Posts Tagged ‘ TOni Kroos ’

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

Robben and Shaqiri





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

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.

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

Robben and Shaqiri





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

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.

Bayern Munich vs Werder Bremen Bundesliga Preview: Jupp Heynckes’ side looking to continue perfect 2013

Bayern Team celebrating



Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Schweinsteiger, Luiz Gustavo
Robben, Kroos, Ribery

Ignjovski, Lukimya, Sokratis, Schmitz
Hunt, Junuzovic
Arnautovic, De Bruyne, Elia

Jupp Heynckes will have one eye on next Wednesday’s DFB Pokal quarter-final against holders Borussia Dortmund when he picks his Bayern Munich team to face Werder Bremen on Saturday.

The 67-year-old, who is set to be replaced by Pep Guardiola this summer, is likely to hand a start to winger Arjen Robben in preparation for the cup showdown, which Franck Ribery will miss due to suspension.

Striker Mario Gomez could also make a return to the first XI as Mario Mandzukic is rested, and Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo is in line to come in for Javi Martinez alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger in the middle of the park.

Defender Holger Badstuber is sidelined for the rest of the season with a cruciate ligament injury and striker Claudio Pizarro, who played six seasons for Bremen over two stints, is out with a virus.

Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos should be available for boss Thomas Schaaf after recovering from a bout of flu, but right-back Theodor Gebre Selassie is still recovering from surgery to replace a broken bone in his hand, which means Serbia international Aleksandar Ignjovski will get the start.

Midfielders Pedrag Stevanovic and Philipp Bargfrede and striker Niclas Fullkrug are all long-term absentees due to knee injuries.

  • Bayern Munich have won all six of their matches in 2013, conceding just once and scoring 16 times.
  • Bayern have triumphed in each of their last four Bundesliga matches against Werder Bremen and have not lost to Saturday’s opponents since suffering a 5-2 defeat in September 2008.
  • Four Bayern players (Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger) have scored at least five goals in the league so far this season.
  • Werder Bremen are 11th in the Bundesliga table coming into Saturday’s match and are 29 points adrift of the league leaders.
  • Coach Thomas Schaaf is very much a one-club man, having joined Bremen as an 11-year-old in 1972 before embarking on a 17-year professional career with the club as a defender. He has managed the team since 1999.
  • Bremen striker Nils Petersen is on loan from Bayern Munich, having scored four goals in 15 matches in all competitions for the Bavarians last season.

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund Preview

bayern munich celebrating


Bayern Munich shuffled the pack for the trip to Freiburg on Wednesday, leaving out Bastian Schweinsteiger. However, the Germany midfilder can be expected to slot back into the team after a well-deserved rest at the expense of Xherdan Shaqiri.

That will see him parter Javi Martinez in the deep-lying positions, with Toni Kroos shifting forward into the No.10 role. Elsewhere, coach Jupp Heynckes will have to make a decision on who will lead the line. Mario Gomez scored in the 5-0 win over Hannover last week, but was largely quiet during his hour against Freiburg.

Should the veteran coach decide not to pick the Germany star, either Mario Mandzukic or Claudio Pizarro will start in his absence. Luiz Gustavo, however, remains sidelined with a ligament problem, while Jerome Boateng is lacking fitness.

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund also rested a couple of players for the game against Fortuna Dusseldorf on Tuesday. Mats Hummels sat out the Ruhr derby, but will slot back into the heart of defence at the expense of Felipe Santana.

Ilkay Gundogan also missed the Signal Iduna Park clash with a minor injury, but could return unless boss Jurgen Klopp elects to start with two defensive-minded midfielders in Sebastian Kehl and Sven Bender. Finally, Mario Gotze will start, with Kevin Grosskreutz the most likely to drop to the bench.

  •  Bayern Munich sealed their place as theHerbstmeister – the winter champions on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Freiburg at the Mage Solar Stadion.
  • Jupp Heynckes has guided teams to second-placed finishes, behind Dortmund, for the last two seasons. His Leverkusen team ended 2010-11 seven points behind the champions, and Bayern trailed BVB by eight at the end of last season.
  • The Roten’s sporting director, Matthias Sammer, spent six years at the Westfalenstadion as a player, winning the Champions League and Ballon d’Or during his time there.
  • Borussia Dortmund have won all of their last four Bundesliga games against Bayern.
  •  Mats Hummels began his career as a youth at the Allianz Arena, while Sven Bender, Mario Gotze and Moritz Leinter all hail from Bavaria.
  • Since losing to Schalke on October 20, BVB are unbeaten in the league, emerging victorious over Bavarian opponents in Augsburg and Greuther Furth since.

