Thursday, October 30, 2014


Mario Götze (l.) will be meeting his former side Dortmund when Bayern play hosts to the Westphalians on Saturday
Cologne - The Bundesliga Preview Show is the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga's weekly TV programme, offering a global audience a unique perspective on Germany's top flight throughout the season. We have in-depth previews of the upcoming league action, exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes reports, the best goals from the latest league encounters and much more besides.
Coming up on this week's Bundesliga Preview Show...

Matchday Replay

It may not have been flagged up as the match of the day, but VfB Stuttgart's road trip to Eintracht Frankfurt turned out to be one to remember, not least for visiting coach Armin Veh against his former charges. The Preview Show kicks off with its pithy overview of some of the top Matchday 9 stories.


His exemplary leadership of the Borussia Dortmund line over the past few seasons made Robert Lewandowski one of world football's most coveted strikers. FC Bayern München won the race for his services and, having departed Borussia on a personal high with his first Bundesliga top scorer's cannon in the bag, the Poland international is now duty-bound to put one over on his old teammates for his new employers when the domestic arch-rivals go head-to-head at the Allianz Arena on Saturday evening. With four goals and two assists to his name already in the current campaign, Lewandowski has clearly wasted little time settling in to his new environs with the record champions in the Bavarian capital.

Top Game

Mario Götze and Marco Reus are also gearing up for a potential starring role, at opposite ends of the pitch, in Saturday evening's big game in Munich. In his second season at Bayern, Götze, Germany's World Cup final match-winner in Brazil, is unequivocally delivering on the promise that made him one of the game's absolute standout talents, and has long since graduated from the 'emerging player' category. Currently sitting joint top of the scoring chart on six goals, the 22-year-old all-round attacker will be putting his close friendship with former colleague Marco Reus on hold as the latter, every bit as versatile in the forward department, attempts to help Dortmund turn around a worrying domestic form slump that has left them winless in six games, five defeats included.


Another three points, another clean sheet: 1899 Hoffenheim's single-goal success at home to top-flight newbies SC Paderborn, besides providing further evidence of their new-found defensive solidity, extended an unbeaten season start which leaves Markus Gisdol's troops fourth in the table, one of a trio of clubs four points behind pace-setters FC Bayern. Mönchengladbach, as mentioned, are another of those, and when the two sides go head-to-head this weekend, Tarik Elyounoussi is odds-on to be occupying a key role from the off for the visitors. In his second Bundesliga season, the 26-year-old Morocco-born Norway international is coming into his own as a further creative linchpin alongside Roberto Firmino and has already chipped in with four goals as well for good measure. 

In Focus

Hakan Calhanoglu demonstrated once again at the weekend just what it was that convinced Bayer 04 Leverkusen to dig deep into the coffers to prise him away from Hamburger SV over the close season. A trademark free-kick from the 20-year-old Mannheim-born Turkey international got Leverkusen back to winning ways on Matchday 9, inflicting a first taste of defeat on FC Schalke 04 under new coach Roberto Di Matteo. Next up for the Bayer playmaker is a trip to the familiar surroundings of the Imtech Arena for a meeting with his former side, themselves still struggling near the bottom of the standings after their promising recovery under Joseph Zinnbauer was at least temporarily spoked by a 3-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin. Sympathetic as he is to the plight of the club where he rose so spectacularly to Bundesliga prominence last season, Calhanoglu will be doing everything in his power to add to his own tally of two goals and two assists this season for the Bayer cause.

