Bayern Munich – Schalke Preview: Champions aim to get back on track

Pep Guardiola’s side were stunned 4-1 by Wolfsburg on Friday and their goalkeeper is determined to put that result behind them immediately, starting on Tuesday

Manuel Neuer insists Tuesday’s match against Schalke is just what Bayern Munich need following Friday’s Bundesliga defeat to Wolfsburg.

The German champions’ 17-game unbeaten start to the league season was halted in spectacular style on Friday as they fell to a 4-1 loss.

The results meant second-placed Wolfsburg cut Bayern’s lead at the top to eight points, as Neuer conceded four times – the same number of goals as Pep Guardiola’s men conceded in the entire first half of the season.

The Germany goalkeeper believes a quick turnaround is just what his side need to recover from their disappointing first game back after the Bundesliga break.

“Obviously it’s not a good restart for us,” Neuer told the club’s official website.

“It’s not a catastrophe, but we know we still have a lot to do.

“A midweek game is just what we need right now. It would be bad if we were having to wait eight days for the next match. We have to turn it around from here on in.”

Guardiola is likely to be without French winger Franck Ribery and Brazillian defender Rafinha once again, as they are struggling with thigh and ankle injuries respectively.

Fourth-placed Schalke head into this meeting off-the-back of a 1-0 win against Hannover and they could welcome back top scorer Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, following Cameroon’s elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Felipe Santana will not be available, however, after joining Olympiacos on loan until the end of the season.

Roberto Di Matteo may have to wait on the fitness of Marco Hoger, who suffered a thigh injury.

Schalke have conceded 11 goals across their last three league trips to the Allianz Arena although the midfielder hopes to be ready and available as the Gelsenkirchen club look to end their poor run against the champions.

“We’ve not done well in Munich recently,” Hoger told the club’s official website.

“We want to change that on Tuesday.

“It is possible for Bayern to lose two games in a row. We’re not thinking too much about how their game against Wolfsburg panned out.”

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