[Teams] Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich

Written by: Published: 30 January 2015.

The second half of the 2014-15 German Bundesliga kicks off tonight as VfL Wolfsburg host defending champions Bayern Munich at the Volkswagen Arena with kick off in less than an hour’s time.

This match sees the top two sides in Germany go head-to-head although the hosts trail the runaway leaders by a staggering 11 points.

Bayern Munich welcomed Holger Badstuber back to training during the winter break whilst Wolfsburg tragically lost Junior Malanda to a car accident.

The two teams are confirmed as:

VfL Wolfsburg

Diego Benaglio; Vieirinha, Robin Knoche, Naldo, Ricardo Rodríguez; Maximilian Arnold, Luiz Gustavo, Daniel Caligiuri, Kevin  De Bruyne, Ivan Perišić; Bas Dost

Substitutes: Max Grün, Marcel Schäfer, Timm Klose, Paul Seguin, Aaron Hunt, Sebastian Jung, Nicklas Bendtner

Bayern Munich

Manuel Neuer; Jérôme Boateng, Dante, David Alaba; Xabi Alonso; Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sebastian Rode, Juan Bernat;  Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller

Substitutes: Pepe Reina, Mehdi Benatia, Holger Badstuber, Gianluca Gaudino, Mitchell Weiser, Mario Götze, Claudio Pizarro

Holger Badstuber is named amongst the substitutes for Bayern Munich who are playing three at the back with Xabi Alonso, Sebastian Rode and Bastian Schweinsteiger offering protection in centre midfield.

Arjen Robben and Juan Bernat are playing as wingbacks with Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski the two attackers.

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Holger Badstuber returns to training

Written by: Published: 19 January 2015.

Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber returned to training today.

The 25-year old has spent the best part of two years on the sidelines through injury, missing the whole of last season entirely with an injured ACL picked up in December 2012.

Shortly after returning from his injury he reaggreviated it again in May 2013.

Holger Badstuber managed just three games this season before suffered with a thigh injury.

The 30-time Germany international confirmed on Twitter this evening that he returned to training today for the first time in four months:

Holger Badstuber came through the youth ranks at Bayern, making his senior team debut in 2009 and ended up starting the 2010 World Cup campaign after only a single season as a pro.

The left-back-come-centre-back managed two more full seasons in the Bayern Munich first team and was selected for Joachim Löw’s Germany squad for Euro 2012.

Badstuber has managed just 15 Bundesliga appearances in the two-and-a-half years since then because of long-term injuries.  He has 10 days to get himself into shape before the second half of the season kicks off with Bayern Munich travelling to VfL Wolfsburg on Friday 30 January.

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Arjen Robben Bitten by a Crocodile

Written by: Published: 17 January 2015.

Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben has been bitten by a crocodile whilst the club are on their winter break tour of Qatar.

The Dutch international was retrieving a ball from a lake on Bayern’s winter training camp in Qatar when he was bitten by a crocodile, the Bild have reported.

As a result, Robben finished the day wearing a bandage around his heavily bruised thumb, middle and ring fingers, as shown in the photo below:

 Arjen Robben

The 2014-15 German Bundesliga season does not return until Friday 30 January when league leaders Bayern travel to second-place VfL Wolfsburg.

This gives Robben the best part of a fortnight to recover, not that a hand injury is going to stop the flying Dutchman being available for a football match.

Robben has scored 10 goals in his 13 Bundesliga appearances under Pep Guardiola this season as Bayern run away with the league once again – 11 points clear at the halfway stage.

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Manuel Neuer reaches century mark

Written by: Published: 24 September 2014.

Germany’s number one, Manuel Neuer made his 100th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern Munich on Tuesday during their 4-0 thrashing of SC Paderborn at the Allianz Arena.

The victory ensures the defending champions top the table with 11 points after five games.

Manuel Neuer is in his fourth season with the Bavarians since becoming the second most-expensive goalkeeper of all-time in a €22 million switch from Schalke 04 in the summer of 2011.

The World Cup winner is rated as the best goalkeeper in the world by many and he has the statistics to back it up.  In Neuer’s 100 Bundesliga games for FCB he has now kept a staggering 53 clean sheets.  He is on pace to break Oliver Kahn’s record of 204 clean sheets in his career.

Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski fired Bayern Munich into a 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes against the newly-promoted Paderborn side who had been unbeaten in their first four Bundesliga games this season.

The visitors came into the game off the back of three consecutive clean sheets but number four was never likely in this match.

Götze scored his second of the game 15 minutes from time before Thomas Müller rounded off the scoring with five minutes to go.

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Badstuber sidelined again

Written by: Published: 14 September 2014.

Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber is expected to be out for several weeks after limping off with a thigh injury during their 2-0 win over VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.

Badstuber only recently returned to first-team action after being sidelined for an incredible 20 months with a cruciate knee injury.

The 25-year old picked up a partial tear of his left thigh this time and will now undergo surgery.

Holger Badstuber told the club’s official website:

“Of course I’m very disappointed at the moment. But I’ve learned how to cope with this type of situation. I’ll be back soon and will pick up where I left off after my long injury lay-off. I won’t give up!”

Holger Badstuber had been fit to start all three of Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga matches so far this season but managed just 43 minutes over the weekend before being forced off.

Head coach Pep Guardiola has a few absentees ahead of his side’s match with English Premier League opponents Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League midweek.

Bayern Munich have taken seven points from their opening three league games this season as they go in hunt of their third consecutive Bundesliga title in Guardiola’s second season in charge.

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Atlético Madrid bid for Bayern Munich playmaker

Written by: Published: 26 August 2014.

Atlético Madrid have made a bid for Bayern Munich playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri, according to reports.

Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claims the Spanish La Liga champions have made an offer and inquiry over the availability of the 22-year old Swiss international.

Di Marzio says that Shaqiri declined to move to Atlético as he waits to hear about an offer from Italian Serie A champions Juventus who are also reportedly interested in him.

The Italian journalist says that Bayern Munich will be willing to loan out Shaqiri for the season.

Xherdan Shaqiri first made his name as a teenager with Swiss Super League side FC Basel before Bayern Munich signed him in the summer of 2012.  Opportunities in the starting line-up have been limited for the young Swiss international at the Allianz Arena.

He made 26 Bundesliga appearances in his debut season under Jupp Heynckes in 2012-13 but only 13 of these were starts.

Since a change in head coach with Pep Guardiola taking over last season, Xherdan Shaqiri made 16 appearances in the Bundesliga of which only 10 were starts.  The midfielder came on the final half hour in Friday night’s 2-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg to kick-off Bayern Munich’s 2014-15 season.

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Bayern Munich 2-1 Wolfsburg: German champions start with a win

Written by: Published: 22 August 2014.

Bayern Munich’s World Cup winners were given a heroes welcome from the public address system and fans pre-game.

Holger Badstuber was making his return to the Bayern Munich team – playing in his first competitive game for 629 days after a long injury layoff.

Wolfsburg were able to stand with Bayern Munich for the opening 20 minutes. During this period there were unsurprisng signs of rust in the centre-back. Teammate Dante bailed him out on occasions early on.

From the midpoint of the first half Bayern Munich began to take control of the game and the goal always looked like it was coming.

Ricardo Rodriguez wasn’t marking Arjen Robben this time as the Dutch winger dribbled down the right-hand side of the box before cutting the ball across to give Thomas Müller an easy tap-in for a 37th minute lead.

That would remain the score at half-time before Pep Guardiola’s side came charging out in the second half. Arjen Robben played a one-two with Robert Lewandowski before entering the penalty area, able to cut back and place his effort into the bottom corner, unchallenged.

Wolfsburg did cause a surprise when a quick throw caught out Holger Badstuber. Ivica Olić collected the ball going across goal and curled it in off the underside of the crossbar from 18 yards going across Neuer’s goal.

Robert Lewandowski missed a one-on-one 10 minutes into the second half. The big name free transfer signing from Borussia Dortmund this summer was kept quiet in the German Super Cup last week. His effort was straight at the onrushing Max Grün between the sticks for the visitors.

By this point Bayern Munich had seemingly switched off looking to stroll through the remainder of the game. It took a while before the visitors were able to force a meaningful save out of Manuel Neuer.

Kevin De Bruyne looked like he may get a one-on-one opportunity with Manuel Neuer just after the hour mark but the former-Chelsea midfielder was outmuscled by Juan Bernat and taken off the ball.