Dortmund not scared of Bayern - Hummels

The Germany international is eagerly anticipating this weekend's clash against the Bundesliga champions and was pleased with the cup win over St. Pauli
Mats Hummels believes Saturday's game against Bayern Munich is the perfect opportunity for Borussia Dortmund to gain confidence and get back on track after a difficult start to the 2014-15 campaign.
Jurgen Klopp's men sit a disappointing 15th in the Bundesliga table  with just seven points from nine games, but Hummels does not fear this weekend's clash with the reigning champions.
"We have a great game on Saturday. It’s a great challenge, but if there’s one game to gain confidence, it’s the one against Bayern," Hummels told the official Dortmund website.
Dortmund beat St Pauli 3-0 on Tuesday evening in the DFB Pokal and Hummels was pleased with BVB's performance.
"We’ve never had to go through anything like this, it dents your confidence. But we’ve taken a great step forward against St. Pauli.
"The second half wasn’t as good as the first one, but it was important to progress. All in all [it was] a commanding performance from us.


Lewandowski: Dortmund are still a dangerous opponent for Bayern

BVB are currently languishing down in 15th place in the German top flight but their former forward says Jurgen Klopp's men are capable of beating anyone on their day
Robert Lewandowski has warned his Bayern Munich team-mates not to underestimate Borussia Dortmundahead of Saturday's Bundesliga showdown at the Allianz Arena - despite his old club's disastrous start to the new season.
BVB finished as runners-up last term but they have lost six of their opening nine games of the 2014-15 campaign, leaving them languishing in 15th place in the standings, just above the relegation zone.
However, Lewandowski, who left Dortmund for Bayern on a free transfer during the summer, is quick to point out that Jurgen Klopp's side have been hit hard by injuries and thus believes that they cannot be written off ahead of this weekend's game in Bavaria.
"This is an important game: Dortmund are always dangerous," the striker told Sport Bild. "They can beat anyone in a one-off game.
"They have so many players injured and they have the whole season to turn things around.
"It has all gone wrong at the start but Dortmund are always difficult to play against.
"They still have great players, so the biggest mistake for us would be to underestimate them."
Lewandowksi also insisted that he does not derive any satisfaction from the fact that Dortmund are struggling so badly without him, revealing that he still looks out for their results every weekend.
"As soon as our games are finished, the first thing I want to know is how Dortmund have fared," the 26-year-old attacker confessed.
"It is not as if I am pleased by Dortmund defeats."
However, Lewandowski admitted that he is loving life in Bavaria, despite the fact that he is struggling to be as prolific as he was in Dortmund.
The Poland international, who has hit five goals in 12 appearances in all competitions, insists that he is feeling more and more settled with each passing game, thanks in no small part to former BVB team-mate Mario Gotze.
"I'm feeling much better in Munich now," he explained. "I guess you can say that I have arrived.
"But things will get even better. Mario and I already got along very well at Dortmund. Our rapport was good and in Bavaria it is getting better.
"Here, there is tremendous pressure before every game. And even after three or four goals, there is no let up. We always want to be at full throttle.
"We are never satisfied - even though many of our players have already won everything. This formula for success here is outstanding."
Bayern are undefeated going into this weekend's game against Dortmund and hold a four-point lead over Borussia Monchengladbach at the top of the Bundesliga.


European Match of the Weekend: Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund on Saturday with relations between the German heavyweights seemingly at an all-time low.
The atmosphere between the clubs soured since Bayern began snapping up Dortmund players two years ago, with Mario Goetze becoming the first of a successful Dortmund team to leave for their league rivals.
Long before striker Robert Lewandowski joined the Bavarians this season, a war of words erupted between club bosses.
With Dortmund winger Marco Reus triggering the interest of Bayern, and club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge saying this week they "might be potentially interested" in him, ties have never been so strained.
Club bosses will again skip the traditional pre-game lunch to avoid each other, while Dortmund sports director Michael Zorc rejected the latest Bayern advance for Reus as just another "distraction."
"We are not paying any attention to what comes out of Munich. It is repetitive after all," he said.
It is not the first time Bayern have made open advances for German international Reus but the timing is important as troubled Dortmund are under pressure to start delivering in the league.
They are in 15th place, a full 14 points behind Bayern, after losing six of their nine league games.
A 3-0 victory over St Pauli in the German Cup on Tuesday offered some respite for coach Juergen Klopp, with under-fire striker Ciro Immobile scoring once and setting up another.
Dortmund's defence also looked to be gradually find its stability with Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic resuming their central partnership and Sokratis Papastathopoulos effective in his new role as full back.
Fans are also fully behind the team with one woman making a public declaration of love during the post-game news conference on Tuesday.
"You led us to success and we will lead you through the crisis," she told a smiling and embarrassed-looking coach Klopp, before he stood up to hug her.
Klopp will need all the support he can get against Bayern, who are undefeated in the three competitions they are still in this season.
Dortmund beat them in the German Super Cup in August but that seems like a lifetime ago.
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Borussia Dortmund's Sebastian Kehl lifts the German SuperCup
Borussia Dortmund's Sebastian Kehl lifts the German SuperCup
Bayern have continued to improve over the past few months and are now four points clear at the top.
With Franck Ribery back to full fitness and fellow winger Arjen Robben, who sat out their 3-1 German Cup win over Hamburg SV on Wednesday, also expected to return to the starting lineup, Bayern are the odds-on favourites.
"When you look at the table then no," said Bayern midfielder Thomas Mueller when asked whether the teams had similar quality. "But they do if you look at the difficulty factor.
"Dortmund are always an uncomfortable opponent. Maybe it is even easier for them than when they face other teams because they know exactly what plan to follow against us.
"I don't expect we will be leading 5-0 at halftime. There have been a lot of tight games in the past years between but if we keep our cool and avoid their quick breaks then we will look good."
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Only two teams have won the Bundesliga title more than once over the past 21 seasons: Bayern (12) and Dortmund (5), who have won 17 of those 21 championships between them.
FC Bayern are without a Bundesliga home win against Dortmund in their last four attempts (D1 L3).
The last time Dortmund were as low in the table (currently 15th) going into a meeting with Bayern was in November 1987 - they were 16th back then. BVB beat the second-placed FCB 3-1 away from home.
Dortmund have just seven points on the board after nine games, their worst record in 29 years. BVB have only been worse off twice before, in 1984/85 and 1985/86 (6 points each time when converted to the 3-points-per-win system).
FC Bayern are unbeaten in their last 13 Bundesliga games (W10 D3), the longest run of its kind in the top flight at present. Their last league defeat was a 3-0 loss to Dortmund on matchday 30 last season.
BVB have lost each of their last four matches, something that last happened in the league in March/April 2000 (a run of 6 straight defeats).
Dortmund have collected more points from their three Champions League games (9) than they have from their nine Bundesliga fixtures (7).
No side has suffered as many defeats as BVB this season (6). No team has recorded as many wins as FCB (6).
Bayern are the only side yet to concede a first-half goal in the Bundesliga this season. Including the last campaign, FCB haven't let in a goal before the break in any of their last 11 top-flight matches.

Robert Lewandowski played for BVB between 2010 and 2014 and netted 103 times for Borussia in 187 competitive matches. Mario Goetze wore Dortmund colours between 2001 and 2013 and made 83 Bundesliga appearances for BVB (22 goals).

Does Wayne Rooney deserve to replace Juan Mata in Manchester derby?

