Gomez to be given rare home start

BERLIN - Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez is likely to make a rare Bundesliga home start against Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday with coach Louis van Gaal expected to stick with a winning formation.

Gomez, the league's most expensive player who only weeks ago complained about his substitute role, is set to continue to help Bayern in their bid to close in on the top spots after a rocky start to the season.

"This team has won twice in a row now, twice played good football and against Hanover 96 they improved further (with a 3-0 away victory)," Van Gaal told reporters while also referring to last week's 1-0 Champions League triumph over Maccabi Haifa.

"I think we will start against Gladbach with the same players."

Bayern are fourth on 24 points, six behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

Germany international Gomez, who joined from VfB Stuttgart in May for what media reports said was a fee of around 30 million euros ($45.34 million), scored the last goal in the win over Hanover.

An on-going row between Van Gaal and Luca Toni, that could see the Italian leave in the January transfer window, and an out-of-form Miroslav Klose have recently moved Gomez up the pecking order.


However, he and fellow striker Ivica Olic are likely to have their work cut out against the tight defence of 11th-placed Gladbach who are on a five-match unbeaten streak.

"Gladbach are not going to sprint into attack. They will try to get a point out of this match and it will be a game of patience," said Gomez. "It will be a very difficult match."

Van Gaal will also have Arjen Robben back in the squad, with the Dutchman recovered from the knee injury that has kept him out for a month.

"I think Robben will be able to play for a few minutes," said Van Gaal who is again without injured playmaker Franck Ribery.

Undefeated Leverkusen, in sparkling form and with striker Stefan Kiessling top of the Bundesliga's goal chart with 12, travel to Hanover on Saturday buoyed by their 4-0 demolition of Stuttgart last week.

On Sunday second-placed Werder Bremen, on 27 points, visit troubled Cologne while Schalke 04, in third, host bottom-of-the-table Hertha Berlin.