Eintracht Frankfurt-Bayern Munich Preview: Bundesliga crown awaits visitors

With the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Juventus looming large, Bayern are set to shuffle the pack once more, with Rafinha, Jerome Boateng and Diego Contento all getting run-outs in defence in the places of Philipp Lahm, Dante and David Alaba, respectively.

In midfield, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk will get a rare start as Bastian Schweinsteiger is given a rest, while Franck Ribery should make way for Xherdan Shaqiri, who will form an attacking midfield trio with Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben in Toni Kroos’ absence.

Finally, Mario Gomez is likely to play up front ahead of Mario Mandzukic and Claudio Pizarro. Holger Badstuber, of course, is out for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, for the hosts, goalkeeper Kevin Trapp is unavailable due to a broken hand, giving Oka Nikolov a rare opportunity to impress in the Bundesliga.

Elsewhere, though, they have no fresh injuries or suspensions, though Pirmin Schwegler and Martin Lanig will be competing for a spot in midfield, with the former returning from injury.

  • What’s more, no team has ever claimed a 1-0 victory over the Bavarians more times in their history than the Hessians.
  • Frankfurt coach Armin Veh made all 65 of his Bundesliga appearances playing under Bayern counterpart Jupp Heynckes (pictured, right) at Borussia Monchengladbach.
  • Bayern Munich can win the title with six games to spare for the first time in their history, beating their record of matchday 30 from 1973 and 2003.
  • Furthermore, no team has ever won the Bundesliga title during the first half of April.

Alaba one of best left-backs in the world, says Sammer

The young wing-back has earned plaudits from the Bayern chief as well as their coach following his fine displays in recent months

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has voiced his opinion that David Alaba is one of the best left-backs in the world.

The Austria international has put in a number of impressive displays throughout the 2012-13 campaign, most recently in the Champions League win over Juventus, and Sammer has hailed Alaba’s importance to Bayern.

“David is a very, very important player for the club,” Matthias Sammer told the official Bayern website.

“Even at a very young age, he’s already one of the best left backs in the world.”

Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes, meanwhile, agrees that Alaba has been in fine form, but believes the defender can still get better.

“David’s playing at a very high level at the moment, but he still has room to improve further.”

Alaba has made 28 official appearances so far this term, netting five goals in the process.

Bayern Munich monitor Kompany after Mancini feud

The runaway Bundesliga leaders are keeping an eye on events at the Etihad Stadium in the hope that the Belgium defender’s situation changes and he becomes available for transfer

By Paul Clennam

Bayern Munich are monitoring Vincent Kompany’s situation after the Manchester City captain’s public feud with manager Roberto Mancini.

The Belgium defender felt the wrath of his boss at the end of March after turning out for his country despite missing City’s previous eight matches with a calf injury.

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And, although Bayern are well aware that the 26-year-old is keen to stay at the Etihad Stadium, they are waiting in the wings should the situation change.

Kompany is well known in Germany, having spent two seasons at Hamburg before moving to City for £6 million in 2008.

Ironically, he moved to the Imtech Arena as a replacement for Bayern-bound Daniel Van Buyten, the man whom he would likely oust from the Roten line-up should the Bavarians lure him away from England.

Pep Guardiola, who will take over from Jupp Heynckes at the Allianz Arena this summer, is a long-time admirer of Kompany and would support any move by the club’s hierarchy for the Belgian.

But the path to a transfer remains obscured by the fact that Kompany is settled in the north west of England, having married his Mancunian girlfriend in 2011 and enrolled at the local university.

The Belgian has very much bought into Abu Dhabi group’s long-term project at Eastlands and remains a prominent figure in Mancini’s dressing room, frequently acting as the intermediary between City’s playing staff and the club’s coaching setup.

Speaking after he signed a new six-year deal with the Premier League champions in July, Kompany enthused: “Man City as a project is not just a project of the owners or the people employed by the club; it is also my project.

“I have been here since the beginning and I have seen everything at the club change inside and out. I have the feeling that I have contributed to it too. It is good to know that I can be at City for another six years. It is a compliment that the club feels so highly of me.”

Barcelona, Guardiola’s former club, have also been linked with Kompany in the past and are also thought to be keeping tabs on the former HSV star.

I don't have to apologise to Vidal – Ribery

The Bayern Munich attacker insists his late challenge on the Chilean midfielder was simply par for the course in a competitive fixture

Franck Ribery has insisted that he has no reason to feel bad for his stamp on Arturo Vidal during Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over Juventus on Tuesday.

The Frenchman and the Chilean were involved in a number of battles throughout the contest, including a late coming together which may well have seen the Roten star dismissed.

“It was a duel with Vidal,” he was quoted as saying by Bild.

“I took a lot of hits and dished out some as well. In this particular situation, I challenged for the ball, but I hit his foot.

“I didn’t apologies and he didn’t either. That’s football, that’s the Champions League. It’s no problem.”

Bayern and Juventus clash in again in Turin on April 10.

Robben: Kroos injury benefits me

The 29-year-old is hoping to feature more prominently in the first team after the frustration of starting on the bench for his side’s 2-0 win over Juventus on Tuesday

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben hopes that the injury suffered by team-mate Tony Kroos in his side’s 2-0 win over Juventus will allow him more first-team football.

Robben replaced Kroos in the first half of the clash at the Allianz Arena after the Germany international suffered a hip injury, and the Netherlands winger admits he now hopes to feature more prominently in the starting line-up after the frustration of being left on the bench.

It does not look so good for Kroos, but then that is better for me. It happens in football,” Robben told NOS.

I was sick that I had to start on the bench. On Saturday I played a great game (in the 9-2 victory over Hamburg) and I wanted to continue that form, but the coach decided otherwise. I ended up playing tonight so I have to be happy.”

Despite Bayern’s dominant victory over the Old Lady, Robben insists the tie remains far from over, and pointed to a number of missed chances that could possibly come back to haunt the Bavarians.

Of course it is far from over, but we have made a great step towards the semi-finals,” he added.

We have had opportunities to expand the score, but the important thing is that we have given our all and kept a clean sheet.