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FC Bayern Munich
Posted by Susie Schaaf on 03/27/2012

Bayern Munich reached in and dug deep to beat Hannover 96 2-1 in Bundesliga action on Saturday, after an exhausting mid-week cup clash against 'Gladbach. And after winning five matches straight in all competitions, die Roten returns to Champions League action on Wednesday against Olympique de Marseille, traveling to the Stade Velodrome for the first tie in the quarter-finals.

A few observations on the Hannover match:

-The team was obviously beat and a little beat-up from the Pokal match. This wasn't going to be a game where we hung six or seven goals on anyone. Jupp Heynckes' decision to rest Thomas Mueller and Mario Gomez was correct, however...
-Ivica Olic was mostly useless up front. After the Croatian international had fluffed three more than decent scoring chances, he was largely ignored by Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Toni Kroos. And indeed, after 60 minutes was subbed for Mario who promptly scored the match winner.
-Kroos had a decent stint as playmaker; creating chances and linking up very nicely with Robben. And his opening goal? Chipping a golf shot over Hannover keeper Ron Robert
Zieler? Truly a thing of beauty.
-Manuel Neuer had a, dare I say, Moenchengladbach-like performance? Thank goodness he kept his focus mid-week or we wouldn't be going to Berlin. Holger Badstuber saved Manuel's butt after he gave up possession to Diouf six yards out after mishandling a Jerome Boateng back pass. But, today's birthday boy redeemed himself late in the match with a diving save to prevent Boateng from scoring an own goal. (What is it with these two?! Frick and Frack, I tell ya.)

It's marvellous to get the three points out of that match. It wasn't pretty, by any means, but these are the types of games that you have to win to lift trophies. And with Borussia Dortmund hanging six unanswered goals on Koeln, it is imperative that we keep pace with the Bundesliga leaders.

But, now we're back in Champions League contention with Olympique de Marseille: A team that applied to the FFF to move their match over the weekend so they might be better-rested for the second leg in Munich next Tuesday. The French Football Federation agreed, naturally, as they also allowed Olympique Lyon to do the same against us a couple of years back.

Pfffffft, I say. Look where that got Lyon.

Marseille is not to be taken lightly, however, after beating Dortmund twice in the group stage and scoring a late goal to knock Inter Milan out of the competition. But Didier Deschamps' side is suffering from a crisis of confidence, losing seven matches straight before finally earning a draw this past weekend.

And to add insult to injury, les Phoceens are missing two key players to red cards suffered in the last Inter match. Starting goalkeeper, Steve Mandanda, will be replaced by third-string Elinton Andrade after second-string keeper, Gennaro Bracigliano, had a shocking showing in their cup exit. And Souleymane Diawara, the heart of OM's defence, now sits out both legs with a torn ACL. (He would have sat the first leg, regardless, due to a red.)

There are also fitness questions for Ghanaian international winger Andre Ayew (neck) and striker Loic Remy. Both will be match-day decisions. I will not even attempt to embarrass myself by trying to predict Marseilles' starting XI. We'll let Deschamps make all those tough calls.

On the Munich side of things, Bastian Schweinsteiger has made the trip to France, despite Franz-Josef Strauss International Airport ground workers going on strike. Daniel van Buyten, who says he's down to 145 pounds, is certainly not match fit, with Breno being the other long-term absentee. Jupp Heynckes has the rest of the squad to choose from, but I'm sure he'll be going with...

Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba - Gustavo, Kroos - Robben, Mueller, Ribery - Gomez.

Don't fix what ain't broke.

There are some parallels to be drawn with OM's current nose-dive and Bayern's form after the winter break. After all, the French side had enough class and talent to make it this far in Europe's premiere competition. But, with their starting line-up in such disarray, I can see the Reds stealing this one away. I'm looking forward to an angry French crowd being put in their places.

Auf gehts!

You can (and should) follow Susie on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/fussballsusie

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Comments

Posted by ddddddd on 03/27/2012

If bayern munich beat marseilli and go on to real madrid in the semi-finals do you think we have afair chance of winning?

