One of the Bundesliga's classic fixtures awaits the German footballing family when record champions Bayern travel to face Werder Bremen on Saturday (Live in English from 15.30 CET in our live ticker and on FCBayern.tv Web Radio
). The two sides have crossed swords in 101 Bundesliga matches so far, and the Bavarians are on 50 victories. Most recently the men from Munich thrashed Werder 6-0 at the Allianz Arena on Matchday 1. "It was a good match," observed Carlo Ancelotti, recalling his first league fixture on the Bayern bench, but the boss hastened to add a note of caution: "I think Bremen have changed. We're up against a different team."
The Italian aims to take three points no matter how the side lying 15th in the table end up playing. The FCB pros worked hard under Ancelotti's auspices during the week. "I'm very pleased with training. I should actually field everyone, but that's impossible," commented the 57-year-old, who has lots of options and an actual embarrassment of riches for the attacking unit. Franck Ribéry, Douglas Costa, Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben and Kingsley Coman, who has recovered from injury, are all fit and will hope to make the starting line-up together with Robert Lewandowski.Vidal and Thiago sidelined
"It's always hard when players have to start on the bench. Franck is in very good form at the moment, but the same goes for Costa," the Italian mused, reflecting on his selection dilemma: "Kingsley's fit too. He's an option for us, and I'd like to give him minutes out on the pitch." Long-term absentee Jérôme Boateng, Arturo Vidal (bruised rib) and Thiago (rehab) will miss the match.
Ancelotti can count on Lewandowski, who scored a brace and took his Bundesliga tally to 135 goals last weekend. The Pole is now second in the all-time scorer rankings for non-German players with only Werder's Claudio Pizarro on 190 goals ahead of him. The former FCB striker hopes to put an end to his 707-minute goal drought, the longest of his career, against his ex-club.Premiere for Nouri
"We must win the match, and a victory is a realistic possibility. We did a great job against Dortmund. If we play with this attitude and aim to win the match we'll make it. I hope I can score on Saturday to keep Lewandowski at bay," the Peruvian confidently declared. Coach Alexander Nouri, who faces Bayern for the first time, will certainly have turned to the veteran forward for advice.
"It's something special, I'm really looking forward to the match. We want to assert ourselves. I want to see us fight for one another, be compact and try to create an open contest with the means we have," commented Nouri. The hosts will be without Jaroslav Drobny (red card suspension), Izet Hajrovic (knee injury), Aron Jóhannsson (calf problem), Florian Grillitsch (dislocated shoulder) and Philipp Bargfrede (tendon problem), while captain Clemens Fritz is rated doubtful with a neck problem.