It’s back. The Bundesliga returns and the first match of the year 2012 is none other than Borussia Mönchengladbach against Bayern. Most are fit, one isn’t allowed to play, the lineup was revealed weeks ago.
A good start would be important for Bayern. Doubts, a lack of confidence – those things won’t improve chances for success so let’s avoid them from the beginning. Gladbach isn’t exactly the best opponent for that, though. The team coached by Lucien Favre plays a solid defensive game with lightning-quick attacks. They used the winter break to sign two central midfielders, Tolga Cigerci and Alexander Ring, but neither of them will start on Friday. Marco Reus and Roman Neustädter already announced that they’re gonna leave the club after the season and there’s possibly more to come, depending on the result (qualifying for the CL would surely be a great reason to stay), because Juan Arango hasn’t extended his contract yet and Dante (who will miss this match due to suspension) doesn’t exactly sound like a man who plans to spend the rest of his career in Mönchengladbach.
Breno and Diego Contento aren’t fit enough to play. Not that this would’ve happened, anyway. Bastian Schweinsteiger finally returns, Arjen Robben is healthy, just like Franck Ribery but the Frenchman won’t play (remember the match against Köln?). To sum up: Breno, Contento and Ribery no, all others yes.
Bayern’s starting lineup is no secret, Heynckes used the winter break to test it. Don’t expect any surprises. It’s the same with Gladbach, Favre found his regular lineup months ago and will only have to replace Dante. So, without further ado, here are the (not yet confirmed) lineups:
Boateng – van Buyten – Badstuber – Lahm
Tymoshchuk – Schweinsteiger
Robben – Müller – Kroos
Arango – Nordtveit – Neustädter – Herrmann
Daems -Brouwers – Stranzl – Jantschke
Bayern’s offensive style will be a very lopsided one, Schweinsteiger and Kroos will dominate possession and look for perfect opportunities to pass the ball to Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben or Mario Gomez. In order to create at least some balance, it would be important that Jerome Boateng moves forward a bit. Would I prefer Rafinha instead of van Buyten? Yes, Gladbach is a fast team, I’m not sure if there’s too much the Belgian can do against that. Does my opinion matter? No. So let’s hope that it works anyway, three points are needed. Because 2012 is supposed to be a good year.