Only a very short preview this time but that doesn’t mean the match itself isn’t important: Over the years, this match has become a derby (I’m gonna avoid saying that Nürnberg is a Bavarian city, though). As if that wasn’t enough, one team fights for Champions League qualification while the other fights for Europa League qualification.
Nürnberg’s season has been a success. Coached by Dieter Hecking, it’s especially the young players who’ve done a great job. Ilkay Gündogan and the loaned Julian Schieber (Stuttgart) and Mehmet Ekici (Bayern), backed up by veterans such as Timmy Simons, surprised the league but for a long time went unnoticed overshadowed by Mainz and Hannover. They’re still hoping to qualify for the Europa League, something they already accomplished in 06/07 when they won the DFB Cup. The bad news: The following season, overwhelmed by playing against teams like Benfica, they got relegated.
For Bayern, it’s the same old story: Win. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just win. All players (except Ivica Olic who won’t return until next season UPDATE: and of course Daniel van Buyten who might return for the next match) are available, I don’t expect Louis van Gaal to change the lineup, although to be honest I’d prefer Anatoliy Tymoshchuk over Toni Kroos. Not only were Kroos’ recent performances all disappointing, I think a strong defensive midfielder like Tymoshchuk would be needed against the likes of Ekici and Gündogan. For the hosts, the aforementioned Gündogan and Schieber were injured but are back just in time for the match and are both most likely gonna start. While a crazy formation is always possible when a team plays against Bayern, I’m quite sure that Hecking will go for the 4-1-4-1 with Julian Schieber being the lone striker.
One last thing: If it turns out to be a shitty day for Nürnberg keeper Raphael Schäfer, he should be prepared.