presented by
Menu
Neuer set for return

FCB expect "difficult game" in Bremen

Matchday two of the Bundesliga, and FC Bayern are away to Werder Bremen. Hang on, that rings a bell! That’s right, the record champions also played at Werder on matchday two of the 2007/08 season and won 4-0. New signing Franck Ribéry scored a cheeky penalty in his first Bundesliga away game and stole the show with his pace, technique and trickery. Ten years later, Ribéry is still at FC Bayern and will be looking to take three points from Bremen again this Saturday (live ticker and Webradio commentary from 15:30 CEST).

“I remember it well,” Ribéry told fcbayern.com. “We played well, we won and we had a lot of fun. It was a nice game, a nice stadium and a good atmosphere.” Now 34, the Frenchman is the longest-serving player in the Bayern squad following Philipp Lahm’s retirement. “It’s my 11th season, it’s crazy. I still have the same love of the game and motivation as before,” he added.

For coach Carlo Ancelotti, the winger is “a leading figure in the team. He supports the new and the young players, even though he’s not captain. He’s very important for the atmosphere within the squad,” said the Italian on Friday. And Werder Bremen must be one of Ribéry’s favourite opponents as he has scored more goals against them than against any other side. No wonder he said: “The match in Bremen is important, we have to win.”

Neuer set for comeback

His sentiments were echoed by Ancelotti, who clearly remembers the most recent battle with Werder in January when FCB started the second half of the season with a hard-fought 2-1 win. “That match was tough, we didn’t play well. Bremen did.” Ancelotti expects a similarly “difficult game” on Saturday, especially since Werder lost 1-0 in their opening game at Hoffenheim and will want to get off the mark in front of their own fans.

Standing in their way will be Manuel Neuer, who will celebrate his comeback in goal for Bayern. “Manu is fit, he can play tomorrow,” announced Ancelotti, whose captain is fit again after breaking his foot in April. Ancelotti stressed that he’d been “very pleased” with how Sven Ulreich had done, “but Manu is the best goalkeeper in the world.” Thiago and Javi Martínez are also fit and will travel to Bremen, so Jérôme Boateng, James and Juan Bernat are the only absentees for Ancelotti.

11 years since a defeat in Bremen

Werder, meanwhile, will be hoping to end their barren run against Bayern. “Of course we have a chance, otherwise there’s no point in playing,” declared coach Alexander Nouri. The Green-Whites have collected just one point from their last ten home games against the record champions, conceding 28 goals and scoring five. In other words: Bremen haven’t won a home game against FCB since Ribéry joined the club.

“We need to be brave and play out of our skin. We can win against any opponents,” said Nouri, who has a full squad to pick from other than injured duo Zlatko Junuzovic and Niklas Moisander. Sporting director Frank Baumann, who was in the last Werder team to win against Bayern in October 2006, commented: “We need to make it uncomfortable. We can’t give Bayern space and at the same time we need to be proactive and try to get forward.”

News