Susie- keep up the good work on the blog

Mia San Mia!

Posted by grudnik on 03/28/2012

Speaking of Badstuber, what happened to all the naysayers from earlier in the season?

He has been nothing short of fantastic, always playing hard, always showing a lot of heart, intercepting countless passes, and getting involved in the buildup of play. The more he plays with Boateng, the better that tandem gets. Van Buyten will have trouble getting playing time once he gets fit (assuming that happens this season).

Posted by Ruud on 03/28/2012

Nice blog Susie!

I'm afraid the team will be even more exhausted in today's match, Moenchengladbach then Hannover, and now Marseille? I am specifically worried about Gomez (i know he didn't play the whole Hannover game!), anyhow, best of luck...

Grudnik,

Straight on dude, i was one of the guys doubting Badstuber, but that was just before he got Jerome next to him, as he lacks pace (although he looks much quicker recently). However, there is no question, the kid has class written all over him; he's very solid (always has been), he's very impressing in reading the game (thus the interceptions), and he's one of Europe's best in his ball distribution.

Auf Gehts, Die Roten!

Posted by Susie on 03/28/2012

ddddddd---

Not to get too ahead of ourselves, but yeah, I think we do have a shot at Real. Arbeloa and Pepe will have plenty of trouble containing Robben and Ribery. And they'll be giving us space on the field, which plays nicely to our style.

Grudnik---

The DvB/Badstuber tandem was no good. But, the Boateng/Badstuber one just keeps getting better and better. I would also be surprised if Daniel got a starting position back.

Ruud---

At least this isn't a Tuesday match, yeah?

Posted by Nathan on 03/28/2012

Susie, agree on olic. Love the guy, but he missed some awful chances on Saturday. We were lucky to walk away with three points and get some rest for Gomez und Müller. I am tipping 3:0 for today's game, too much talent on Bayern, and given the current form for both sides, too much for OM to handle.

@dddddddd, I am not too concerned (ok, a little bit) about either spanish side. Their wide open attacking style of play suits Bayern better than the more passive, defensive-minded approach most Bundesliga teams take against Bayern. As long as the back line plays like they're capable and we capitalize on counterattack chances, we should be able to win. Or at least that is what I will tell myself up until the final whistle.

Posted by BayernGator on 03/29/2012

Anyone cry out in joy as I did to see Basti back on the field??!!!?? I cant wait tell he gets his stamina back. The run-in is looking more positive match by match... Auf gehts!!!

Posted by BayernMunchen01 on 03/29/2012

Anybody know about the cards situation for Bayern? I'm very confused about the cards deal (shows how little I know about the rules of football, I'm just a passionate Bayern fan, nothing more! ;)

I know Schweini's out,

but Kroos, Lahm, Boateng, Muller, Alaba, Gustavo?


Does this work: Let's say you pick up a yellow in one game, play the next game without a yellow, would you be clean for the third game?

Please let me know.

Die Teams werden durch die Hoelle gehen, wenn sie in die Allianz Arena zu kommen!!!!

Auf gehts, Bayern!!!!


Posted by Ruud on 03/30/2012

@ BM01,

To answer your question (as far as i know); yellow cards will be annulled only:
- after the groups' stage.
- at the end of the competition.

So our guys can still miss games if they receive additional cards (God forbid), and this is why Heynckes is annoyed after the team received 5 yellow cards at the Velodrome, and i think (contrary to what he said) Bastian's card is the least of his worries.

Posted by BayernMunchen01 on 03/30/2012

@Ruud,

Thanks for the info, I couldn't find one website with card information.

Who do you think the back-up striker should be next season for Bayern considering:

Olic is gone
Petersen is probably going to be loaned (depending on how his loan goes, I wouldn't mind him being back-up in two years)
If Petersen gets enough experience and development during his loan, do we sign a big name striker for only one year? I personally would not like to see Petersen as a third-stringer in two years behind Gomez and some big name striker. I think he has a lot of potential to be back-up to Gomez in a few years, and maybe even when Gomez gets old, starting striker.

