It's 7:30 AM Frankfurt time, so we'll go ahead and throw up the match day post. As we've already determined, Bayern absolutely needs all 3 points from this one. Given Frankfurt's injury problems and unimpressive recent form, Bayern sits at -195 favorites to win, if you're a gambling man (or woman).
You can take the draw for +300, by the way - not a bad bet, although the result would be disastrous if you're a Bayern fan.
Goal.com has an article highlighting some of Jonker's pre-match statements, in which he gives credit to Frankfurt and says he expects a tough match: “There will definitely be no complacency and we won't underestimate them in the slightest. We're taking Frankfurt very seriously." Daniel van Buyten agrees: "It is never easy in Frankfurt. It is a big stadium with a great atmosphere and Frankfurt need points to avoid relegation. But it is also an important game for us. We want to take the next step and secure third place."
So, at least we aren't going into the game with an unnecessary overconfidence. Frankfurt would probably be happy with a draw, and they defend pretty well, so it's going to be up to our side to create chances and continually push the ball forward. With Robben out, Muller and Gomez will be especially key - if they can create space in the attacking zone, we should have opportunities. At that point, it's all about cashing them in. Also, reader "Robbery" points out that Pranjic is sidelined by injury, so it will probably be Contento at LB.
ESPN 3 has moved two BL games into their Saturday line-up, but the Bayern game didn't make the cut. Annoying, but at least Gol TV is covering it.
-- UPDATE --
Well, that as some ugly stuff. Gomez's penalty equalizer allowed us to pick up a point, but we're still down 1 point to hannover ... meaning, as feared, we have to hope they drop points (in addition to winning every game). Some points of note:
- I actually thought the penalty given was a little soft. But, Frankfurt had a handball that would have given us a great advantage a few minutes earlier that wasn't called, so they can't have anything to complain about.
- Frankfurt plays kind of dirty and went into "eat the clock" mode late in the game. No fun to watch, but I guess I can't say I blame them.
- We have no one to create offense when Robben is out. Gomez is great at punching in goals when the ball falls to his feet, but he can't create chances on his own. Klose is similarly a good finished, but that deep-lying "second striker" role doesn't suit him. We need someone who can beat defenders and carve out space from either the wing or CM position - if Robben can't go, we're reduced to just smashing the ball towards the goal.
- I have to admit, Frankfurt's goalie Farhmann played really well. He made at least 3 good saves to preserve the point for them.
Well be back with a full recap later. For now, looks like it's back to "let's hope Hannover loses" mode. Dammit.