Bay­ern hunt quick fire 2nd win over Augs­burg

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BER­LIN:

Bay­ern Mu­nich face fa­mil­iar op­po­si­tion in neigh­bors Augs­burg yes­ter­day as the Bun­desliga lead­ers take on their Bavar­ian ri­vals for the sec­ond time in four days. Bay­ern beat Augs­burg 3-1 on Wed­nes­day in the sec­ond round of the Ger­man Cup as US in­ter­na­tional Ju­lian Green-deputis­ing for striker Robert Le­wandowski — David Alaba and Philipp Lahm all scored.

Carlo Ancelotti rested a host of stars in­clud­ing Ar­turo Vi­dal, Ar­jen Robben, Xabi Alonso and Le­wandowski ahead of this week­end’s league game at Augs­burg’s WWKArena sta­dium. The Mu­nich giants need a win in their warm-up for next Tues­day’s Cham­pi­ons League clash at PSV Eind­hoven to en­sure they re­main clear at the summit.

The top clash of the week­end is to­day’s Ruhr Val­ley derby be­tween Borus­sia Dort­mund and arch-ri­vals Schalke 04. Dort­mund are un­beaten in their last three league meet­ings against Schalke but are strug­gling with a lengthy in­jury list and are win­less in their last three Bun­desliga games. An­dre Schuer­rle, Raphael Guer­re­rio, Mar­cel Sch­melzer, Sven Ben­der, Erik Durm, Neven Subotic and Marco Reus are all ei­ther out in­jured or re­turn­ing from in­jury.

Dort­mund hope to have striker Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang back from a calf knock af­ter he missed Wed­nes­day’s nervy Ger­man Cup penalty shootout win over Union Ber­lin. Schalke made a dis­as­trous start to the sea­son when they lost their first five games, but Markus Weinzierl’s side have stead­ied the ship by pick­ing up seven points in the three matches since.

Mid­fielder Na­bil Ben­taleb, on loan from Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur, has been a rev­e­la­tion dur­ing the re­vival with three goals in his last two games. Schalke are ea­ger to make his move per­ma­nent, but direc­tor of sport Chris­tian Hei­del says Spurs want at least 20 mil­lion euros ($21.8 mil­lion) for the Al­ge­ria in­ter­na­tional. “It was a dou­ble-digit sum and there was a two at the front,” Hei­del said. Ben­taleb is rel­ish­ing his first Ruhr derby and likened it to a match against Spurs’ north Lon­don ri­vals Ar­se­nal. “I don’t know if you can com­pare it to a Lon­don derby, but I’m look­ing for­ward to it,” said the 21-year-old.

Record draws closer

Un­beaten RB Leipzig, who trail Bay­ern by just two points, can take a step closer to a record when they face Darm­stadt away.

Un­der Aus­trian coach Ralph Hasen­huettl, Leipzig have won five of their first eight games with three draws. They are just two short of the record of 10 matches un­beaten, set by MSV Duis­burg in 1993/94, for a side at the start of their first sea­son in Ger­many’s top flight.

Wolfs­burg and Bayer Lev­erkusen meet to­day with both coaches in des­per­ate need of a vic­tory. Lev­erkusen’s Roger Sch­midt serves the last of his two-match touch­line ban for ver­bally abus­ing Hof­fen­heim’s Ju­lian Nagels­mann in last Satur­day’s 3-0 de­feat. Lev­erkusen, who go to Tot­ten­ham in the Cham­pi­ons League on Wed­nes­day, are win­less in their last four games and suf­fered a shock Ger­man Cup de­feat to third divi­sion Sport­fre­unde Lotte in mid­week.

Wolfs­burg are with­out a win in seven league games and care­taker coach Va­le­rien Is­mael, who lost his first game 3-1 at strug­glers Darm­stadt, has been tasked with re­vers­ing the team’s for­tunes. Bot­tom club Hamburg, who are still win­less af­ter their first eight league games, are at Cologne on Sun­day. Un­beaten Hof­fen­heim host fel­low high-fly­ers Hertha Ber­lin in south-west Ger­many, with Pal Dar­dai’s side suf­fer­ing their lone de­feat to Bay­ern and start­ing to look like re­al­is­tic con­tenders for a Cham­pi­ons League place next sea­son.

MU­NICH: Augs­burg’s mid­fielder Do­minik Kohr (R) and Bay­ern Mu­nich’s Por­tuguese mid­fielder Re­nato Sanches vie for the ball dur­ing the Ger­man Cup DFB Pokal sec­ond round foot­ball match FC Bay­ern Mu­nich v FC Augs­burg. —AFP

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