Ribéry Out Against Stuttgart; Götze and Lahm Doubtful
A week away from the DFB-Pokal Final, Bayern München is not going to take any chances with its key players.
Franck Ribery (back) is ruled out in Saturday's match against VfB Stuttgart, according to the club website, along with Thiago Alcantara (knee) and Xherdan Shaqiri (thigh). Mario Götze and Philipp Lahm, both dealing with muscle problems, are doubtful as well.
The one exciting question mark is Holger Badstuber, who might make his 2013/14 debut after a 17-month absence. If an appearance were to come, Pep Guardiola said it would come off the bench, although he wants to be cautions with his central defender.
"Maybe he can be on the bench, but I do not want to take any risks," said Guardiola. "We will see." [Abendzeitung]
Bild: Bayern Interested in Çalhanoğlu
With Hamburger SV on the precipice of relegation, players will likely look to bail out before the Bundesliga's most senior member falls over the edge. Hakan Çalhanoğlu is one player that is heavily rumored to be first off the bus, and Bild is reporting Bayern could be the one to pick him up.
According to BILD information, Matthias Sammer is particularly a fan of Hamburger's shot giant (11 goals, 4 assists). The sporting director observed Çalhanoğlu's development since his time as DFB sporting director, whose accomplishments were done at ex-club Kahrlsruhe. Sammer is excited that Calhanoglu has the potential to become a very big player.
Bayern would not be alone if the club does decide to pursue the Turkish midfielder. Bayer Leverkusen, according to Bild, has been long interested in acquiring Çalhanoğlu, and Manchester City and Chelsea are bound to be players. The German paper believes that he will cost between €10 and €12 million, but Hamburg will try to keep him if they can.
"We are not having particular conversations. We do not want to sell Çalhanoğlu," said Hamburg chief executive Carl Jarchow. "He is a player with a lot of perspective. It would be a regression for our club to part from such people."
Guardiola Excited for his First Bundesliga Celebration
Bayern will hold the celebration for their 24th Bundesliga title flowing the match against Stuttgart in Munich, and Guardiola could not hide his exhileration for his first German trophy celebration.
"I am excited! Clearly we won the [UEFA] Super Cup and Club World Cup, but this is my first title in the Bundesliga," said Guardiola in his press conference. "For me it is the best to win the league. It is the most beautiful."
Per tradition, Guardiola will also get his first beer shower of his career. A journalist asked if he would have a set of replacement clothes for tomorrow's match.
"I know it is a big tradition and I like traditions," Guardiola said. "The players should know: If they want to, they can do it, this beer shower. But they should also know: if they do it, then they have less options to play in the cup final!"
In an interview with the club website, Dante assured that Guardiola will receive the beer shower he deserves.
"He doesn't stand a chance! He'll get his shower. No worries," said Dante.