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney returns for the Red Devils' clash against Manchester City at the weekend and it’s very likely that he will walk straight back into the starting XI.
The 29 year-old was given the captain's armband by Louis Van Gaal at the beginning of the season and with his comments stating the captain has “privileges”, Rooney is expected to partner Robin van Persie in attack.
In 2012/2013, the pair enjoyed a successful season together and they helped United land their 20th league title. Sir Alex Ferguson then retired and despite a frustrating last 12 months, Van Gaal is trying to get the pair back firing with Colombian Radamel Falcao also alongside them.
Rooney’s return was never in question with the Manchester derby one of the biggest games on the calendar. But should he just walk back into the side when United just drew 1-1 with Chelsea?
His three-match ban picked up against West Ham United has only just ended due to the international break, but since then United have gone three games unbeaten. They’ve defeatedEverton 2-1 while drawing with West Bromwich Albion 2-2 prior to Sunday’s draw with Chelsea.
Goals have been scored but the side are still conceding which is a worry, with City possessing the threat of Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
Rooney’s last two games saw him play Leicester City and West Ham and during both games he looked threatening with his goals and assists helping United to five goals.
His all-round performance of tracking back and helping the defence is admired around Old Trafford and that will be the difference come Sunday, should he start.
Van Gaal has a decision to make, with Juan Mata also enjoying some game time in the number 10 role. The Spaniard has failed to prove himself with his performances leaving the Dutchman with no other alternative than to sub him midway through the second half but he could still start against City.
The former Chelsea midfielder signed for £37 million in January, but is still yet to shine under the lights at Old Trafford. His goals have all come against opposition in the bottom half of the table and that’s not enough for someone of his quality.
Rooney, 29, is proven in big games and his never say die attitude is what United need on Sunday as they aim to overturn back-to-back defeats against the Citizens.
With United likely to play 4-3-3, Marouane Fellaini will keep his place meaning United could line up like this on Sunday.
Mata is the man expected to be dropped and nobody will complain. Rooney is needed for his attacking impetus but also for his defensive work which will be essential on a big pitch.
The stats suggest Mata offers more in attack than the England captain. The Spaniard’s link-up play and pass success rate is better than Rooney’s but he doesn’t affect the game enough. Rooney has only managed a pass success rate of 84% this season but judging by his 10 years in the Premier League, the 29 year-old has never based his game on possession.
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Wayne Rooney v Juan Mata (Squawka)
Wayne Rooney v Juan Mata (Squawka)
Mata has created more chances this season with 1.57 per game to the Englishman’s 0.89 but Rooney has scored and assisted more which is the most important statistic for a player behind the striker.
What gets you noticed in attack is your ability to help the side win games, and Rooney does that on a consistent basis which is partly the reason he was awarded the armband.
Danny Welbeck was sold due to his goalscoring record being worse than Van Persie’s and Rooney’s and that is just another indication of the England striker’s importance.
United’s opposition are likely to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation and David Silva will be ordered to pull the strings with Samir Nasri likely to return. The Frenchman has recovered from a groin injury that kept him sidelined for a month and he may start, with his experience of playing in big games.
United are expected to play Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Daley Blind in midfield and the trio will need to work hard in containing Yaya Toure and Silva. Fellaini provides that physical presence United need while Herrera and Blind distribute the ball well.
One of City’s flaws this season is that they’re open to the counter attack. Van Gaal could install that tactic in the side with Chelsea and Tottenham enjoying some success in their games at the Etihad and Rooney would be ideal to that plan.
United have the pace with Di Maria and with Van Persie receiving a belated confidence boost, the Red Devils could be a real threat. Rooney’s scored many great goals in his career and if you look back to when he played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, United scored many trademark counter attacking goals.
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Rooney has a 50 per cent shot accuracy this season (Squawka)
Rooney has a 50 per cent shot accuracy this season (Squawka)
Yes, Rooney has lost half a yard of pace but his intelligence is still there and it’s the perfect time for the United captain to announce his return.

And with three points a must, the 29 year-old couldn't ask for a better game to fire the 20-time champions back into Champions League contention.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Liga - Mandzukic: Guardiola disrespected me

Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic has fired a broadside at Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola, accusing him of a lack of respect.

Liga - Mandzukic: Guardiola disrespected me
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Mandzukic and Guardiola

Despite being Bayern’s top scorer with 26 goals last season, the Croatian international was dropped from the team by Guardiola ahead of the German Cup Final and, in an interview with Sportske Novosti, he told of his exit from the Allianz Arena.
“Guardiola disappointed me because he didn’t treat me with respect and it was twice as good whenJupp Heynckes was there,” said the 28-year-old, who joined Atleti in the summer for an undisclosed fee.
“Would I sit down with Guardiola for a coffee? That is something that’s not going to happen.
“In my professional life I don’t have to like everyone but if I feel a negative energy coming from a person then I try to avoid them.
“I didn’t deserve to be treated like that after giving everything for Bayern for two seasons. I felt that things wouldchange for me just as he [Guardiola] arrived.

