FC Bayern Munich: Life Without Bastian Schweinsteiger—a Trip to Augsburg
When Bastian Schweinsteiger signaled for help in the Champions League, the smile on most Bayern fans' faces must have disappeared. The word so far is that Schweinsteiger will be out until 2012. The next time we will probably see him feature is against Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga restart in January.
Until then, Bayern has a lot of games to deal with. First up is a trip to Augsburg on Sunday. Augsburg is in the relegation zone in their first Bundesliga season. Thus, this is the first Bavarian derby in the Bundesliga between Bayern and Augsburg.
They are a good team with good ethics coached by Jos Luhukay, a coach some will be familiar with due to his days in the Gladbach dugout. They played Werder Bremen two weeks ago and sometimes made easy work of the paper-thin defence.
However, they just didn't have the finishing touch even though the game finished 1-1. Their best player is perhaps a purchase they made in the summer, German striker Sascha Molders. Augsburg doesn't score too many goals—they have only scored eight times this season. Also, they have conceded 20 goals to go along with that.
Coming back to Bayern, the main question will be how to replace Schweinsteiger. According to the club's website, there are four options: David Alaba, Toni Kroos, Danijel Pranjic and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.
According to Jupp Heynckes, he doesn't like to change too many things and likes to keep a winning team together. If that is the case, then expect Tymoshchuk or Alaba to slot in. Alaba played this role in his stint on loan at Hoffenheim relatively well. He also did so for Bayern in a few preseason friendlies.
Taking Kroos back would mean switching Thomas Mueller to the middle of the attacking trio behind Mario Gomez.
While the general consensus is that Mueller's best position is behind the main striker, Heynckes might not think so. Since Bayern has a four-point lead on their nearest challengers, Schalke, in the Bundesliga, Heynckes has the choice of experimenting by taking Kroos back and bringing Ivica Olic or Alaba into midfield.
As far as I know, Arjen Robben is due to return in December, and that is only a good thing. Heynckes feels that if Bayern can replace Robben, they can fill the void left by Schweinsteiger as well. Uli Hoeness feels that had the injury been one related to the shoulder, matters might have been much worse.
Jerome Boateng is suspended for this match following a red card against Hanover. Bayern hasn't won in their previous three away matches (Hoffenheim, Napoli and Hanover).
So, this could be the lineup:
Rafinha- Van Buyten- Badstuber- Lahm
Mueller- Kroos- Ribery
After this match, the players will head for internationals. Lahm has not been included in the German squad.
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