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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern “eyeing” Hamburger SV center back and Marco Asensio; Thorgan Hazard is getting looks; and MORE!

It’s game day...will Bayern Munich keep moving forward or take a step back?

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Bayern-AEK Athens Game Day! (

We already know that Franck Ribery is back home in Munich treating a back ailment and David Alaba (injury) will be assessed today, but there could be more lineup juggling for Niko Kovač.

Word has not yet leaked on Alaba’s status, but this could be a situation where another day of rest will be more beneficial for the Austrian - and the team - in hopes of preserving Alaba long-term. In addition, Sandro Wagner will be back on the game day roster after not dressing against Wolfsburg.

As far as the actual game goes, it could be interesting for Bayern. Trying to predict how Kovač will align his boys today is no easy task. I took a shot on what I think he’ll do below, but have zero confidence that it is correct.

Anyway, no matter who takes the field to start the game, Bayern should hold a distinct advantage in talent. The biggest question is whether or not an aggressive, energetic Bayern team comes out to play or if the lingering cloud of complacency takes over. I am feeling a good run for Die Roten upcoming and this game will build off of the win over the Wolves.

Prediction: Bayern 4, AEK Athens 0

Also, Berni just found the scariest mascot ever...a two headed eagle/buzzard mutant? This is what nightmares are made of! Run Berni!!!!! It’s a TRAAAAAAAAAAP!

This is where the ball rolls in the Premier class tonight! ⚽ My pal Haga and I are already in percent in -mode! #AEKFCB #packmas #MiaSanMia

Bayern linked to 22-year old Scottish center back playing for Hamburger SV (Team Talk)

Hamburger SV center back David Bates is opening some eyes in Germany and abroad with Der Dino.

Premier League scouts are flocking to take in Hamburg matches, where 6’4” center-half David Bates is impressing. The 22-year-old central defender opted to quit Rangers in the summer and sign for Hamburg.

The move looks to have proved an astute one too, with his side riding high in Bundesliga 2 as they look for promotion back to the top-flight, and Bates proving a smash hit in coach Christian Titz’s side. As such, we can reveal Bates is attracting a lot of attention with both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund maintaining a watching brief on the Scotland Under-21 international.

But the strongest interest is emanating from England, and we have been told that scouts from Arsenal, Everton, Leicester City, Watford and Southampton have all headed over to Volksparkstadion to watch his displays in recent weeks.

Bates made a big decision to leave legendary Scottish club, Rangers F.C., in favor of Hamburg in the offseason and was open about why he did:

Like Rangers, HSV are (an) iconic club with tremendous history and all the pressures that come with that. They have given me a lot of faith in their recruitment and I can’t wait to kick on and develop further as a player. It was an opportunity I don’t think anyone could turn down.

Bates to Hamburg is arguably the greatest Scottish to German link up since...

Bayern (again) rumored to be looking at Marco Asensio (Tz)

What’s old is new and new is old I guess. Bayern is “loosely” rumored to be looking at Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio.

Because he does not live up to expectations, Spanish media reports that Real Madrid could sell a star. English teams are especially interested and could win the race for him ahead of FC Bayern. According to a report by Marca, Julen Lopetegui, the head coach of Real Madrid, ready to sell the striker - if the offer is right. The selling price is estimated at around 110 million euros.

The interests are supposedly already queuing up. The English tabloid The Sun reports that Manchester United, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Paris St. Germain want to sign the Spanish international. And although the English top clubs would like to decorate themselves with the Spaniard, they should not be too high hopes. Because Asensio himself says: “I never had the intention to change the club.”

It feels like the Spanish papers just spin the wheel of names sometimes...

M’Gladbach star garnering interest abroad (Read Leicester)

Thorgan Hazard is a creative and dynamic player for Borussia Monchengladbach...and now other clubs are starting to take notice.

According to a report from Footmercato, various European clubs are interested in signing Hazard, including Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia and Inter Milan. The former Chelsea winger never really managed to break through at the London club like his elder brother Eden managed to do. However, he is being showered with praise this season as he continues to sparkle in the German Bundesliga for Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Hazard was at his best (Sunday) as his side comfortably defeated Mainz 4-0, with the Belgian grabbing one goal and two assists. He is enjoying his football in Germany but could be tempted back to England to try and make a name for himself in the Premier League. Hazard is under contract in Germany until 2020, but interest in him is continuing to mount following his recent run of form.

Hazard has sort of been plagued by the inconsistencies around him over parts of the past two years, but now M’Gladbach has been much more steady and dangerous. Hazard might not wear the armband as Lars Stindl does, but the Belgian is the straw that stirs the drink for Die Fohlen.

Juventus goalkeeper thinks Bayern is still among the favorites for Champions League glory (Metro UK)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s squad might be taking on Manchester United, but Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny thinks FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, and Liverpool will be Juventus’ main primary competition in the Champions League:

We want to win the ­trophy and our rivals are the same as always in Europe right now - Barcelona, Real, Bayern, (Manchester) City and ­Liverpool. Within that group there should the names of the finalists. We believe we are good enough to do it.

Lewy doing dad stuff (@bundesliga_en)

Robert Lewandowski...lethal goal scorer and family man.

ICYMI: Our weekly Bundesliga coverage (Bavarian Football Works)

Just in case you missed our weekly Bundesliga Observations or our Bavarian Loan Works ongoing features, give them a look to stay on top of the league overall and Bayern’s loanees.

A call for fan groups (

We are trying something here at the Daily Schmankerl and need YOUR help. If you read my man Tommy Adams’ piece about his experience with the FCBNYC Fan Club (if you haven’t, SHAME ON YOU!), you could see how great the event was. So we want to highlight some of these wonderful groups that are out there globally and this is what we need from you:

  • Name of the group
  • Location
  • Year founded
  • Leadership (if you have people are kind of running the show)
  • Meeting place
  • Social media handles
  • Pictures

I’d LOVE to be able to feature a different fan group every week this season. Maybe we can do it, maybe not...but only YOU can help decide the fate of this idea. Send your info to:

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