Bayern travels to Moenchengladbach in Bundesliga

I have a say

Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012 by YAHOO Sport

FRANKFURT, Germany Bayern Munich could find out whether it should have made a bigger bid for Marco Reus when it kicks off the second half of the Bundesliga at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday.

Reus opted to move to Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season rather than accept Bayern’s overtures.

One of Germany’s most promising players, the winger has played a major part in turning Moenchengladbach from a relegation candidate into a contender.

Bayern is eager to avenge a defeat at home to Moenchengladbach at the start of the season.

We are the better team, everyone knows that, Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said. And we have an account to settle.

Schweinsteiger has recovered from a broken collarbone but is nursing a tender left knee and is hoping to be able to play Friday.

There is a lot at stake there. If ‘Gladbach wins, they will be only one point behind us,Schweinsteiger said.

Moenchengladbach barely escaped relegation last season. But after beating Bayern to start the new one, Lucian Favre’s team has kept up the momentum and is sitting fourth.

That first match was very important, it gave us confidence and helped us throughout the first half of the season, Favre said.

Bayern leads, three points ahead of defending champion Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. Bayern striker Mario Gomez, who leads the Bundesliga with 16 goals, believes Moenchengladbach won’t be playing for the title until the end.

Moenchengladbach defender Martin Stranzl says the team is not thinking about the title.

Other teams are the favorites. It wouldn’t be appropriate to measure ourselves against Bayern, Stranzl said. It’s going to be difficult enough to stay as successful in the second half of the season.

Stranzl said the upcoming departure of Reus has not unsettled the team.

That was a public perception but not inside the team, he said. He subject was closed after two days.

Reus was openly courted by Bayern but decided to move to Dortmund, the team of his junior days, for a reported fee of ?17 million ($21.81 million).

Bayern has shrugged off the failed attempt to lure Reus, saying it has enough good players. Bayern made no transfer moves during the offseason and is not expected to do so until the end of the deadline on Jan. 31.

The return of Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben should give the team more stability. Robben also missed a good part of the first half of the season with a groin injury.

Reus could help his future team, Dortmund, if he scores and Moenchengladbach beats Bayern again.

We really want to win this one, said Reus, who has scored 10 goals this season. Not only I, but the entire team. We are really looking forward to the match.

Reus said he does not expect a hostile reception from home fans because of his decision to leave.

They are going to support our team and I am a part of the team, Reus said.

Director Max Eberl is sure Reus will play with great passion until his last match with Moenchengladbach.

He will remain the player who can alone decide such matches as the one against Bayern, Eberl said.

Both teams will be missing key players through suspensions. Bayern will be without winger Franck Ribery and Moenchengladbach without central defender Dante.

Few teams used the winter break to make significant transfer moves, with Wolfsburg being the exception. Coach Felix Magath signed eight new players, hoping to move up from 12th place.

Dortmund, with central defender Neven Subotic back after 11 weeks with a facial injury, travels to Hamburger SV on Sunday. Bayer Leverkusen hosts Mainz, also on Sunday.

On Saturday, Schalke hosts Stuttgart and will be hoping not to lose pace with Dortmund. Schalke’s one addition this winter was striker Chinedu Obasi on loan from Hoffenheim.

Also Saturday, it’s: Nuremberg vs. Hertha Berlin; Freiburg vs. Augsburg; Hoffenheim vs. Hannover; Wolfsburg vs. Cologne; and Kaiserslautern vs. Werder Bremen.


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