FC Bayern Munich: News on the German Cup, Champions League Playoffs and More
German Cup: Bayern 3, Braunschweig 0
FC Bayern beat Eintracht Braunschweig in the first round of the cup. Jupp Heynckes provided few surprises with his lineup; Manuel Neuer started in goal, while Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber and Rafinha formed the back four.
Bastian Schweinsteiger was paired alongside Luis Gustavo in central defensive midfield. Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller and David Alaba were the midfield trio behind Mario Gomez. Takashi Usami was very surprisingly omitted from the squad.
Braunschweig, as expected, defended strongly.
Bayern got on the board when Mueller was fouled in the penalty area, and Gomez converted from the penalty spot. When Mueller was fouled for the second time in the area, Bayern was awarded another penalty. Gomez allowed Schweinsteiger to take the kick as a birthday present, and the newly-turned 27-year-old scored for 2-0.
After the break, Bayern sat back and calmly passed amongst themselves. The defence was impressive, as there wasn't really a single moment in the match where Braunschweig threatened to score. Mueller scored a wonderful goal late in the match to wrap it up.
Champions League Playoff Draw
Bayern drew FC Zurich, who finished second in the Swiss league, in the playoff draw for the Champions League group stages. Zurich's coach was delighted to be drawn against the hosts of the tournament's final in 2012. Jupp Heynckes was pleased with the draw, and he was happy to have avoided the likes of Udinese.
However, Heynckes did mention that Bayern must cautious. The Swiss league has improved massively, as witnessed by the fact that the fight between Basel and FC Zurich for the title came down to the final day. The draw is favourable; Bayern, however, must not rest on their laurels.
Well, at least Inter Milan wasn't part of the playoff draw.
Bundesliga Opener: Bayern-Monchengladbach
Jupp Heynckes is associated with Gladbach. He was born in Gladbach and played as a striker there. He won four German championships and one UEFA Cup. Heynckes' first stint as a coach was also at Gladbach.
But he has said he will put his love aside for the club for 90 minutes, as he will be focused on earning Bayern three points, even if the margin of victory is just "one goal."
The team selection will be tough. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are both fit and have been included in the squad; Robben is expected to start. There is a small chance Toni Kroos will retain his place in the starting XI.
Heynckes might also decide to not risk Ribery and let him fully recover. Expect Robben to depart early if Bayern wraps up the match by the hour mark.
The lineup should otherwise remain the same.Tymo might be placed in Gustavo's place, and Breno will not be part of the squad as he recovers from injury.
Three players must be omitted from the squad. The decision is going to be extremely difficult for Heynckes, but the players will perhaps be Usami, Nils Petersen and either Diego Contento or Danijel Pranjic. Mario Gomez, who looked lost against Braunschweig, will need to step up in this one.
Prediction: FC Bayern defeats Gladbach, 2-0.
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