I think we should go for an experienced striker for a one-year contract, like van Nistelrooy or Trezeguet, someone who has scored goals in his day. (I wouldn't mind van Nistelrooy.)

Posted by susie on 03/30/2012

Hey guys,

Here's a little more depth on the card situation as I won't be able to post until Sunday.

During the group stages you get three yellows before your suspended the next match. Then the slate is wiped clean and you start the tally over til the end of the competition. So...

Players with two yellows: Kroos, Goose, Mueller, Boateng

Players with one yellow: Ribery, Lahm, Tymo, Badstuber, Alaba, Rafinha, Olic.

We are one Spanish ref away from having some serious problems. Good that Schweini got his now. He can get another two before he's suspended again. In my opinion, Lahm should never have been carded for dissent, as he's the captain and should be able to talk to the ref.

Posted by Ruud on 03/31/2012

@BM01,

You're welcome

For the backup striker; if you look at the big guns in Europe, you'll see that they have at least three big names on his roster, and the matter of whom is 2nd to whom is just that of individual performance and team strategy in some cases:
- Manchester Utd (LOL): Rooney, Berba, Chicha, Welbeck, Owen
- City (again LOL): Aguero, Dzeko, Balotelli, Tevez
- Real, Barcelona, ...
So it doesn't matter if you have 3 big names in your squad, as such teams are fighting on 3 or more fronts that everone is needed (don't forget injuries). We have the money, the name to attract great talents, and being in all 3 competitions for most of any season is also tempting. I likED Van Nistelrooy & Trezeguet back in the days, and they still have that killer instinct in them, but they are way too old, even Berbatov is not the solution (IMHO). We should be looking for youth ala Guidetti, Giroud and A. Ayew, and an established player (28-30), and let them fight for their spot!

Posted by Ruud on 03/31/2012

@ Susie,

Thanks alot for the additional info!

We could be well screwed if we do not take it easy in the coming game(s). I see it inevitable that we lose players in coming games (especially that some of the ones involved tend to be a bit agressive), but we should at least try not to lose too many players for one field position at the same time (Say Goose, Kroos, Tymo at the same time). But hey, such are the risks of these competitions!

Hope all goes well, can't wait for your new post.

Cheers!

Posted by BayernMunchen01 on 03/31/2012

@Ruud,

Thanks much for your input, I certainly like hearing other people's opinions.

On the other note, a vital 3 points for Bayern, coming only 3 points behind BvB. Not convincing at all, though. Not certain if tired legs are beginning to kick in (probably). I honestly thought JH would have started Rafinha over Contento and moved Lahm to left back. I would have been more satisfied if we could have scrapped out 3 points without using our star players to pick up the hard points. I don't have Gol! tv, so I haven't seen the game or highlights yet, but it sounds like Robben should have scored more than the 1 goal. Impressively picked up points, no clue who JH will start for the Marseille game, penny for everybody's thoughts.

Posted by BayernMunchen01 on 04/01/2012

Two days till Marseille, I hope we can get an early goal and maybe get another later on in the match. We must capitalize on their missing of Diawara and now Diarra, I hope Gomez can score a few to move ahead of Messi.

P.S. I'm kind of sad at the moment, just learned Giorgio Chinaglia passed away, what an influence he was on the MLS.

R.I.P. Giorgio Chinaglia

Posted by Ralph on 04/01/2012

I remember speaking with Giorgio many times in the Giants Stadium dinner club after Cosmos games in the late 70's and early 80's (Pele and Franz also), and I have fond memories of his sense of humor. He was a very confident player we all know, but he also was extremely funny. I was just listening to him on his show after the Marseille game this week, and fondly remembering those days. I feel like a part of my youth just passed away also. RIP Giorgio! God has acquired a great striker.

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