Bundesliga Preview: Werder Bremen v Bayern

Bayern Munich will hope to have Philipp Lahm and Franck Ribery fully fit when they travel to Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Ribery has not featured since cracking a rib in France's FIFA World Cup play-off victory over Ukraine last month, but returned from the bench against Augsburg in Wednesday's 2-0 DFB-Pokal victory.

Captain Lahm missed the Augsburg clash, as well as last weekend's win over Eintracht Braunschweig, due to a strained thigh muscle, but has been in training all week.

France international Ribery's return will be crucial as Arjen Robben is likely to miss out after he picked up a nasty gash on his knee having opened the scoring at the SGL Arena.

Pep Guardiola also remains without the services of long-term absentees Bastian Schweinsteiger (ankle) and Holger Badstuber (knee), although Xherdan Shaqiri and Claudio Pizarro (hamstring) are on the comeback trail.

Guardiola can take comfort from Bayern's recent record over Bremen, though. The Bavarians are unbeaten in their last 11 against Robin Dutt's side in all competitions, and have won each of their last six encounters.

The Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and UEFA Champions League holders have lost only one competitive match under the former Barcelona boss - July's 4-2 DFL-Supercup reverse to Borussia Dortmund.

And 12 wins from 14 league outings this term has left Bayern four points clear of Bayer Leverkusen at the Bundesliga summit.

They have also surpassed Hamburg's 30-year German top-flight record unbeaten run of 36 games and will reach the 40-match mark by avoiding defeat at the Weserstadion.

Bremen left-back Lukas Schmitz is out with a hamstring injury, and coach Dutt also has doubts over striker Franco di Santo and midfielder Ozkan Yildirim, who are both suffering hip problems.

The Weser club played out a pulsating 4-4 draw against Hoffenheim last week, midfielder Philipp Bargfrede marking his first appearance in six months after a knee injury with a dramatic 91st-minute equaliser.

General manager Thomas Eichin was delighted with the mental toughness displayed by the players, but urged instant improvements, even against the toughest of opposition.

"That was an absolutely wild match," he said.

"The team once again showed a super morale and showed that we can come back at any time.

"Now we have to see to it that we don't first concede goals before we can get into the match and dictate the match ourselves more."


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