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First-ever 75,000 crowd

Reds aim to bounce back against Schalke

There’s no point beating about the bush after a 4-1 defeat. “Both the result and the way we played were disappointing,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. The first league defeat of the season at Wolfsburg last Friday was also clearly still hurting Pep Guardiola when he addressed the media on Monday, although the coach was nothing if not realistic: “It’s not possible to win every game,” he said. And as the proverb says, every dark cloud has a silver lining. “Nobody wans to lose, but sometimes you have to lose if you want to get better.”

What matters is to draw the right conclusions from defeat. Fortunately, the league leaders are back in action again on Tuesday evening at home to Schalke 04 (Live in English from 20:00 CET on Twitter and Web Radio). Bastian Schweinsteiger and Co can definitely rely on enthusiastic support, as the Allianz Arena crowd will number 75,000 for the first time following a capacity increase from the previous 71,000.

“We need to recover the points we dropped in Wolfsburg and bounce back straight away,” urged chairman Rummenigge in his column for the Bayern Magazin matchday journal. “The first few games after the restart always tell you where you’re heading. We need to be wide awake again at once and get back to peak form.” The morning after the loss to the Wolves, Guardiola sat down with his team to work through what went wrong, before two highly focused training sessions on Sunday and Monday.

Danger on the break

FCB are working hard on not getting caught on the break. “If we let our opponents build up pace and counter attack, we’re done for,” Guardiola noted. “We have to get that under control!” However, the coach is not contemplating major changes to his side’s tactical set-up: “We’ve done very, very well in 17 games, and badly in only one.”

“The whole team has to play better on Tuesday evening,” continued the Spaniard, calling for patience and smart thinking. An unpleasant surprise could otherwise lie in store: “Schalke are one of the best teams in Germany with superb defensive organisation,” warned Guardiola, who is still without Franck Ribéry and Rafinha and long-term absentees Philipp Lahm, Thiago and Javi Martínez. Nevertheless, Bayern are determined to get the second half of the season properly underway, albeit with a one-game delay.

Pre-match news from Schalke 04

  • Unavailable: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (suspended), Ralf Fährmann (cruciate), Leon Goretzka (torn muscle), Sead Kolasinac (cruciate), Jefferson Farfan (cartilage), Julian Draxler (ruptured tendons), Chinedu Obasi (surgery)

  • Sporting director Horst Heldt: "It’s obvious it won’t be easy. We’re playing the reigning champions and current league leaders. Bayern were unexpectedly turned over on Friday and they’ll be utterly determined to prevent it happening a second time. It’s not an easy situation. But we’ll face up to the task and do whatever we can to spring a surprise.”