Bayern Munich-Werder Bremen Preview: Jupp Heynckes’ side looking to continue perfect 2013

Jupp Heynckes will have one eye on next Wednesday’s DFB Pokal quarter-final against holders Borussia Dortmund when he picks his Bayern Munich team to face Werder Bremen on Saturday.

The 67-year-old, who is set to be replaced by Pep Guardiola this summer, is likely to hand a start to winger Arjen Robben in preparation for the cup showdown, which Franck Ribery will miss due to suspension.

Striker Mario Gomez could also make a return to the first XI as Mario Mandzukic is rested, and Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo is in line to come in for Javi Martinez alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger in the middle of the park.

Defender Holger Badstuber is sidelined for the rest of the season with a cruciate ligament injury and striker Claudio Pizarro, who played six seasons for Bremen over two stints, is out with a virus.

Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos should be available for boss Thomas Schaaf after recovering from a bout of flu, but right-back Theodor Gebre Selassie is still recovering from surgery to replace a broken bone in his hand, which means Serbia international Aleksandar Ignjovski will get the start.

Midfielders Pedrag Stevanovic and Philipp Bargfrede and striker Niclas Fullkrug are all long-term absentees due to knee injuries.

  • Bayern have triumphed in each of their last four Bundesliga matches against Werder Bremen and have not lost to Saturday’s opponents since suffering a 5-2 defeat in September 2008.
  • Four Bayern players (Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger) have scored at least five goals in the league so far this season.
  • Werder Bremen are 11th in the Bundesliga table coming into Saturday’s match and are 29 points adrift of the league leaders.
  • Coach Thomas Schaaf is very much a one-club man, having joined Bremen as an 11-year-old in 1972 before embarking on a 17-year professional career with the club as a defender. He has managed the team since 1999.
  • Bremen striker Nils Petersen is on loan from Bayern Munich, having scored four goals in 15 matches in all competitions for the Bavarians last season.

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