Mueller dis­misses any talk of Bay­ern wob­ble

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Bay­ern Mu­nich’s Thomas Mueller says there is no need to panic as the Bun­desliga lead­ers look to get back to win­ning ways when they play Ein­tra­cht Frank­furt away to­day. Bay­ern dropped their first league points of the sea­son af­ter be­ing held to a 1-1 draw at home to Cologne a fort­night ago, four days af­ter their Cham­pi­ons League de­feat at Atletico Madrid. The Bavar­ian gi­ants have 16 points a pos­si­ble 18, but two games with­out a win equates to some­thing of a mini-cri­sis for Bay­ern, who are three points ahead of Hertha Ber­lin in the ta­ble.

How­ever, the slight dip in form is not a con­cern for Ger­many for­ward Mueller. “With a new coach, we won all of our first eight games, but not our last two and sud­denly there’s a fire un­der the roof again,” he said. “We’re still top of the ta­ble, will cer­tainly qual­ify for the knock­out stages of the Cham­pi­ons League, so there is no need to paint every­thing black.”

Frank­furt lost at Freiburg two weeks ago, but are un­beaten at home in their last six matches. Ein­tra­cht have failed to score in their last eight games against Bay­ern, dat­ing back to 2011, and Mu­nich have won seven of those league en­coun­ters with one goal­less draw. Af­ter their Madrid dis­ap­point­ment, Bay­ern need a con­vinc­ing dis­play ahead of next Wed­nes­day’s Euro­pean clash at home to PSV Eind­hoven.

The Frank­furt match is set to see Bay­ern’s Robert Le­wandowski and Ein­tra­cht’s Alexan­der Meier go head to head. The at­tack­ing duo have dom­i­nated the league’s goalscor­ing charts for the last three years. Ger­many de­fender Joshua Kim­mich has scored five goals in his last six matches for Bay­ern, but Mueller is still wait­ing to score his first league goal of the sea­son, de­spite hav­ing net­ted four times for his coun­try. Thomas Tuchel’s side suf­fered a 2-0 de­feat at Bayer Lev­erkusen a fort­night ago.

In­juries pil­ing up

Borus­sia have wel­comed back Ger­many winger Marco Reus from a groin in­jury which kept him out of Euro 2016, but he won’t fea­ture this week­end with Dort­mund go­ing through some­thing of an in­jury cri­sis. An­dre Schuer­rle, Gon­zalo Cas­tro, Sven Ben­der and Erik Durm were pre­vi­ously in­jured. Adding to their trou­bles, Sokratis (groin), Raphael Guer­reiro (thigh) and Lukasz Piszczek (knee) all re­turned from in­ter­na­tional duty with knocks as well.

Ous­mane Dem­bele picked up an an­kle in­jury while play­ing for the French Un­der-21s, but Tuchel is hope­ful both he and Span­ish cen­tre-back Marc Bar­tra will be avail­able. Hertha are in good form and their 2-0 de­feat at Bay­ern last month is their only loss this term while striker Vedad Ibi­se­vic has scored five goals. Vic­tory over Hertha would set a new club record of 25 home matches with­out de­feat for Dort­mund.

Hav­ing bro­ken their run of five straight de­feats to climb off the bot­tom of the ta­ble, Schalke 04 are at Augs­burg to­day as their coach Markus Weinzierl re­turns to his for­mer club. Schalke ham­mered Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach 4-0 last time out with new sign­ing Breel Em­bolo scor­ing twice to bump Schalke up to 16th. Hav­ing as­sumed Schalke’s place at the bot­tom, Ham­burg are at Moenchenglad­bach this week­end. New coach Markus Gis­dol is look­ing for Ham­burg’s first win of the sea­son in his sec­ond game in charge, while Glad­bach will tar­get a boost ahead of Wed­nes­day’s Cham­pi­ons League match at Celtic. Along with Bay­ern, Hof­fen­heim and RB Leipzig are the only teams in Ger­many’s top flight that are still un­beaten. Hof­fen­heim host Freiburg to­day in the south Ger­man derby while Leipzig are at Wolfs­burg to­mor­row.


HANOVER: Ger­many’s mid­fielder Thomas Mueller re­acts dur­ing the WC 2018 foot­ball qual­i­fi­ca­tion match be­tween Ger­many and North­ern Ire­land.

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