Match Preview: Bundesliga, Fixture 13, Bayer Leverkusen vs FC Bayern Munich

Saturday, 20/11/2010, 18:30 (GMT+1)

Press conference (Thursday)

Opening statement Jupp Heynckes: “I generally look forward to every Bundesliga game, St.Pauli with the great stadium atmosphere was also a highlight for me.  On Saturday I hope that we will have similar atmosphere in the BayArena because the current Bundesliga champion will visit us.  Last year we played very well in Munich and could have won the match if the wrongly disallowed goal of Stefan Kiessling would have go down.  In our home game at the end of season we also showed a top performance.  My team has played a different kind of football this season, that is not less successful.  In the last 2 games we have returned to what we used to show last season.  That’s what makes me optimistic for the encounter against Bayern despite that our opponent will recover important players (Ribéry and Van Bommel).”

Question: Will Hyypiä and Derdiyok be available for Saturday? How have the internationals returned from their match?

Heynckes: Sami Hyypiä participated on Sunday for the first time in the team’s training session.  His work load was continuously increased.  It’s not an easy situation for him and me, the injury is only 4 weeks old, that’s a short recovery time.  However Sami Hyypiä is someone who overcomes pain and with 37 is still highly motivated.  That’s why he had such a great career.  He told me that he was feeling fine but I know that he has minor inconveniences.  I will decide on Saturday after our light training session in the morning.  At the moment it’s looking good that he can play from the beginning.  With Eren Derdiyok the situation is the same, he has good chances to be in the squad for this game.

Question: Looking at the table position and form of both teams, the chances to beat Bayern after 6 years are looking good, right?

Heynckes: Statistics are great for journalists but for me they are not important.  Last season we drew twice and in both games we were the better team.  In 2009 Bayer 04 won in the DFB-Pokal against Bayern and everything that happened before were other situations also with different coaches and players, that’s why I don’t take those statistics serious.  At St.Pauli we also broke the statistics by winning for the first time away.  Why did we win? Because we have a good team that plays an successful football.  On Saturday two great clubs will play against each other.  It will be not easy, but a win is always possible especially if you are in a great form and have the right motivation like us at the moment. 

Question: How do you see Bayer 04 in comparison to FC Bayern?  Where do you see the strengths of Leverkusen this season?

Heynckes: FC Bayern has over the years put together great squads but they have not always won the Bundesliga.  This just shows that being successful is not always a question of money and that other clubs are also doing great work.  This season we have improved as a team.  We play with a lot of passion and fight till the last seconds of a game.  We have added a lot of points this way.  With Rolfes we have gained a balance between defense and attack.  The players are also more confident about themselves. Our tactical understanding and automatism’s on the pitch have improved.  This does not happen from one day to the other, it’s a long process.  We are a true team and that’s very important to be successful.  We are all going in the same direction.

Jupp Heynckes on Arturo Vidal: “He has a long trip ahead of him and will return on Friday. But he is like a cat, he will find a way to make himself comfortable on the plane seat and cuddly sleep so he is rested for Saturday match.”


Sami Hyypiä should be ready for Saturday.  The Werkself is playing well and achieving great results, so there is really no need to change anything else.  But Heynckes is always good for a surprise, so maybe Gonzalo Castro could move in for Kadlec.  But Gonzalo played only 2 minutes at St.Pauli, so probabilities are very low of this happening against a strong opponent like FC Bayern.  Balitsch with his experience could be useful but Heynckes would have to take out Renato or Sam to bring him on, as Rolfes and Vidal are vital for the Werkself.

Bayern Munich is likely to start without Ribéry and Van Bommel, this is what Kicker predicts.  Breno will have to fill in for Demichelis who will be not available to Van Gaal. 

Between Ribéry and Van Bommel, the french player has the biggest possibilities to surprisingly end up in the starting line-up.  He already played 20 minutes against Nuremberg and gave an assist for the third goal.  If Ribéry plays from the beginning, Ottl is likely to fall out of the line-up.  Schweinsteiger would take his position and Kroos would move to the center to give Ribéry the left wing.

Tai_Leverkusen has put together a lot of information in the forum about this match.  Here a piece of information from that should give us confidence in a win:

Five reasons why Leverkusen should beat FC Bayern:

* Bayer are on a three-match winning run, which has taken them from fifth in the table up to second. The only other side to win their last three league matches are division pace-setters Borussia Dortmund.

* No other top-flight team are as dangerous from set-piece situations. Leverkusen have scored seven of their last eight goals from free-kicks, corners or penalties. In all, twelve of their goals so far have followed from a set piece.

* Effective substitutes: seven Bayer goals have been chalked up by players coming off the bench. That’s also a Bundesliga best, shared with Mainz 05.

* The current surge in form enjoyed by visitors Bayern does not yet extend to away games in the Bundesliga. The Munich team have not won any of their last three games on the road and taken three points on just one of their five league away-days so far this season.

* Renato Augusto is back. The Brazilian playmaker has been in fine form in the two appearances he has made since his return following injury. Against Kaiserslautern (3-1) he set one goal up, while against St. Pauli he bagged the winner himself.

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Last Bundesliga win vs Bayern: Season 2004/2005, 4-1 for Bayer 04
Goals: Berbatov (20 min.), Franca (52 min.), Franca (56 min.) and Berbatov (60 min.) – Ballack (84 min.)

Last win vs Bayern: DFB-Pokal, Season 2008/09, 4:2 for Bayer 04
Goals: Barnetta (54 min.), Vidal (61 min.), Helmes (70 min.) and Kiessling (90 min.) – Lucio (72 min.) and Klose (74 min.)

Fifa 11 Simulation 🙂

I believe both teams will have a lot of respect for each other.  It will be a close match in which the tactical focus could disappear if an early goal goes down for one of the teams.   

I don’t see us losing this match!

Should Castro play for Kadlec?  How do you expect the game to be played? Offensive right from the beginning (Kaiserslautern & St.Pauli) or patient type of football (Atletico & Aris away)?

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