spare for the first time in their history, beating their record of matchday 30 from 1973 and 2003.
  • Furthermore, no team has ever won the Bundesliga title during the first half of April.
  • Claudio Pizarro’s four goals against Hamburg last week were his first of the Bundesliga season, coming in his 14th appearance.

Cristiano Ronaldo Can Power Real Madrid to UEFA Champions League Title

Ronaldo Celebrating

 

Real Madrid hasn’t hoisted the European Cup in over 10 years, but superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo is determined to change that as he’s poised to lead Los Blancos to their 10th UEFA Champions League title in 2013.

Never mind the debate over who the best player in the world is—Ronaldo is the best player for Real Madrid. Following his sensational ninth-minute goal against Galatasaray in the first leg of Madrid’s quarterfinal tie with the Turkish club on Wednesday, it seems losing is no longer an option for Ronaldo, as Madrid is now unbeaten in its last 11 matches, dating back to early February.

Ronaldo’s early goal also extends his UEFA Champions League goal streak to four straight matches.

As far as the squad is concerned, Madrid looks like a safe lock for the semifinals, barring an away collapse next week. Ronaldo and company lead comfortably on aggregate and will advance to the next stage even with a 2-0 defeat on April 9.

But the better news for Madrid supporters is that Ronaldo is firing on all cylinders heading into the most critical stages of the UEFA Champions League.

If his match-winner at Old Trafford last month wasn’t enough to prove it, his electrifying go-ahead goal at Bernabeu certainly serves as overwhelming evidence that the 28-year-old forward is in his physical and mental prime.

Plus, Madrid currently has rival Barcelona’s number, having defeated Barca three times out of the two clubs’ last five meetings and earning draws in the other two. Barca is one of the favorites to reach the semifinals and perhaps the UEFA Champions League final in May.

Ronaldo certainly wouldn’t mind matching up again with the world’s top player in Lionel Messi, especially considering he has scored a combined five goals in Madrid’s last five meetings with Barca.

Other contenders like Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich pose threats to Real Madrid, sure, but neither club possesses an individual go-to talent quite like Ronaldo. Dortmund gave Madrid problems in the group stage earlier this season, but was severely out-shot (36-23) and out-possessed (61-39 percent on average) in two meetings. Surely Madrid will love its chances going up against them again in a potential knockout stage.

As for Bayern, winning the UEFA Champions League has proven nearly impossible as of late. The German powerhouse has finished as runner-up in two of the past three years, scoring just one goal in two final defeats in 2010 and 2012.

The difference?

Bayern lacks a go-to talent like Ronaldo—a player that not only rises above the pressure match after match, but also often delivers in the biggest moments.

Cristiano Ronaldo is surging right now, playing some of the best football of his career, and so is Real Madrid. Behind the strength of that superstar talent, Los Blancos are the hands-down favorite to hoist the UEFA Champions League crown next month.

Bayern Munich vs Juventus UCL 1st Leg Preview: Bianconeri hoping to maintain quarter-final dominance

Lahm and Schewinsteiger

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

BAYERN MUNICH

Neuer
Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba
Gustavo, Schweinsteiger
Muller, Kroos, Ribery
Mandzukic
JUVENTUS

Buffon

Barzagli, Chiellini, Bonucci
L’stiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah
Matri, Quagliarella

Bayern Munich could welcome back Jerome Boateng and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who both missed the 2-0 second-leg defeat to Arsenal, for their quarter-final showdown with Serie A champions Juventus.

However, Javi Martinez is suspended for the clash, which means Luiz Gustavo should replace the Spaniard. Long-term absentee Holger Badstuber remains sidelined with ruptured knee ligaments.

Brazilian centre-back Dante and Philipp Lahm are in danger of missing the return leg in Turin on April 10 should they pick up a booking in this encounter.

Juventus, meanwhile, have concerns over the fitness of attacker Sebastian Giovinco, who was scythed down by Esteban Cambiasso in their 2-1 Derby d’Italia victory over Inter, although he has been included in the 22-man squad.

Mirko Vucinic is recovering from flu, which means Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri are likely to be Conte’s preferred striking partnership, although Vucinic could be fit to feature.

Stephan Lichtsteiner, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio are walking a discipinary tightrope as a booking incurred here would mean they miss the next match.

  • Bayern Munich go into this match in sparkling form having destroyed Hamburg 9-2 at the weekend. Claudio Pizarro grabbed four goals and two assists.
  • In the previous meeting Bayern beat Juventus 4-1 in Turin to eliminate them from the group stages in 2009-10 season. Only Gianluigi Buffon and Claudio Marchisio are likely to survive from that starting XI in this game for the Bianconeri.
  • Die Roten coach Jupp Heynckes masterminded victory over Juventus when he was Real Madrid boss, guiding them to a Champions League final 1-0 win in 1998.
  • Juventus last lost an away match in Europe back in 2010 when they were beaten 4-1 by Fulham in the Europa League.
  • Fabio Quagliarella  has netted four goals in 248 minutes of action in the Champions League.
  • The Old Lady have not reached the last four since overcoming  Barcelona in the 2002-03 campaign.

Why Ancelotti Is Looking Like the Next Real Madrid Manager

Carlo Ancelotti

“It’s quite simple really. He has a contract.”

The words of Real Madrid’s director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueño on Monday evening at the Marca awards ceremony in the Spanish capital. He was answering a question posed about Jose Mourinho and the Portuguese coach’s future—Butragueño was collecting an award on his behalf.

Things reached a pivotal moment in January when the front cover of Marca claimed Sergio Ramos had said to president Florentino Perez “in June it’s Mou or us.”

Perez called a press conference to deny the story, although Casillas’ partner Sara Carbonero—a journalist in Madrid—a few days later claimed it was common knowledge that there was a lack of harmony between the senior players and their boss .

Since then speculation over Mourinho’s future has ensued—it was present before this though, as the 50-year-old has never been one to stay in a job for a sustained period. Recent wins over Barcelona and Manchester United seem to have galvanized not only the squad, but Los Blancos’ season too, although it is still expected—providing he has an exit strategy—that Mourinho will move on.

Prior to Christmas, Joachim Low—the German national team manager—topped a poll of Madrid fans on who they would like to be their next manager. Jurgen Klopp was expected to be in the running too. Klopp now appears a no-go, the Borussia Dortmund boss said to be excited at the prospect of doing battle with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich while Low has fallen out of favor with fans and bookmakers, replaced by Carlo Ancelotti.

Little over a month ago Le Parisien  reported that the PSG manager has already agreed a deal to take over the top job at the Bernabeu this summer. Speaking to the newspaper a source lose to the Italian said “it’s a verbal deal that has been agreed with Real Madrid. Both parties have said that they want to work together next season.” The 53-year-old was quick to dismiss the rumor, when questioned on it he answered “it is not true.”

But of course he would, PSG are still fighting to win the French title and have drawn a plum draw against Barcelona in the Champions League. Meanwhile, further south in Spain, Madrid are still competing for cups domestically and in Europe.

Little has been said since this burst of speculation in late February, but there is an eeriness in the silence which has followed it.

Marca and AS are no longer running polls and stories as quickly as they once were on the future of Mourinho and his possible successors. This could mean that they’re content with him once more, or simply that out of respect to Perez they’re remaining tight-lipped with the Ancelotti deal done.

His contract at PSG expires at the end of this season and—although there’s an automatic one-year renewal if they finish in the top three—it’s far from preposterous to suggest that we could be seeing one of the highest-profile job swaps taking place this summer.