Mueller dismisses any talk of Bayern wobble
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.