“I realised there was no future for me there so I resigned myself to leaving the club and had time to choose a new destination.”
“I struggled to adapt to him but in the end you need both parties to make a success of something.
Mandzukic is convinced the former Barcelona boss did not want him to finish as top scorer in Germany last term.
“Guardiola decided not to play me in the Cup Final because he didn’t want me to finish as leading goalscorer, so he did not let me play towards the end of the season.
“It wasn’t really important but it did show the lack of respect he had towards me.
“It would have made much more sense if he had told me I didn’t fit into his style of play,” he maintained.
Read the original article on Football Espana - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Spanish football
Source: Eurosport

Liga - Ancelotti: Blatter has lost plot with Ronaldo slur

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has accused FIFA President Sepp Blatter of being “unable to keep his mouth shut".

Liga - Ancelotti: Blatter has lost plot with Ronaldo slur
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Cristiano Ronaldo and Sepp Blatter (Reuters)

The Italian was responding to comments from Blatter that Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer should receive the Ballon d’Or award at the expense of Madrid strikerCristiano Ronaldo.
“It has surprised me what the FIFA President has said and it appears he is unable to keep his mouth shut,” Ancelotti told reporters.
“The Ballon d’Or is something that gets talked about months before yet this year there are not that many things to think about.
“Last year Cristiano had other players like Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery contesting it but this year, with the titles he has won and the goals he has scored, there’s no doubt he is going to win it.
“Therefore, Blatter’s words don’t make any sense.”
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Ronaldo stats from 2014
Ancelotti himself has been nominated for the Best Coach award and joked he would ‘no longer be in contention’ for it after his words about Blatter, although he is honoured to be have been selected.
“I am proud to be in this category and would like to win it, although I have already received the biggest prize when we claimed the Champions League.
“If I win another one I’ll have to expand my trophy cabinet,” he commented.
Read the original article on Football Espana - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Spanish football

Qatar 2022 World Cup should be held in spring, insists Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has urged FIFA to hold the the Qatar World Cup in April 2022.
FIFA is set to hold a Qatar 2022 task force in Zurich next week as it bids to find a resolution to hosting the tournament in a country which sees searing heat in the summer months.
The governing body and UEFA are pushing to hold the World Cup finals in the winter but the European Club Association (ECA), chaired by Rummenigge, will lobby for the tournament to run from late April until the end of May.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that the 2022 World Cup should be held in April, not January or November 
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that the 2022 World Cup should be held in April, not January or November 


ECA's plan: European club's should begin their season in July 2021 and run until the beginning of April 2022. World Cup could start three weeks later.
FIFA plan: World Cup should be played in November 2022.
UEFA plan: The World Cup should be played in either January 2022 or 2023.
Premier League plan: Changing the date should be a last resort, other options must be fully explored first. 
'At the moment, there are two proposals on the table: the FIFA proposal in November and the UEFA proposal in January,' Rummenigge told The Times.
'Our proposal is a bit different. We will publish that in the next few days.
'We have made some research... and the outcome of this research is that the best option would be to start the World Cup at the end of April, finishing in May.
'It's still hot, but it would be something like 35 degrees maximum. If you then play in the evening, let's say 7pm and 9.30pm, then 9.30pm (in Qatar) is 7.30pm in central Europe, 6.30pm in the UK.
'From all points of view that's no problem. We will bring this option to the table to discuss at the FIFA task force on November 3.'
Ever since Qatar were awarded the 2022 World Cup their has been considerable debate around its date
Ever since Qatar were awarded the 2022 World Cup their has been considerable debate around its date
Rummenigge recently met the Pope, who himself is a known football fan, on a trip to the Vatican
Rummenigge recently met the Pope, who himself is a known football fan, on a trip to the Vatican

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Source: Dailymail