Bayern Munich go into this weekend’s home tie against Mainz (2.30pm BST, Saturday) joint-top of the Bundesliga and in fine form following their 6-1 thrashing of Stuttgart two weeks ago.
Jupp Heynckes has added a number of new figures to his squad over the past summer, notably Javi Martinez from Athletic Bilbao, an acquisition that certainly hasn’t been without it’s difficulties. Also joining the squad was a very good centre-back, Dante from Borussia Monchengladbach. Mario Mandzukic and Claudio Pizarro add to the attack following Xherdan Shaqiri’s signing from Basel midway through last season.
Mario Mandzukic arrived this summer after impressing with his excellent form at the Euros for Croatia. He brings the strength and scoring touch to play as the lone striker in Bayern’s system. He was on the score sheet in their last home game against Stuttgart and has started in both of the team’s two league wins.
The depth in the Bayern squad is what really makes them a side to be feared. It seems as though Heynckes can change a number of key positions in the line-up and still not compromise results on the pitch.
One of the important players for Bayern is Toni Kroos, a young creative midfield player who is part of the new revolution of German talent in Joachim Low’s national side.
Kroos has been used on the flanks and also in the central midfield roles, operating in a deep-lying position and also just behind the lone striker. There’s been high praise for the German international, with many claiming that consistent goals is the only thing missing from his game. With Javi Martinez and Luiz Gustavo vying for spots next to Bastian Schweinsteiger in the midfield, Kroos will be much further up the pitch and closer to goal.
Unfortunately, the side are without Arjen Robben for this tie due to injury picked up on international duty. But the winger is not expected to be out for too long.
Thomas Muller has been among the goals for Bayern in their two league games. He has scored three in two and has bagged the first goal in each of the team’s two league games. He looks a likely candidate to be first goalscorer once again this weekend.
It’s not entirely clear how fit Javi Martinez is to start a game. The former Bilbao player also needs to earn a spot in Heynckes team and at the moment Luiz Gustavo is doing all the right things to remain in the starting XI.
Mainz, on the other hand, look nowhere near capable of beating such a powerful juggernaut in the Bavarians. They currently lie in the 13th place in the league with just the single point. Their last league game saw them lose 1-0 at home to newly-promoted Greuther Furth.
The team have, however, managed to sign former Bolton Wanders striker Ivan Klasnic on a free-transfer for one-year. The Croatian striker is set for his debut against Bayern on Saturday.
Bayern Munich look incredibly good going forward in attack. They’ve scored nine in the league over two games while only conceding one. And as mentioned, I’ve been particularly impressed by both Toni Kross and Thomas Muller, the latter always seems to know when to show up in the penalty area.
Betting Tips Verdict
Mainz have made life difficult for Bayern in the past, even so these are my advised bets: