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29 Sep 2011 14:31
Having won their last 10 matches without conceding a goal, Bayern Munich are looking invincible.
German experts fear the season could become unexciting if Bayern continues their impressive run even if it’s still too early to call the championship.
Bayern could face a test when they travel to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday, although captain Philipp Lahm believes “no team can threaten Bayern in the German league in normal circumstances”.
Lahm is not alone.
“Unless we let up, no team is going to beat us,” said striker Mario Gomez, who scored both goals in Bayern’s 2-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Bayern sporting director Christian Nerlinger said the team is full of confidence.
“But every team goes through a slump in a season and we haven’t really had any. That’s when we’ll found out how stable everything is,” Nerlinger told Thursday’s edition of Kicker magazine.
“We play as a unit now.
Bayern struggled last season under the authoritarian and stubborn Louis van Gaal and finally fired the coach before the season was over. The club failed to win any titles.
Heynckes brought some much needed calm into the club and shored up the defence without taking away anything from the attack. Gomez already has eight goals in the Bundesliga.
After losing their opener, Bayern won the next six Bundesliga games and scored 21 goals, while conceding only one.
France winger Franck Ribery has been given the creative freedom to remain outside tactical constraints and is paying Heynckes back with outstanding performances, making up for the frequent injury absences of Arjen Robben.
“I feel free; I can do what I want. It’s a lot of fun,” Ribery said.
Hoffenheim is coming off a 2-0 loss at Cologne but remain fourth despite three defeats.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund ended a three-match winless run by beating Mainz 2-1 on the road—only to lose 3-0 to Marseille in the Champions League. At home to promoted and still winless Augsburg, Dortmund will be looking to regain some of last season’s form.
Werder Bremen—two points behind Bayern—play on Sunday at Hannover. Hamburger SV, still bottom despite their first win under interim coach Rodolfo Cardoso, host Schalke, also on Sunday.
Schalke arrive with new coach Huub Stevens, who also negotiated with Hamburg.
Borussia Moenchengladbach, which barely averted relegation but is now third, also two points behind Bayern, travel to slumping Freiburg on Saturday.
In other matches on Saturday, Bayer Leverkusen host Wolfsburg, Nuremberg play Mainz and Cologne are at Hertha Berlin.
Kaiserslautern kick off the eighth round on Friday at home against Stuttgart.—Sapa-AP
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