Manuel Veth –
Bayern Munich vs Werder – Saturday, December 14, 14:30GMT/15:30CET – Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Where do Bayern Munich stand? That will be the big question for many supporters of the Rekordmeister. The two defeats in the league against Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach have seen the club drop to seventh in the Bundesliga standings.
It is Bayern’s worst standing at this point of the season since the 1994/95 season under Giovanni Trapattoni. But against both Leverkusen and Gladbach, Bayern played well. “Bayern are still Bayern, you should have seen them play against us,” Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky to the Futbolgrad Network on Thursday. “I have no doubt that they are still part of the title race.”
On Wednesday head coach Hansi Flick fielded a relatively strong side against Tottenham. The objective was clear to stop the rot and collect all three points against the North Londoners. That objective was easily fulfilled as Bayern as they became the first German team to win six out of six group stage games in the Champions League.
It would be a mistake, however, to take the win against Tottenham as a benchmark. Spurs fielded a largely weakened side as José Mourinho used the occasion in Munich to test the depth of his squad. “I am still collecting data on the team,” Mourinho said after the game.
Flick will both hope for new data and three points against Werder. The interims manager has three Bundesliga games ahead of the winter break to convince his bosses that he is more than a short-term solution.
The Bayern head coach is not the only one under pressure. At Werder Bremen, Florian Kohfeldt has been under fire. Highly praised ahead of the season, Bremen’s start has been disastrous. With just 14 points from the first 14 games, Bremen are now just two points clear of the dropzone.
One of the biggest problems has been Werder’s inability to see out games. Werder have dropped points six times after taking the lead this season, more often than any other club in the league.
“There is no doubt, the team has to deliver” sporting director Oliver Baumann said in a recent interview with kicker. “Our goal is now to go into the winter break with 20 points, even if it won’t be easy against Bayern, Mainz, and Köln.” Six points out of three games then, a smart calculation as it would exclude the Bayern game where Werder will be unlikely to collect anything at all.
Bayern Munich vs Werder – Players to look out for:
Philippe Coutinho #10 – Bayern Munich
Philippe Coutinho made the most of his opportunity against Tottenham. During the first half, Coutinho somewhat appeared like a foreign object. His passes and ideas were fantastic but Coutinho’s teammates seem to struggle to comprehend all of his ideas. Then during the second half, the chemistry improved and Coutinho would end up scoring a wonderful goal. With Kingsley Coman out it can be expected that he will once again get the start on Saturday, yet another opportunity to show his worth to Bayern.
Davy Klaassen #30 – Werder Bremen
Davy Klaassen has been Werder’s hardest worker in recent weeks. The midfielder has run the second-most kilometres in the Bundesliga this season. Identified as a leader in the dressing room after Max Kruse left the club, the Dutchman, however, also had some problems this season and has missed a key penalty against Gladbach and an easy goalscoring chance against Paderborn. Werder, however, are somewhat dependent on Klaassen playing at his best if they want to get out of the relegation zone this season.
Bayern Munich vs Werder – Match Stats
- Werder only failed to score once in the last 25 away games, against Bayern Munich on matchday 30 of the 2018/19 season.
- The two players that have run the most in the Bundesliga will face each other, Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich has run 170km and Werder’s Davy Klaassen 166km.
- Bayern Munich’s home record against Werder Bremen: W35 D11 L7
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Bayern Munich vs Werder – 2-0
Bayern Munich vs Werder – Lineups
Neuer – Kimmich, Pavard, Alaba, Davies – Goretzka, Thiago, Müller – Coutinho, Lewandowski, Gnabry
Head Coach: Hansi Flick
Pavlenka – Veljković, Sahin, Moisander – Gebre Selassie, Bargfrede, Augustinsson – M. Eggestein, Klaassen – Osaka, Rashica
Head Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds 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 is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.