Nurnberg vs Bayern Munich Preview


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.

  • 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 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.

Match Preview: Lille vs Bayern Munich

Lille boss Rudi Garcia will be without the services of Mathieu Debuchy, who was sent off during the 2-0 loss to Valencia on Matchday two.

Franck Beria will revert to right-back, with Lucas Digne slotting in on the left-hand side of defence.

Meanwhile, Idrissa Gueye is a doubt, while Rio Mavuba is out, leaving Benoit Pedretti and Florent Balmont to form a shield in front of the back four.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich will be able to welcome David Alaba back into the starting line-up after the Austrian made his long-awaited comeback in the 5-0 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday. Dante will drop to the bench, with Holger Badstuber reverting to his preferred role at centre-back.

In midfield, Jupp Heynckes has the luxury of choosing between Luiz Gustavo and Javi Martinez in midfield, while, Toni Kroos will continue alongside Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller behind Mario Mandzukic, who should see off competition from Claudio Pizarro and keep his place.


  • Including their second-leg qualifying loss against Copenhagen, Lille have lost three of their four Champions League games.
  • Les Dogues have drawn two, lost two and won just one of their matches against Bundesliga opposition.
  • Bayern Munich‘s 5-0 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday saw them set a new record for nine consecutive Bundesliga wins at the start of the season.
  • The Bavarians have never faced Lille before, but have played French opposition 30 times, winning on 15 occasions. One of those triumphs, a 1-0 victory over Saint-Etienne in the 1976 European Cup final, saw them lift the trophy for the third time.
  • Bayern have lost four of their last five away games in Europe, and have won just one of their last six.

The Big Debate, Thomas Müller vs. Toni Kroos

With internationals hogging the spot-light this week, Bayern had no games to play. Thomas Müller featured in Germany’s 3-0 win over Faroe Islands while Toni Kroos was kept out of the squad due to pelvic bruising. These two players have baffled Bayern fans for a while. They both are highly talented but are very different from each other. So, who should Jupp Heynckes place in his starting line-up more often this season?

With the inclusion of Javier Martinez in the squad, either Müller or Kroos is set to lose playing time alongside Luiz Gustavo. Müller has started the season in good form as has Kroos. Last season, when Müller wasn’t at his peak, Heynckes benched him for a couple of games. This season, the decision will be more difficult.

First of all, there shouldn’t even be a debate about the two because of how different they are from each other. Unfortunately, they might end up fighting for the same position this season. For a significant amount of time last season, Kroos had to fill in for Bastian Schweinsteiger in defensive midfield. Schweinsteiger is now ready to start matches again.

Let’s take a look at Müller. He is the face of the German game currently. He belongs to a generation of midfielders blessed with pace and good positional sense. He is versatile and can play anywhere in the front four. He scores plenty of goals without being two flashy. He can cross well but does not possess the touch of Kroos. His biggest asset is his intelligence, which makes him unpredictable.

Kroos, unlike his generation, isn’t the fastest player on the field. He is blessed with unimaginable technique. His distribution is immaculate. Some of his passes are beyond the realms of imagination itself. His shooting technique is also quite brilliant even though he didn’t score too many from distance last season. All of Kroos’ goals bear his hallmark. He plays with quite a bit of flair.

Kroos has a few small issues that he has seemingly addressed. He can get caught out of possession at times in defensive midfield. He tends to drop deeper than necessary sometimes. His tackling isn’t perfect. He is at his best in attacking midfield where he presents a different problem to opponents than Müller does, as Real Madrid fans can attest to.

Müller is accused by some fans of ‘doing little’ on his bad days even though he does try endlessly. He hasn’t had one yet this season. Müller is best suited to counterattacks, as the game against Stuttgart showed. When possession control is required, Kroos is a much better option. Kroos can sometimes play too many horizontal passes rather than look to create something, however.

In terms of accomplishments, Müller is the Golden Boot and Best Young Player Award winner of the 2010 World Cup. Kroos won the Bronze Boot and the Golden Ball in the U-17 World Cup. Therein lies the difference between the two; Kroos won the Golden Ball while Müller won the Golden Boot.

Heynckes could obviously choose whom to play according to the tactics required. Kroos can be used when a large amount of possession is required while Müller can feature against opponents who are susceptible to counters. They both are seemingly most effective when playing with each other. They understand each other well, as the game against Stuttgart displayed.

However, for Heynckes, benching Arjen Robben is seemingly not an option. Martinez was purchased with 40 million Euros and must start games. Unfortunately, Müller and Kroos will not get too many opportunities to play alongside each other this season if things pan out the way they are expected to.