Created on 07-12-2018 at 16:15 PM
Derby fever at the Allianz Arena: after a break of more than five years, FC Bayern and state rivals FC Nürnberg cross swords again on Saturday (live in English from 15.30 CET on our exclusive fcbayern.com ticker). Following the 2-1 victory away to Werder Bremen, Niko Kovac's men aim to turn in another strong performance and continue to cut the gap to the three teams ahead of them in the table.
"We haven't had the Bavarian derby for a long time," said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, looking forward to the 61st Bundesliga edition of the fixture. "It's a very important match especially for our fans, so it would be nice to pick up where we left off in Bremen and ideally take three points."
Kovac will trust the same players as against Benfica and Bremen. "The squad is well-known, and so is the starting eleven," announced the head coach. Only Arjen Robben, who has been struggling with a thigh problem this week, is rated doubtful against the men from the Franconia region. "We'll have to see," said Kovac, who has "16 outfield players" at his disposal, apart from Robben.
The points are all that matters
Kovac expects his team to be "primed" against opponents who might "park the bus" and stage quick counters, as Fortuna Düsseldorf did. "We want to win the match, no matter how. Preferably in a nice match with lots of goals, but at the end of the day only the points count," declared Kovac, underlining FCB's primary goal.
Nürnberg aim to upset the German record champions despite a barren run of seven matches without a win. "We need a perfect performance, we must defend outstandingly well, and we need opponents who fail to impose their game," said coach Michael Köllner before the difficult trip to Munich. Besides, a "lot of luck" is required, added the Nürnberg head coach.
Köllner is without his captain Hanno Behrens, sidelined with an abdominal muscle problem sustained in a 1-1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen on Monday. Nürnberg are also missing four long-term absentees. But FCN refuse to run up the white flag beforehand. "We won't hide," declared Köllner: "Many people play the lottery even though they know their chances of winning the jackpot are minimal."