Preview: It’s squeaky bum time for Bayern now. They enter the most important few weeks of their season. Next few weeks will decide if Bayern will bathe in glory or will end up as the bridesmaid. Bayern will host Augsburg on Saturday night, to continue their charge on the Bundesliga Title. Earlier in the season, Bayern looked comfortable favorites for the title while Dortmund was still coming to terms with the sales of their key players last season. Few could’ve imaged the come-back Dortmund staged and at one point were more than 6 points ahead of Bayern. Bavarian giants suffered a slump in form during the absence of Bastian, but have recovered from the winter blues well and find themselves only 3 points behind Dortmund.
The title decided very well could be next week when Bayern travel to Dortmund. Bayern have the added burden of a Champions League semi-final with a small team called Real Madrid. It’s a good thing that Bastian is back in the squad and some squad players have gotten a few games under their belts. Olic, in particular, would be very happy with his 2 well taken goals. The immediate issue is Augsburg, who themselves emulate Bayern’s free flowing football. They have put together a string of very respectable results and have been unbeaten since February. Bayern were slightly lucky to get 3 points in the return fixture earlier this year. Augsburg lie in 14th place, though, only 2 points separate them from the relegation candidate Cologne. Points are vital to both teams, with the draw suiting neither very much. Dortmund face a tricky trip to Wolfsburg at the same time as Bayern would entertain Augsburg.
Team News: Bayern’s squad is looking healthier by the day, with Bastian timely return, they don’t have any major concerns. Some squad players have shown improvement in recent weeks. With Gustavo’s suspension, we will definitely see some rotation. Mario Gomez might take his place as the sole striker in Olic’s expense. Ribery may be given a rest, while Muller should start.
Key Battle: Bastian or Kroos vs Koo.
Augsburg play a very similar style as Bayern’s, both team are heavily dependent on their central midfield’s quick movement and distribution. Koo being the visitor’s most influential player will come against the German powerhouse Bastian Schweinsteiger. In case he doesn’t get the nod to start, Kroos is equally capable of holding the fort together much like his compatriot. The South Korean only has 3 goals and 2 assists this season , but influences the game more than his stats suggest. He also possesses a killer long range shot and some fancy dribbling skills.
Stats Zone: (www.whoscored.com)
Prediction: Bayern are on a roll once more. They have won their last 8 consecutive games in all competitions. They have only failed to score against M’gladbach in the semi-final of Pokal during this period. Even though Augsburg themselves have put a decent string of results together, Bayern should have more than enough in their tank to overcome them at the Allianz Arena. With some squad rotation expected this may not be a walk in the park for Bavarians, a 2-0 score-line is a likely outcome.
- Bayern Munich have won their last 7 home matches in Bundesliga.
- Bayern Munich have scored at least 2 goals in their last 7 home matches in Bundesliga.
- Augsburg have been drawing at both half time and full time in 4 of their last 6 away matches in Bundesliga.
- Augsburg have failed to win their last 9 away matches in Bundesliga.
- Augsburg have scored at least 2 goals in 4 of their last 6 matches in Bundesliga.