The 1-1 against HSV was a result Bayern should have avoided. The result allowed Dortmund to leapfrog them to the top of the table. The gap is only two points—however, it could easily widen if Bayern continues to play the way they have been doing recently. Yet, there is no reason to panic considering Bayern is second in the table and involved in all competitions.
Bayern now takes on Stuttgart in the German Cup. Clashes with Stuttgart are always entertaining and the best part for Bayern is they mostly win. Last season, Bayern beat Stuttgart thrice; 5-3 and 1-2 in the Bundesliga and 6-3 in the German Cup, This season, Bayern played Stuttgart in the Mercedez Benz Arena and came away with a 1-2 victory. Stuttgart scored early on but Bayern drew level shortly afterwards.
Stuttgart lost a man to a red card and this allowed Bayern to make the extra man count. They scored the winner in the second half via none other than Mario Gomez, who is currently going through a bit of a rough patch. Bayern also met Stuttgart in the cup in 2009 and beat them 5-1 on that occasion.
The draw against HSV in the league was coming—Bayern's performances were poor and thus they were going to drop points sooner or later. Eventually, that happened against HSV as Jacopo Sala made the Bayern defenders look like amateurs when he scored. Ironically, a former HSV man equalized for Bayern—Ivica Olic.
Bayern searched for a winner but failed to find one. HSV could have found one themselves too. After the match, Karl Heinz Rummenigge pointed out that Jupp Heynckes had refused to transfer in any new players. Talks of Xherdan Shaqiri moving to Bayern are currently rife. It could happen if Bayern does not beat Stuttgart tomorrow.
Also, Heynckes needs to stop playing his five best midfielders in Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos together. This wasn't the midfield Bayern used to go on an unbeaten run in the first half of the season. If the winning formula means putting in Luiz Gustavo and putting out Robben, Heynckes should do it.
What exactly does Mr Heynckes have against using Rafinha in the team? "Never change a winning team" is a common cliche in football—Jupp shouldn't have changed the team so much in the first place. He should have allowed Schweinsteiger and Gustavo to pair up in defensive midfield and Kroos to continue in the middle of the attacking midfield trio.
Tomorrow, Bayern has to go out and produce a good display. Karl Heinz Rummenigge and the hierarchy aren't too happy about Heynckes and the only way Jupp can change that is by making sure that Bayern starts winning properly again.
So, who do you think will win? I would like to hear your thoughts.
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