The sun has risen over the Allianz Arena, so we'll go ahead and throw up our match day thread. Despite their earlier promises, no word has leaked out as to Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger's threats to approach Robben about his criticism. Either this was handled in private, or the whole thing fizzled out. For a short term care-taker coach, Jonker sure has his hands full. Hopefully he can herd all of these kittens in the right direction, because this match is absolutely a must-win, and goals will not be coming easy today.
A few journalists have made the point that Bayern has the late game today, and therefore should theoretically know what Hannover has done by the time we kick off. But I don't really see as how that matters - we need a win today if we want to play CL ball next year, no two ways about it. Bayern needs to score goals, and with Neuer between the sticks, it will take a commitment to playing smart, aggressive ball in order to get it done.
KEYS TO THE MATCH
We could pretty much say "everyone" or "winning" for Bayern, but I'm going to go with Muller. Robben is hopefully going to show something in his first game back, and Gomez can bang home a goal if the ball falls to his feet, but as far as turning possession into real chances, I think Muller is the one who needs to come up big. He played a bit out of position last week (with Miro in at 2nd striker, Muller was more of a wing), but he's back in his familiar role of laying in behind the main striker tomorrow, and we need him to tear up that Schalke D if we're going to score goals.
For Schalke, I'm going to go with Cristoph Metzelder. We now Neuer is great, but we also saw on Tuesday that even a stellar performance from a 'keeper can't keep out a superior team if the defense can't provide some help. With Howedes out, Metzelder is the key to Schalke's back line, and if he has a great game vs. Bayern's forwards, we could be in trouble.
- For all you transfer rumor addicts, Bayern is now linked with Newcastle defender Enrique. I always thought Enrique played LB, not CB, and my brief search right now seemed to confirm this. If so, we can dismiss this as rumor as just more media trash. Right?
- Weather is supposed to be warm, but with a 40% chance of thunderstorms. Will this have any effect upon the match or the crowd? Hopefully not, because Bayern is the home team, and the side that really needs to create chances and score goals (a draw does us no good).
- Again, we're on ESPN 3, so you can get this for free depending upon your internet provider. But it will likely be a Spanish language feed. If any of you speak Spanish, we might need your help with some translations.
Viva viva FC Bayern!