Ribery nearing Bayern comeback

The Frenchman missed his side’s Bundesliga opener due to injury, but he is edging closer to a comeback

Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribery has stressed that he is on his way back after a knee injury and is confident that he will soon be fully match fit again.

The ex-France international missed the 2014 World Cup due to a back injury, only to then pick up a knee problem after making his comeback in pre-season.

Ribery consequently missed Bayern’s 2-1 Bundesliga win over Wolfsburg on Friday, but he is hopeful of making the Bavarians’ second home game of the season in two weeks’ time.

“I am feeling pretty good, but I still feel a bit of pain in my knee. Things are a lot better than 10 days ago, though,” Ribery told Bild.

“A return to the training pitch on Monday or Tuesday might be too soon, but I hope to resume squad training on Wednesday.

“Saturday’s game against Schalke comes too soon, but I should be good to go again for the next home game [against Stuttgart on September 13].

“I hope to be 100 per cent match fit again after the international break. I might miss two games now, but I hope to be fit for the remainder of the season. That’s my objective.”

Ribery made 22 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern last term, scoring 10 goals in the process.

Lewandowski: The goals will come for Bayern

The striker has gone 259 minutes without a competitive goal for his new club but is confident he will soon be off and running

Robert Lewandowski is confident he will open his Bayern Munich account soon despite a third game without a goal.

The Poland international’s wait for a first competitive goal extended to 259 minutes on Friday as he was unable to beat Wolfsburg goalkeeper Max Grun at the Allianz Arena.

Grun denied the 26-year-old on numerous occasions, including an impressive save when Lewandowski only had him to beat.

Despite the striker’s misses, his side got off to a winning start as Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller secured a 2-1 win and a fine start to their Bundesliga title defence.

Lewandowski, who was substituted with 11 minutes to go, expects to keep improving as he settles into life at Bayern and is sure he will be contributing goals to their cause before long.

“We won our first match and picked up our first three points,” he said. “I hope the next match will be even better and of course I hope I can score.

“I think I have never scored in my first match. I had two good chances but I think I’ll do better next week.

“Of course a goal would have been good for me but I’m not upset. We have three points. I have to stay calm, but I’m sure I’ll score soon.”

His next chance to open his account on Saturday when they visit Schalke in the Bundesliga.

Bayern handed tricky trip to Hamburg in DFB-Pokal draw

The Bavarians kicked off their cup defence with a 4-1 first-round victory at Preussen Munster but they could have a far tougher time of it at the Imtech Arena

Holders Bayern Munich have been dealt a potentially tricky second-round tie against Hamburg in the DFB-Pokal.

Pep Guardiola’s side were not rewarded with a kind draw after defeating Preussen Munster 4-1 in the opening round.

They will face their Bundesliga rivals next up away from home, although Mirko Slomka’s men were less than convincing in their first-round clash with Energie Cottbus, only progressing on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Bayern kicked off their Bundesliga title defence with a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg on Friday, while Hamburg held Cologne to a goalless draw a day later.

In the other standout tie of the round, Eintracht Frankfurt were pitted against Borussia Monchengladbach, while amateurs Magdeburg have been rewarded for their shock 1-0 win over Augsburg with the chance to host Champions League hopefuls Bayer Leverkusen.

Borussia Dortmund visit St Pauli in one of five matches between teams from the first and second tiers, with 1860 Munich’s clash against Freiburg one of the other notable matches.

Dynamo Dresden of 3. Liga ousted Schalke in the first round and host fellow giant-killers Bochum, who disposed of Stuttgart.

Badstuber: I'm so happy to be back

The Germany defender admitted his joy at returning to playing against Wolfsburg nearly two years after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury

Holger Badstuber has revealed his happiness at playing his first Bundesliga match in almost two years after returning from injury to feature in Bayern Munich’s 2-1 win over Wolfsburg.

The Germany international has been missing from action since 2012 when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a league match against Borussia Dortmund.

Badstuber recovered from the injury recently and played 79 minutes in Bayern’s DFB-Pokal first-round clash with Preussen Munster before being cheered onto the Allianz Arena pitch by 71,000 fans against Wolfsburg.

“It was very exciting, very hard,” he said, “but I’m totally happy.

“It’s a beautiful thing to be able to play after such a long time at home in front of the home crowd – and then get a win out of it. For me it was a perfect day.”

Bayern captain Philipp Lahm admitted that he was pleased to see his defensive colleague feature in the club’s opening Bundesliga clash, saying that it was fully deserved.

When asked about the 25-year-old’s appearance against Wolfsburg, Lahm said: “[It’s] sensational.

“It’s fun to watch him on the pitch. He has long worked hard for it.”

Bayern winger Arjen Robben also praised Badstuber’s return when the Netherlands international admitted he was proud of the defender for overcoming his injury woes. 

“For my friend Holger. He’s back. I’m proud of him. That deserves huge respect,” Robben said.

Shaqiri frustrated at bench role against Wolfsburg

The 22-year-old was named among the substitutes despite starting Bayern’s previous two matches but would not comment on a potential move away from the club

Xherdan Shaqiri has admitted his disappointment at being returned to the substitutes’ bench for Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga opener against Wolfsburg.

The 22-year-old arrived in Bavaria from Basel in the summer of 2012, but has struggled to cement his place in the starting line-up due to competition with the likes of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Shaqiri was named as a substitute for Bayern’s 2-1 Bundesliga win over Wolfsburg on Friday before he eventually came on for Mario Gotze in the 62nd minute.

And having been handed a starting spot for the DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund, as well as the DFB-Pokal first round against Preussen Munster, he concedes a return to the bench was frustrating.

“The coach has decided it, so you have to accept it,” the Switzerland international was quoted as saying by Blick.

“I have to deal with it and try to impose myself [on the team]. Clearly you’re disappointed if you are not in the starting line-up.”

His lack of games with the Bavarians has seen Shaqiri linked with a move away from Bayern this summer, with Juventus and Liverpool reportedly keen on recruiting the 22-year-old.

Bayern have always maintained the Switzerland star will not be sold and Shaqiri – who has a contract with until June 2016 – was eager to ignore questions about his future.

When asked about whether he would consider a move away from the Bundesliga this summer, Shaqiri replied: “We must not talk about transfers, it has been talked about enough. I only answer questions regarding the game.”