1.FC Kaiserslautern hoping to steal points vs. Bayern
Säbener Strasse, Munich - FC Bayern München welcome struggling 1. FC Kaiserslautern, third from bottom in the Bundesliga, to the Allianz Arena on Saturday for a match the Bavarian giants are expected to comfortably win.
Bayern are likely to be without midfield linchpin Bastian Schweinsteiger after he suffered an ankle injury in Wednesday's cup match at Stuttgart. David Alaba will be called in to deputise for the German international.
Head coach Jupp Heynckes' men have been showing their human side, losing to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the first game of 2012 and then only managing a draw with Hamburg last weekend. However a 2-0 midweek win over VfB Stuttgart has given Bayern a boost.
"In the German Cup we played very well and the defence allowed nothing to get by them," said Heynckes. "We played like a team and I think we will do the same tomorrow against FC Kaiserslautern.2
Despite being named on the bench for the Stuttgart game, star winger Arjen Robben played no part in the win. "I left Arjen Robben out of the cup game as a tactical choice," explained Heynckes. "After the draw in Hamburg I had to react. For me all the players are starters and when Robben is in top condition he is one of our best players without a doubt."
With news that young Swiss sensation Xherdan Shaqiri will arrive in the summer, it once again brings Robbens' future at the club into question.
After the disappointing defeat to Cologne last weekend, Kaiserslautern have now failed to record a win in any of their last 12 league and cup matches, drawing eight and losing four. A reminder of that staggeringly poor form won't help player confidence going to a ground where only three teams have managed to score league goals this season. Bayern also top the goal scoring charts, hitting the back of the net a massive 47 times, more 3 times more often than the Red Devils.
Kaiserslautern have a real challenge ahead of them and manager Marco Kurz knows that all too well. Bayern are the favourites but "Lautern will be hoping to surprise their hosts and make it a difficult afternoon for them."
Simone Sperduto contributed to this article.