FC Bayern Munich: A Look Back to BATE, Look Ahead to Augsburg
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Bayern won their Champions League group with a convincing win over BATE, 4-1.
The win was even more convincing to the fans as Jupp Heynckes rested some of his first-team regulars.
Javier Martinez and Dante, both one yellow card away from suspension, gave way to Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Daniel Van Buyten respectively. Philipp Lahm and David Alaba were both rested as Diego Contento and Rafinha came in. Franck Ribery was also rested which gave Xherdan Shaqiri the chance to impress, and Mario Gomez started his first Champions League match since that game.
The first half was mundane; Bayern controlled it and took the lead thanks to a Mario Gomez tap-in. The goal was created by the brilliant Shaqiri.
The second half—in contrast to the first—was full of life. Jerome Boateng saw a red card for a challenge which perhaps warranted only a yellow. Thomas Muller scored shortly afterwards to add to Bayern's lead, and Bayern continued attacking and scored a third through Shaqiri who was set up by Gomez.
Gomez's cross was wonderful; he seems to have added to his armory.
BATE lost a man and went down to ten. David Alaba then came on and scored a brilliant goal which was his first in the Champions League. BATE scored an undeserved consolation as the end neared.
Bayern at the end topped Valencia on two fronts—goal difference and head-to-head. After what had seemed like a tricky situation due to a loss in Minsk on Matchday 2, Bayern managed to make light of things and qualify rather easily.
The unfortunate event was the loss of Boateng. The defender himself was shocked beyond belief and will now be out for the Round of 16. The board isn't quite sure about getting another defender even though Holger Badstuber is out for five months. Javier Martinez and Luiz Gustavo can cover at the back as can Daniel Van Buyten if need be.
Bayern will face one of the following opponents: Arsenal, Real Madrid, Porto, Celtic, Galatasaray, Shaktar or AC Milan. The draw takes place on the 20th of December.
Bayern last faced Arsenal during a time in which Stefan Effenberg was part of the club. They were beaten by Porto in one of the five Champions League finals which they lost despite being the better side. Bayern has bad memories as far as AC Milan is concerned. The good memory from a clash with Milan would be a return to the San Siro where they won their last Champions League trophy (2001).
Now, all attentions must turn to the league.
Bayern plays a fourth Bavarian derby of the season against FC Augsburg while Augsburg is seemingly 2. Bundesliga bound. Markus Weinzierl has not quite turned out to be the manager which Jos Luhakay was. Augsburg earned a 1-1 draw against a good Freiburg side last week. Last season, they troubled a lot of sides including Bayern.
Both meetings between these two sides ended in wins for Bayern, albeit narrow ones.
The first meeting between the two took place in Augsburg where Bayern took a quick 0-2 lead through Mario Gomez and Franck Ribery. However, a second half goal by Hajime Hosogai made things very nervy, and Bayern held on for dear life afterwards. Tymoshchuk also saw a red card in that game, but Bayern saw it out.
The second and the most recent meeting was another close affair.
Mario Gomez's first minute goal saw Bayern take an early lead. A goal from Koo Ja-Cheol against the run of play caught Bayern out. A Gomez goal in the second half saw Bayern take a deserved 2-1 win. The match is perhaps remembered by quite a few people due to a bit of a spat between Bastian Schweinsteiger and a reporter afterwards.
As far as this one is concerned, Bayern is expected to win easily, but derbies are never easy as Nurnberg proved. Luiz Gustavo isn't back yet, Badstuber is out and there was a setback in Arjen Robben's recovery meaning that he will be out for longer than expected.
This could be the line-up:
Philipp Lahm, Dante, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javier Martinez
Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Franck Ribery
Bayern leads Leverkusen by eight points coming into this one, and Leverkusen plays Hannover this week. They are playing well but whether Leverkusen are serious challengers cannot be found out yet.
Bayer 04 has a history filled with last minute collapses including a "Neverkusen" season similar to Bayern's 2011-12 season.
Dortmund plays Wolfsburg while Stuttgart plays Schalke after a lucky escape in the Europa League where they qualified for the next round despite being level on points with Kobenhavn and losing to Molde FK 0-1.
Prediction: Augsburg 0-3 Bayern
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