The clubs are warming up at the Coface Arena, and the match kicks off in 20 minutes. It's being carried live on Gol! TV. Both Dortmund and Monchengladbach won their matches convincingly, and Werder Bremen is up by two goals, so the pressure is on Bayern - we need a win to move back to the top of the table. But, that makes watching the match more fun. No glory in winning meaningless games.
The line-ups are announced. For Bayern:
Lahm - Badstuber - DvB - Boateng
Alaba - Gustavo
Ribery - Kroos - Mueller
Fathi - Svensson - Bungert - Posspech
Soto - Baumgartlinger -Mueller - Caligiuri
Allagui - Ivanschitz
Note that ESPNs's Game Cast has Ivanschitz listed as an "F" although he usually plays a forward-leaning midfielder / CAM type. Allagui will probably be their foremost striker.
For us - no Robben and Rafinha, although both are on the bench. Probably just a rotational thing. Alaba gets another shot at the Bastian role, this time with Gustavo next to him. It will be interesting to see whether Kroos moves back into that spot if Robben comes off the bench.
Viva viva FC Bayern!
* * * *
3-2 is your final. Our offensive strategy of "draw fouls, then have our tallest defender score from set pieces" couldn't come through a third time. Some goal videos -
The first, to put Mainz up 1 to nil:
van Buyten's first - might get changed to an own-goal upon review, but still a nice leaning header:
This was the set-piece header that put Mainz up by 2 and virtually sealed the game:
I'll be back later with some detailed analysis. Immediate reactions:
- Alaba is a talented kid, and probably has a bright future. But for now, he just doesn't have what it takes to be our 6. We need to slide Kroos back, or figure out something else.
- Mueller needs to take about 3 inches off of each sleeve. He looks like a 10-year-old kid wearing his Dad's shirt.
- Did I hear that Robben was asked to come in, and waved it off? I must have misunderstood that, right?
Back with more later, maybe some freeze-frame photo analysis. Any interest in that?