FC Bayern Munich: The Second Half of the Season Starts Against Furth
FC Bayern Munich is about to get going tomorrow in the Bundesliga after a great winter training camp in Qatar. The winter transfer window brought the addition of one player to the Bayern Munich roster, as well as one to Bayern management; however, both Jan Kirchhoff and Pep Guardiola will have to wait till mid-2013 to step into their respective positions. For now, the squad will be without one important name, Mitchell Weiser, as Weiser is currently on loan to Kaiserslautern.
The second half of the season begins as did the first half—with a Bavarian derby. This time, Furth will be traveling to the Allianz Arena. While Holger Badstuber is out, and will remain out until late in the season, Emre Can and Arjen Robben are fit and ready to play. Franck Ribery was said to be under the weather last week, but was never doubtful for this one.
As far as injuries are concerned, Furth manager Mike Buskens definitely has countless headaches at this point. First of all, his side's chances of survival are minimal. Furth was awful in the first half of the season; there was never a moment when anybody pointed out that Furth had the talent needed for survival in the Bundesliga.
New signing Nikola Djurdjic will sit this one out. Heinrich Schmidtgal has a knee problem, while Edgar Prib has a thigh muscle sprain to deal with. Additionally, Michael Hefele is out with a metatarsal issue and captain Mergim Mavraj is serving a suspension. Furth already had enough problems to deal with before these latest issues came about.
Since the departure of Olivier Occean at the beginning of the season, goals have not been easy to come by for Furth. Against Bayern's league leading defence, goals will be even harder to come by for the Franconians. Bayern's attack has been irrepressible at times this season and Furth's defence has been quite poor at times. All in all, everything points to a massive Bayern victory.
However, this match, at the end of the day, is a derby, and derbies are massive affairs. Bayern did not have it their way against Augsburg; Furth could give them a tough time if the score stays 0-0 for a while and the fans start getting impatient. Bayern has been more reliable away from home this season rather than at home.
This will perhaps be the starting lineup for Bayern Munich:
Philipp Lahm- Dante- Jerome Boateng- David Alaba
Bastian Schweinsteiger- Luiz Gustavo
Thomas Muller- Toni Kroos- Franck Ribery
Mario Mandzukic is the kind of striker who clears up space, but Mario Gomez is the kind who preys on weaker opposition. For this reason, Gomez is perhaps the favorite to start. Because Luiz Gustavo is back, and Javier Martinez seems to be Jupp Heynckes' choice in the biggest matches, Gustavo, who was having a good season until injury interrupted, could be back in the lineup. The back four will not be tested too much in this one; hence, Heynckes may test Daniel Van Buyten in tougher matches, prior to the Champions League tie against Arsenal, instead of in this one. Robben could start in order to save Thomas Muller for tougher matches down the road.
Finally, congratulations to Philipp Lahm for being part of the best 11 selected by the fans of UEFA's official website. He was the only Bundesliga representative in yet another La Liga dominated roster.
Prediction: Bayern 3-0 Furth
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