Bayern Blunders despite Robben's Return

FCB host 1.FC Kaiserslautern today at Allianz Arena

Munich, January 21 - Bayern Munich breathed a sigh of relief when Franck Ribéry's injury was not as serious as initially feared. The original diagnosis was for the French diva to miss the next 5-6 weeks of the champions' campaign.  The winger is out of Saturday's clash with Kaiserslautern but should be back in training next week. Bayern will be looking to avenge a 2-0 loss in their opening away fixture at the Betzenberg.

All the talk in the winter break was of Arjen Robben's return to the ranks to provide sadly lacking inspiration to the misfiring Bavarians. 'The Flying Dutchman' replaced Ribéry after just 20 minutes of the weekend draw at 2009 champions Wolfsburg - a result which surely extinguished any delusionary title aspirations.

The 1-1 stalemate in Northern Germany was fairly typical of the campaign so far. Bayern felt it was game they should have won comfortably after going ahead early with Thomas Müller charging down an errant goalkeeping clearance. Philipp Lahm had the chance to double the lead but could only hit the post with a penalty. The double-winners failed to finish their opponents off with the Wolves gradually gaining a foothold in the game. FCB's new Number 1, Thomas Kraft, saved a penalty before Steve McLaren's charges fired in a deserved equaliser with just minutes to play.

The Reds remain in 5th spot in the Bundesliga, a distant 16 points behind runaway leaders Borussia Dortmund. FCB possess the best home record in the league so you don't have to be a genius to spot their glaring weakness during this campaign - collecting just two away wins from 9 games with a paltry 10 points on their travels as opposed to champions-elect Dortmund's impressive tally of 27 points.

Bayern have suffered similar away-day let downs this season - playing well early in the piece but failing to push home their dominance with the vital three points. Games at Dortmund, Leverkusen, Moenchengladbach, Kaiserslautern and Schalke all fit this frustrating pattern.

This weekend's visitors Kaiserslautern sit currently in mid-table but would be wise to cast a keen eye on the lower regions of the table. Come the business end of the season there will be a mad scramble to avoid relegation. Top scorer Srdjan Lakic will miss the game through suspension. Any result other than a convincing home win for Bayern would be a surprise. Saturday could see a home debut for Brazilian Luiz Gustavo, a 15 million Euro recruit from Hoffenheim.

The teams that lie ahead of them in the Bundesliga - Hanover, Mainz and Leverkusen - can all easily be reeled in as Bayern play for second spot, barring a catastrophic Dortmund collapse. The prestigious 2012 Champions League final is to be staged in Munich. The Bavarians would be foolish to miss out on qualification to its own party at the Allianz Arena.

The countdown is now on to finally click ahead of their showdown with Inter Milan in the Champions League - five weeks and counting. Bayern's concentration will soon have to be upped a notch to ensure they present their A-Game on February 23. Since firing Rafa Benitez, the Nerazzuri have racked up five straight wins under new Brazilian coach Leonardo. A tough test awaits the Reds in a repeat of last year's final when Inter easily prevailed after a brace from Diego Milito.


Add comment
Name
Smile Sad Huh Laugh Mad Tongue Crying Grin Wink Scared Cool Blush Unsure Shocked Confused Thumbs up Thumb down
Comment

Manchester Utd Drops Out of Football's Top Three Richest Clubs

This chart shows football clubs' revenues by source 2012/13 (in million euros)
Manchester United's crumbling fortunes on the pitch are now being reflected in football's financial league.according to a report from Deloitte, as the...

Dominant Vettel takes down Canada GP

All smiles for Sebastian, who looks well on his way to another title. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Montreal has not been kind to Sebastian Vettel in the past. This time though, the German comfortably controlled the race from the front and banished...

Bayern's treble-winning coach Heynckes says goodbye

A sad farewell from Bayern but maybe not from football... At least, not just yet. Photo: Flickr
The world's media assembled in Munich on Tuesday lunchtime to discover the truth behind the much-speculated future of Bayern Munich's outgoing coach...

Champions League Final: The TME verdict

First Arsenal, then Juventus and then Barcelona. Now to see off Dortmund and make the year complete? Photo: Jonathan Harding
Ahead of the all-German UEFA Champions League final featuring FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, TME's sports writers give their predictions.

Mark...

Record-breaking Bayern Munich tune up for Champions League final

Thank you Jupp. Farewell but maybe not for long... Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bayern Munich warmed up for the forthcoming Champions League final with a breath-taking 4-3 win against Borussia Monchengladbach. An impressive...

Taxing times as Bayern board backs Hoeness

Sign here please Uli. Oh wait... Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Despite an on-going tax evasion investigation, under-fire Uli Hoeness is set to remain as president of the supervisory board of treble-seeking Bayern...

Guardiola's first day looms

There's a new face in town on Monday. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The off-season in football is quickly become a nonentity. The overhanging World Cup in Brazil has undoubtedly played a role in altering the fixture...

The weeks after and the time before

More celebrations to come next year? It's hard to think otherwise. Photo: Jonathan Harding
After weeks of rain, the sun has decided to arrive in southern Germany and with it a momentary pause before another chapter in the illustrious story...

Robben delivers late to make Bayern champions of Europe

It proved to be a red evening in London as Bayern went one better than last year. Graphic: Matt Hardy
Bayern Munich avenged last year's traumatic final defeat by beating a brave Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in Wembley thanks to a late Arjen Robben winner....

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund: Head to head

Will it be a red day or a yellow dawn? Photo: Daniel Richardson
Ahead of one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the decade, Jonathan Allott looks at the head-to-head battles for the UEFA Champions League...

Party time in Munich after routine win

The trophy is now back in their hands after a long two-year absence. Photo: Jonathan Allott
FC Bayern Munich completed their home fixtures for the season with a routine 3-0 win over FC Augsburg. The game itself was expectedly overshadowed by...

Domestic appetiser promises much for European main

Proved the hero on the day with a fantastic penalty save. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
In a tempestuous Bundesliga affair, Borussia Dortmund drew 1-1 with Bayern München in a result that leaves the Champions League final all the more of...

Advertise with The Munich Eye
Advertisements
Allianz - Munich financial services Web Site Optimisation