Created on 07-02-2008 at 00:00 AM
Bayern against Werder is undoubtedly the biggest clash on the Bundesliga fixture programme. The teams preparing to cross swords at the Allianz Arena on Sunday occupy the top two positions in the standings, separated by just three points. It is also a meeting between two of the league’s highest-scoring line-ups.
Bremen are out on their own in terms of goals scored so far this term with 43, followed by Bayer Leverkusen (35) and Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men (33), although Bayern are the only team to have scored more than three goals in a game on six occasions, four of those at home. Recognised strikers have netted 20 of Bremen’s goals, followed by Bayern with a figure of 19.
Key forwards missing
Luca Toni (10) and Miroslav Klose (9) top the scoring charts both for their club and in the league, although the Bavarian front two will be without the supreme service provided by Franck Ribéry on Sunday. The France wizard could be out for up to three weeks, a glum Hitzfeld reported on Thursday, although the player himself hopes to be fit again in time for the UEFA Cup return leg against Aberdeen on 21 February.
Werder’s leading scorer is midfielder Diego (9), followed by strikers Sanogo and Almeida (7 apiece), although the attacking pair are out of Sunday’s showdown. Sanogo is still on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Cote d’Ivoire and Almeida is suspended, although Bremen have a capable reserve in the shape of five-goal Swede Rosenberg.
Goals galore for Bremen fans
A glance at the history of the fixture suggests the Allianz Arena crowd could be treated to a festival of goals. The last 26 league meetings between Bayern and Bremen have featured at least one goal, with the most recent scoreless draw some 13 years ago on 10 December 1994 in Bremen. Nineteen years have passed since a goalless outcome in Munich (8 April 1989).
This term, matches involving Bremen have been the highest scoring of all with a total of 69 goals, although that is only partly due to the prowess of Diego and Co. Compared to Bayern’s stingy record of just nine goals conceded, with just two of those at the Allianz Arena, Bremen keepers Wiese and Vander have picked the ball from the back of the net an unimpressive 26 times, the worst record of any team in the top third of the table. By way of comparison, bottom club MSV Duisburg show 29 goals against at the present time. To add to Bremen’s defensive woes, powerful centre-half Naldo is suspended at the weekend.
Many an opener for Bremen
A host of fascinating statistical facts accompany the fixture. Bayern have lost more times and conceded more goals against Bremen than against any other club – but the same is true for Bremen in reverse. Bayern have fallen 1-0 behind against Bremen on 35 occasions, a club record. And Bayern have only lost at home more often to Cologne (eight matches) than to Bremen (6), although none of the defeats came at the Allianz Arena. Finally, this is a record seventh time the north-south showdown has also represented the clash of first versus second. Bayern against Werder, undoubtedly the biggest game in the Bundesliga.