On Sunday, the Bayern reserves play their fourth league match of 2012, this time at home against the FSV Frankfurt reserves. A win is expected to make two amends.
Two weeks ago, the boys faced the Freiburg reserves and beat them 3-0. Cüneyt Köz, Toni Vastic and (who else but) Timothy van der Meulen scored a goal each while two of Freiburg’s players (Albutat and Endres if that helps) were sent off. Takashi Usami started, Boy Deul finally returned from a long-term injury and the 18-year-old right-back Vladimir Rankovic played his first ever match for the reserves and did an absolutely solid job.
A week later, they travelled to Alzenau for what seemed to be an easy match against the last-placed ‘fake Bayern’. But as we all know, young players are fickle so the Saturday afternoon was a huge disappointment (the first team realized that they have to make up for it and beat Hertha 6-0 a couple of hours later). Max Dombrowka, Antonio Pangallo, Daniel Steimel and Koray Altinay replaced Vladimir Rankovic, Emre Can, Niklas Horn and Takashi Usami. A massive struggle was epitomized by a Dirk Berresheim goal late in the first half to give Alzenau the lead. Almost immediately after the second half had begun, Timothy van der Meulen (again, who else…) scored the equalizer, unfortunately the last goal of the match. A disappointing draw without coach Jonker who had to stay at home with the flu.
So now it’s time to meet the second-worst (based purely on the standings) team in the league, the FSV Frankfurt reserves. It is time to compensate not only for last week’s disappointment but also the humiliation of the first leg when Bayern lost 0-5 in Frankfurt, the biggest defeat of the season so far (and it hopefully stays that way). Back then, Markus Hofmeier and Marc Gallego each scored a brace, Steven Kröner scored the fifth. The aforementioned Gallego and Hofmeier are also the team’s top scorers with six and five goals respectively. Despite, maybe even because of that result, this is a must-win for the hosts. Frankfurt have lost nine of their last ten league matches and are safely cruising to the bottom of the table.
Our beloved FCB on the other hand need results to keep up with the mid-table group (Karlsruhe, Kassel, Nürnberg, Mannheim) and to stay away from the imaginary relegation zone and, even more importantly, from the evil arch nemesis 1860 that’s only three points behind.
Lineup-wise, a prediction is almost impossible. Takashi Usami might or might not be a part of the squad (if he is, I expect him to start), players like Deul and Jennings should be fit enough to play 90 minutes. The only guys who I can almost safely say will be a part of the starting lineup are keeper Maximilian Riedmüller, the center backs Cüneyt Köz and Timothy van der Meulen and forward Toni Vastic. Following the horrible result in Alzenau, I predict that Jonker returns to the core of the lineup against Freiburg with Dombrowka instead of the young Rankovic as right-back and Dale Jennings replacing Niklas Horn as wide midfielder, looking like the following:
Dombrowka – Köz – van der Meulen – Vrzogic
Can – Dreier
Usami – Strieder – Jennings
Altindag – Gallego
Oesterhelweg – Kröner – Hofmeier
Krstic – Gröger – Henneböle – Hickl
The opponents will probably use a 4-1-3-2 again, not knowing a thing about potential injuries and the goalkeeper situation (Pellowski replaced the usual number one Kleinheider last week, maybe a change, maybe an injury), it’s definitely the safest bet to predict the lineup that already started in the last matches.
The match begins at 2 pm local time (90 minutes earlier than the usual Bundesliga kickoff) this Sunday.