Neuer was called into action in the 80th mintue when Maximilian Arnold’s low cross from the left wing found fellow substitute Junior Malanda. The Belgian’s effort into the legs of Neuer bounced up onto the underside of the crossbar. The ball came down to the striker a yard out but he managed to shin it wide. Expect replays of that miss on your blooper videos this Christmas.

Sebastian Rode replaced a quiet Lewandowski in the second half. The summer signing thought he’d scored in the final minutes when his effort from 20 yards nestled in the bottom corner. After referee Felix Zwayer had a word with his assistant who deemed Thomas Müller to be offside with Rode’s effort going through the German international’s legs.

In the final minute, Robben fired a one-on-one onto the top of the crossbar.

The scoreline would have been a lot more but for a number of smart stops from Werder Bremen goalkeeper Max Grün who had a busy evening at the Allianz Arena.

VfL Wolfsburg are meant to be building for a title challenge in the coming years, so say some journalists. On this evidence they are some way short. Or perhaps it’s because Borussia Dortmund are the only team capable of giving the back-to-back German champions a game… for more than 20 minutes at least.

Tomorrow and Sunday sees the remaining 16 teams start their 2014-15 Bundesliga campaigns.

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Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Bayern Munich: Guardiola beaten in Supercup again

Written by: Published: 13 August 2014.

Borussia Dortmund won the German Supercup for a second consecutive season with a 2-0 win against German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich at a sold out 80,000 Signal Iduna Park.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan opened the scoring midway through the first-half before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled Dortmund’s lead just after the hour mark.

12 months ago Pep Guardiola took charge of his first competitive game as Bayern Munich head coach. His weakened side were beaten 4-2 that day but things didn’t turn out too bad for the Spaniard afterwards.

Both sides made a number of changes for this evening’s game from what is expected to be their first-teams this season but it was Jürgen Klopp’s side were superior throughout.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben were all absent, whilst Dante, Philipp Lahm and Mario Götze all started from the bench for last season’s double winners.

Robert Lewandowski make his Bayern Munich debut against his former club but was kept silent by Sokratis Papastathopoulos all game. He was whistled and booed when in possession, although not as loud as Mario Götze last season.

Bayern Munich didn’t look up to the pace of the game from early on. Just after the quarter hour mark, Manuel Neuer had to scramble to clear a poor backpass from Javi Martínez. Moments later the German number one was called into action to deny Oliver Kirch’s drive.

Debutant centre-back Matthias Ginter forced a diving save from Neuer a few minutes later with a downward header from Jonas Hofman’s corner.

Borussia Dortmund broke through on 23 minutes when Henrikh Mkhitaryan drove at the defence, easily drifting past youngster Gianluca Gaudino before his attempted pass to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyan took a fortunate ricochet into the Armenian’s path inside the penalty area before thumping home. There was a poor attempt of a challenge on from David Alaba.

The Black and Yellows were well on top at this point. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang forced a diving save from Neuer shortly after taking the lead.

Javi Martínez, playing centre-back saw his game cut short before the half-hour mark as he went down in pain following an attempted acrobatic shot with his leg catching the arm of Marcel Schmeltzer on the follow-through.

Dante made his replacement with notably no taunting from the Borussia Dortmund crowd following Brazil’s 7-1 hammering at the hands of Germany in the summer. Martínez was stretched off, grimacing after the medical team worked on his knee.

Manuel Neuer was called into action again before half-time. First denying a near-post effort from Jonas Hofman and then getting behind Sebastian Kehl’s effort from outside the area.

Philipp Lahm replaced Thomas Müller at half-time. The German forward barely had a touch of the ball in the first half. The German defender looked short of the pace in the second half, also collecting a yellow card.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it 2-0 with a seven-yard header following a great cross from the touchline by right-back Łukasz Piszczek. The Gabonese international was substituted before the restart with summer signing Adrián Ramos on for his debut.

Mkhitaryan and Ciro Immobile had opportunities afterwards to add to the score but two goals were enough for Borussia Dortmund to lift the German Supercup for a second consecutive year.

The scoreline did not flatter Jürgen Klopp’s side who were impressive.  Bayern Munich themselves were very poor but you can certainly expect them to get better when the 2014-15 German Bundesilga season kicks off at the Allianz Arena on Friday 22 August.

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