Defending champions Bayern München host Schalke at the Allianz Arena after the embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Wolfsburg on the start of the second half of the Bundesliga 2014/15 season with hopes of bouncing back and returning to the usual form.
The Bavarians have not tasted defeat in 17 Bundesliga matches this season before Wolfsburg recorded the first Bayern loss in the league, while conceding 4 goals against the Wolves, that’s as many as they conceded throughout the entire first half of the Bundesliga season.
The loss was a wake up call and a sign for the team to work on some defensive weaknesses, as well as to work harder to not fall in the same trap again in the future and specially in Champions League. Bayern’s coach Pep Guardiola, along with many players in the team such as Boateng, Neuer, and Schweinsteiger unanimously agreed that a performance as the one against Wolfsburg shall not repeat again.
With that said, the team will be expected to put out a better display at home when they host Schalke on Tuesday night. Some spectators predict a huge reaction from the coach and the players in the game against The Royal Blues.
The hosts enter the game with the same squad that was featured in the last game, with absences from the injured tally of captain Philipp Lahm, Brazilian right back Rafinha, midfielders Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez, and winger Franck Ribery who are all sidelined because of injury. It is uncertain wether Pep will bring David Alaba back to the left back position and give Juan Bernat the duties of running the left flank, but many Bayern fans think Alaba is much better as a left back than a central midfielder.
On the other hand, visitors Schalke will have to do without Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar who received a 6-match ban after picking up a red card in Schalke’s last match against Hannover 96 following a very dangerous unnecessary tackle from behind against Manuel Schmiedebach. Robert Di Matteo enters the game without the injured Kaan Ayhan, Sead Kolasinac, Dennis Aogo, Marco Höger, Leon Goretzka, Julian Draxler, Jefferson Farfan, and Chinedu Obasi. While goalkeeper Fabian Giefer will be expected to start, and new signing Matija Nastasic available to play arriving from Man City during the winter transfers. Schalke 04 sit 4th in the table with 30 points, and any points lost against Bayern will make them lose their Champions League qualification spot.
The last time Schalke managed to beat Bayern in Bundesliga was back in late 2010, in the last 10 league matches Bayern won 8 of the encounters, drawn in 1, and lost only one; with a total of 24 goals scored against S04 while conceding only 6 goals. However, the last match between the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw in matchday 2 of the current ongoing season.
The Bavarian Northern Stars will enter this clash with their eyes on the full 3 points, to keep their 8 points lead over the Wolves, and keep a comfortable lead before the return of DFB Pokal and Champions League matches.
Neuer – Gaudino, Boateng, Dante, Bernat – Alonso, Schweinsteiger, Alaba, Robben, Müller – Lewandowski
Giefer – Uchina, Höwedes, Kirchhoff, Nastasic – Neustadter, Meyer, K.P Boateng, Fuchs – Sam, Choupo-Moting