Bayern Munich – Lille Preview: Bavarians have sensational home record

Bayern Munich can be expected to name much of the same team that beat Hamburg 3-0 on Saturday. At the back, Holger Badstuber remains sidelined, allowing Dante to take his place against his former club, with David Alaba at left-back.

In midfield, Jupp Heynckes has the choice between Luiz Gustavo and Javi Martinez in midfield, having rotated the two, while Franck Ribery will start on the left wing, after making a comeback at the Imtech Arena. Up front, Mario Mandzukic will continue, thanks to the continued absence of Mario Gomez, who is back in training after ankle surgery in the summer.

Meanwhile, Lille will be missing several key names for the trip to the Allianz Arena. Mathieu Debuchy and Marko Basa both limped out of Saturday’s 2-0 win over Evian with calf and hamstring injuries respectively.

They join Idriss Gueye (ankle), Ryan Mendes (ankle), Lucas Digne (thigh) and Adama Sourmaoro on the Grand Stade Lille Metropole treatment table. However, Rio Mavuba could return in midfield. Tulio De Melo and Nolan Roux will compete for a place up front.

  • Franck Ribery (pictured, right), and Dante both spent time at Lille in their careers, but had to leave the club after finding their respective paths to the first team blocked.
  • Jupp Heynckes’ side are one of just two teams to beat Lille on their own turf in 11 Champions League games in France.
  • Lille have never scored in Germany, and have lost all three of their fixtures away to Bundesliga sides.
  • Florent Balmont has been fouled more 13 fouls, more than any other player in the competition.
  • On the other hand the French side have picked up 10 bookings, the joint most in the tournament alongside Anderlecht. Lucas Digne and Benoit Pedretti are one yellow card away from a suspension.

Hoeness hits back at Louis van Gaal comments

Uli Hoeness has slammed Louis van Gaal following his comments blaming the Bavarians’ supremo for his exit from the club.

The 60-year-old coach had previously revealed his anger about being sacked as Bayern Munich boss in 2011, claiming that Hoeness was solely responsible for his departure.

“When I see the omissions of Louis van Gaal, then I have to say that he just does not understand what is required in this profession,” the 60-year-old stated.

“Part of it is to bring up painful subjects when problems are detected. And when you realise there is no progress, you have to be consequent.”

Hoeness then gave his version of events on Van Gaal’s sacking and claimed he was given more than enough opportunities to turn the club’s fortunes around.

“When I notice nothing going anymore and I already gave him five chances to change and it still isn’t working, then I have to make decisions against the interest if the individual, to keep everything together.”

Van der Vaart: Players are to blame for Bayern Munich defeat

Rafael van der Vaart has stressed his belief that the players on the pitch were to blame for his side’s 3-0 defeat on Saturday.

The 29-year-old has dismissed claims that the loss to Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich was because of tactical errors made by coach Thorsten Fink.

“We players are to blame [for the loss], not the tactical approach of the coach. [Bayern] Munich simply were better than us. I was content with the system that the coach came up with,” the former Tottenham man was quoted as saying by Bild.

Fink also took the time to comment on the matter and agreed with the assessment of his new signing, while lamenting defensive errors.

“We did not fall behind because of the tactics. The opposite is the case. The [tactical] measures [we took] worked,” the 45-year-old stated.

“It was our plan to demoralise the opponent. Before half-time, we did not allow many chances. Conceding the first goal was not due to tactics.

“Before the first goal, we did not defend well. We have a set-piece. Forty-five seconds after, the ball finds our own net. That is disappointing.”

Hamburg currently sit ninth in the Bundesliga and are preparing to travel to Freiburg for their next fixture on November 10.

Jerome Boateng: I have finally arrived

Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng says he has “fully arrived” at the club after making an impressive start to the campaign.

The 24-year-old has featured in every match so far this season, playing mostly at the heart of the defence, an achievement he believes is as a result of his excellent form.

“I always want to play and so far I do not feel any wear. I am the type of guy who regenerates very, very well. Also my body has become a lot more capable,” he was quoted as saying on the club’s official website.

“I give everything and try to keep this level [of performance] or improve it further. But, I am not a machine.”

He then went on to comment on the process of adapting to life at the club, following an unsuccessful spell in England.

“I finally have fully arrived here [at Bayern Munich],” Boateng stated.

“At this club, it is really not hard to feel comfortable. The move here [away from Manchester City] was an important step for me.”

The Bavarians have made a flying start to the season and currently sit in first place in the Bundesliga, with a seven-point lead over Schalke, and Boateng is eager to continue their fine form both domestically and in Europe.

“Of course we want to stay number one in the league during the winter break. If we switch well tactically, it is difficult to beat us. And in the Champions League, of course we want to win the group,” he added.

“At home [against Lille on Wednesday], the audience will have our backs, so I am confident we will be successful.”

Bundesliga Team of the Week: Ribery, Schweinsteiger & Kroos star for rampant Bayern

The 2012-13 Bundesliga seems to be Bayern Munich’s to lose after a fantastic weekend for Jupp Heynckes’ men, who not only beat Hamburg 3-0 at the Imtech Arena, but also saw Schalke and Borussia Dortmund drop points to Hoffenheim and Stuttgart respectively.

Elsewhere, there were thrilling wins for Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen, while Borussia Monchengladbach’s run without back-to-back league victories was extended to nine months as Lucien Favre’s side were held at home by Freiburg. And was there to cast a critical eye over every match.

In goal, the pick of the talent was Tim Wiese who made a string of saves as Hoffenheim claimed a 3-2 victory over Schalke. This performance would have gone some way to silencing the critics after recent displays had left his ability in question.

In defence, we have Dani Carvajal, who capped a fine performance for Leverkusen by running the length of the pitch to set up Gonzalo Castro, alongside Marvin Plattenhardt, who was a rock for Nurnberg against Wolfsburg, and Mario Eggimann, who helped Hannover to a rare clean sheet.

Two Bayern Munich stars feature in the midfield: Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos, who both found the net as the Bavarians tore apart Hamburg. Meanwhile, Stefan Reinartz was in command in the centre of the park for Leverkusen, and Roberto Firmino was on song for Hoffenheim.

Aaron Hunt scored both of Werder Bremen’s goals, one of which was an unstoppable free-kick, Mame Biram Diouf netted one and made another for Hannover, while Franck Ribery is the final Bayern player to make the cut, having picked up where he left off before his injury.