Werder Bremen vs Bayern München – Saturday 14:30 BST/15:30 CET Weserstadion – Bremen, Germany.
Bayern München’s President Uli Hoeneß was seemingly elated about Bayern’s performance on matchday 1 against Bayer Leverkusen. He has been particularly happy about the fact that Sebastian Rudy, Corentin Tolisso and Niklas Süle had a significant impact in their first game for Bayern. In fact, the performance of those three somewhat straightened out the perception that Bayern had not signed any big names during the transfer window and might not be robust enough to fight off challenges from other Bundesliga sides this season.
The truth, however, is somewhere in the middle. Bayern were certainly strong, and the individual performances by the new signings were outstanding and made the difference on that evening against Bayer. At the same time, one gets the sense that Bayern are no longer the cohesive unit of the Pep Guardiola years. Strength and power, as well as individual qualities, made the difference rather than tactical superiority.
That, of course, might change once the like of James Rodriguez and Thiago return from their respective injuries. But at the same time, there is a sense that Bayern lack a bit of philosophy under Carlo Ancelotti.
The lack of philosophy could of course, in theory, be good news for the Bundesliga. Indeed the season might be a bit tighter this year and Bayer, at least for a little while, was able to keep up with the Bavarian giants. Individual talent, however, still makes a difference and Bayern will now meet a team on Saturday that is somewhat short in that department.
Werder Bremen, in fact, had somewhat of a poor start to the season. Die Werderaner lost 1-0 to Hoffenheim on matchday 1—although the score line appears close Werder were weak. Alexander Nouri’s side, in fact, were lucky that the match did not end in a more decisive fashion for the achtzehn99.
Werder, however, had high hopes for the game against Hoffenheim given their rather difficult start to the season that sees them paired against Bayern this weekend and then Hertha as well as Schalke on matchday 3 and 4. A poor start to the season could herald a difficult time for head coach Alexander Nouri whose decisions to axe goalkeeper Alexander Wiedwald and several members of the coaching staff has not gone over well with all the Werder fateful.
Werder Bremen vs Bayern München – Players to look out for:
Max Kruse #10 – Werder Bremen
Max Kruse is Werder Bremen’s key player. The 29-year-old striker scored 15 goals and seven assists in 23 games for Werder Bremen last season. In April he was the most dangerous forward in European football showing that when on his game he can be one of the most dangerous players not just in the Bundesliga, but in Europe. There is, however, also a dark side to the striker. Escapades involving his obsession with playing poker and his preference for eating Nutella has slowed the striker down in the past. When on form, however, Kruse with his ability to sneak behind the back of slower defenders could hurt Bayern’s sometimes sluggish back line.
Niklas Süle #4 – Bayern München
Niklas Süle had a dream start to his Bayern München Bundesliga career. In the ninth minute of the Bundesliga opening game against Bayer Süle had recorded his first Bundesliga goal for Bayern. The 195cm tall defender rose higher than anyone else to meet a free kick cross from his former Hoffenheim teammate Sebastian Rudy to make it 1-0. Hoeneß would later single out Süle’s performance and state that his transfer had been almost somewhat forgotten by the spoiled Bayern fateful. Indeed Süle has made an impact much faster than anticipated with many experts believing that he would not start right away. But injuries to Jérôme Boateng and Javi Martínez have fast tracked his path to the starting eleven and with performances like the one against Bayer Süle will have a good chance to remain in the starting eleven for the foreseeable future.
Werder Bremen vs Bayern München – Match Stats
- Frank Ribéry and Thomas Müller have started 15-times against Werder and have never lost a game.
- Ribéry has won 12 games and Müller 13 games against Werder. No other players in the league have played this often against Bremen without ever losing a match.
- Bremen’s record against Bayern at home is W19 D14 L18.
- Bremen will become only the second club in history to play 900 games at home (W514 D213 L172)
Prediction: Werder Bremen vs Bayern München 0-3
Werder Bremen vs Bayern München – Possible Lineups
Pavlenka – Bauer, Sané, Veljković – Gebre Selassie, M. Eggestein, Augustinsson – Kainz, Delaney – Bartels, Kruse
Coach: Alexander Nouri
Neuer – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Tolisso, Rudy – Robben, Müller, Ribéry – Lewandowski
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.