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Weekend Warm-up: Manuel Neuer endorses Joshua Kimmich for Bayern Munich’s next captain; Michael J. Fox to retire; Bundesliga predictions; and MORE!

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Thankfully, the Bundesliga is back as Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen will do battle on Saturday.

German DFB Pokal”FC Schalke 04 v Bayern Munchen”

Manuel Neuer’s presence and leadership for both Bayern Munich and Germany hold immeasurable value to each squad, but part of being a captain is also being able to identify which player will be ready to slide into the team’s primary leadership role when you can no longer fulfill those duties.

For Neuer, the choice is clear and obvious.

”Jo meets the requirements,” said Neuer. “He speaks a lot, is always on-hand with advice, and is also an important, opinionated contact person for me. Accordingly, I think that Jo can-and-will take on this role in the future.”

SV Werder Bremen v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga
Nobody put Joshua Kimmich in a corner...and for that, the 25-year-old should take over as Bayern Munich’s next captain when Manuel Neuer is ready to cede the role.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Kimmich, it seems, is a no-brainer. Whether it is being a “mentality monster” or riding his teammates, Kimmich seems to be the player that everyone looks to as “the future captain” for both club and country.

Kimmich’s presence, of course, was greatly missed this week when Spain dropped a 6-0 beatdown on Die Mannschaft. Without its midfield leader, Germany was not just lost in the center in the pitch, but it played without any passion — or heart — whatsoever. It takes a special kind of talent to impact others just by being there and it appears that Kimmich is truly the straw that stirs Germany’s collective drink.

While there are other leaders for Bayern Munich (see below), Kimmich is still a respected and vocal presence, who looks like the best candidate to lead the next generation of Bavarians.

Kimmich’s attitude is infectious and his performance is almost always among the best on the pitch. The fact that Neuer is endorsing him only makes it more appropriate that Kimmich is the “next one” for both club and country.

Whenever the 34-year-old Neuer decides to hang up his boots (which could still be a while given how good he’s been), Kimmich is the one who should take on that title for both Bayern Munich and Germany.


Lothar making sense

Without Kimmich on the pitch and with Neuer in between the sticks, there was a true lack of leadership for Germany against Spain among the field players. Legendary player turned pundit Lothar Matthäus echoed what thousands of fans were shouting:


Michael J. Fox retires

With the news that Michael J. Fox is retiring from acting due to his longstanding battle against Parkinson’s Disease, it seems like a good time to look back a few of his seminal roles:

  • Back to the Future: There was simply no one better to carry that franchise as Marty McFly than Fox. For kids growing up in the 80s, this was one of the HUGE movies to come out and Fox delivered in every possible way. His chemistry with Christopher Lloyd was off-the-charts on the screen and Fox was simply the perfect choice to play the role. While the sequels did not quite live up to the original (at least to me), Fox was still great.
  • Teen Wolf: Come on...a struggling teenage basketball player, who matures into his calling as a werewolf? The cheese factor might be incalculable if you go back and watch it now, but this was fantastic for the time period. Fox led the way on this movie, which really was a lot of fun — especially for a kid growing up in the 80s.

Jerry Levine as Rupert “Stiles” Stilinski and future Wayne Gacy (seriously...have you seen this?) Mark Holten as Chubbs were great, but Fox was the leading man, who carried the movie from start-to-finish.

  • Family Ties: As Alex P. Keaton, Fox thrust himself into pop culture playing a conservative teenager being raised by psuedo-hippie parents. The cast was terrific (years of Tina Yothers jokes aside) and Fox was the breakout star. For whatever reason, I cannot shake the scene of Fox and Tom Hanks — playing drunk Uncle Ned (some NSFW language in the commentary for the clip) — out of my head. Fox finds Hanks in the kitchen late night and totally smashed. Hanks then decides to drink vanilla extract, which leads Alex to declare that his uncle is an alcoholic. Anyway, a brilliant show for its time period, even if it did sputter out (entertainment-wise) after a couple of seasons. Writing for sitcoms in the 80s was a tough gig.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: For any fan of Curb, Fox’s turn as Larry David’s neighbor in New York was a lot of fun. It is almost impossible to not have two-to-three absolute laugh-out-loud moments during every Curb episode, but Fox was great in playing as a foil to Larry (again — like any Curb episode — there is some NSFW language in the clip).

I know he gained a lot of acclaim for his role on “Spin City”, but I never really got into that show. I am sure, however, like all of his performances, Fox was on-point and terrific.


Predictions

Werder Bremen is undefeated in its last five Bundesliga fixtures (one win, four draws), but Die Werderaner is likely in for a tough match against Bayern Munich. The Bavarians should have just about every key player outside of Alphonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich, and Corentin Tolisso available...which should translate to bad news for Werder Bremen.

Thomas Müller should have fresh legs and the winger trio of Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sane should all be poised and ready to attack Die Werderaner down the flanks. The biggest question, of course, is whether or not Robert Lewandowski will play. At this point, we know he will be in the squad, but if — or how much — he will play is a mystery. Given that Lewandowski was able to complete the pre-emptively agreed upon 45 minutes for Poland in its last international match, we can assume that Lewandowski will shake off his “muscular issues” and at least start this game.

If that happens, it won’t be a fun night for Marco Friedl and the rest of the Werder Bremen defense. Even if Lewandowski can’t go, though, Bayern Munich should be able to pour the goals on in this one and ruin what has been a solid stretch of play for Florian Kohfeldt’s boys.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 4-1 Werder Bremen

Breaking out my brain to try and pick games after this international break is bit rough, but all have crosses to bear, eh? Anyway, here we go. The rest of the Bundesliga slate is below:


Prediction Records

It seems like forever ago, but it was an okay week. Not quite good enough, but not a loser either.

Last Bundesliga match day record: 5-4

Overall record: 36-30*

Guest predictors of Bayern Munich games: 12-0 (?!)*

(*includes DFL-Supercup, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League)