Preview: FC Bayern vs. FC Augsburg

Alexander Hassenstein

With first place in the Champions League group stage secured, Bayern Munich will turn attention back to the domestic front: a pair of Bundesliga matches in the upcoming week, followed by a Pokal match next weekend. A Bavarian Derby is on tap in ...

Match Week 16 of the 2012-2013 Bundesliga season. Bayern sits atop the league table. But we also sat atop the league table at this point last season, and the end of the fall season combined with the start of the winter season took us out of that position in a hurry. The club will be guarding against a let-down against a weaker opponent.

The Line-Up

A run through the injury list: Robben's groin is OK, but now his back is a problem. He might be out until after the new year. Gustavo remains an absentee, and Holger Badstuber is out for the rest of the year. Daniel van Buyten appeared to pull up limping for a minute after a sliding tackle on Wednesday, but I can't find any indication he's been in the trainer's room, so let's assume he's OK.

Philipp Lahm had a bit of rest as Rafinha got the start on Wednesday, so I'll assume he's good to go. Here's my line-up prediction:

Gomez

Ribery - Mueller - Shaqiri

Tymoschuk - Martinez

Alaba - Dante - Boateng - Lahm

Starke

The GK spot is a wild guess. I just figure, it has to happen some time, so maybe it will be this weekend. As you can see, I expect a bit of rotation, but with many of the normal starters still involved. As always, if you think I got something wrong, let me know in the comment section.

The Opponent

It's time for a weighty confession (which I'm pretty sure most of you already know): I actually thought these guys were going to be good. At the beginning of every season, I predict a "big climber" - a team that I expect to ... not necessarily challenge for silverware, but to at least outperform expectations and maybe improve on their finish. And this year, I picked Augsburg, who now sit in a tie for last place.

Now, to be fair, I did say when I selected them that I was trying to make it a bold, surprising pick. It would be no fun to pick a team who's already in the top 6 to make a "big climb" to the top 4. But make no mistake, I was totally wrong about these guys. They don't score much (their 11 goals-for are 2nd-worst in the league), their midfield can't win balls and can't maintain possession (they routinely control less than 45 percent of the ball, even at home and even against non-elite teams), and they never seem to come up with clutch plays when they really need them. Big forward Sascha Mölders has been injured, and indeed in 5 matches since his return, he's had 3 goals and the Auggies have picked up a few draws. But that's not really an excuse; these guys don't have a lot of speed, don't have much depth, and will struggle to even stay in the race for survival.

In response to their ongoing decrepitude, we proposed the nickname "The Clowns of the League." Having heard no objection, let it hereby be considered adopted.

Elsewhere in the Competition

Today, Hoffenheim (with Markus Babbel recently dismissed) went down to defeat at Hamburg. HSV is now level in 5th place (though with one more match played then everyone else), while Hoffenheim is in deep trouble - despite a game in hand, they're mired in the playoff spot, with a visit from BVB their only chance to earn points before the break.

Tomorrow, in addition to FC Bayern, Dortmund is also in action, as they host VfL Wolfsburg. The Wolves are barely any better than any of these other bums we've been talking about: they're stuck in 15th and have a -9 goal differential. Remember when VfL had Grafite and Dzeko, and it seemed like they might be one of the clubs that could challenge Bayern's reign? Now they might be fighting the drop.

Meanwhile, Eintracht and Schalke, both of whom surged early and have fallen back recently, are also in action tomorrow. They play Bremen and VfB Stuttgart, respectively.

Final Notes

- We're at 9:30 AM my time, 3:30 PM local. Sorry about the late preview, busy week for me. I should have the Match Day Thread up early.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Bavarian Football Works

You must be a member of Bavarian Football Works to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bavarian Football Works. You should read them.

Join Bavarian Football Works

You must be a member of Bavarian Football Works to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bavarian Football Works. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker