^

Sports

Bayern hosts Eintracht; Dortmund plays Werder in Bundesliga

Nesha Starcevic - Associated Press
FRANKFURT, Germany — Mario Goetze is perhaps the Bundesliga's biggest beneficiary of the international break, proving his value to Germany despite little playing time at Bayern Munich.
 
The man who scored the extra-time goal against Argentina that gave Germany the World Cup title in 2014 has been going through a low point of his career in recent months.
 
Goetze has played only 53 minutes for Bayern Munich since coming back from a groin injury sustained against Ireland on Oct. 8, remaining without a minute in seven of eight matches.
 
But Goetze scored in his international comeback and played a role in another goal when Germany defeated Italy 4-1 on Tuesday in a friendly.
 
"I'm so happy. For me it was simply important to be able to play again after such a long injury, simply to be able to do what's fun for me. Then to score as well," Goetze said after the match.
 
Germany coach Joachim Loew had a long pep talk with the Bayern forward before the match with Italy and it seems to have worked.
 
"Every player needs the confidence of the coach, no doubt about it," Goetze said. "I'm happy about every minute I can play."
 
Loew said Goetze arrived in the German camp feeling disappointed with his situation in Bayern.
 
Speculation has been rife that Goetze will leave Bayern at the end of the season to return to Borussia Dortmund. Bayern coach Pep Guardiola seems to have little use for Goetze, whose talent is undisputed but whose desire has been questioned.
 
Loew has disputed this perception, saying Goetze has worked overtime to get fit.
 
Since Guardiola is leaving at the end of the season, Goetze's future at Bayern probably depends on incoming coach Carlo Ancelotti. Goetze has another season on his contract and Bayern might be tempted to earn some money this summer rather than risk having Goetze leave as a free agent in 2017.
 
It remains to be seen if Goetze's good performance with Germany will help reignite his Bundesliga career.
 
Bayern hosts Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday seeking to protect its five-point cushion over Borussia Dortmund, which plays Werder Bremen. Bayern is seeking an unprecedented fourth consecutive Bundesliga title.
 
Here are some things to know about the Bundesliga this weekend:
 
EINTRACHT FUTILITY
 
Eintracht Frankfurt is traveling to Munich in desperate need of points. Next-to-last in the table, Eintracht is equal on points with three teams, with seven matches remaining.
 
History speaks against Eintracht. It has not scored in the last seven matches against Bayern and has not earned points in both season matches against Bayern in 20 years. But Eintracht managed to hold Bayern to a 0-0 draw at tome in the fall.
 
Eintracht has the worst away record this season, with only nine points on the road.
 
KOVAC RETURN
 
New Eintracht coach Niko Kovac played for several clubs in a long Bundesliga career, including Bayern Munich between 2001 and 2003. In his return to Munich, Kovac thinks his new club is not without a chance.
 
"We want to pull off a surprise," Kovac said. "We have the quality to do it and that's why I took the job.
 
"But it's going to remain close until the final day."
 
Eintracht will not have its top scorer Alexander Meier, who is still recovering from a knee injury. Bayer is without winger Arjen Robben, who has a groin problem. Kicker magazine reported that Robben will also miss the two Champions League matches against Benfica.
 
DISAPPOINTING WOLFSBURG, LEVERKUSEN
 
Wolfsburg travels to Bayer Leverkusen on Friday and the loser of that match could earn the title of the biggest disappointment of the season.
 
Wolfsburg is eighth and four points away from a slot in the Europa League. The last spot is held by sixth-place Leverkusen.
 
Both teams started the season with big ambitions, hoping to challenge at least for second place. But Leverkusen is 22 points behind Dortmund and Wolfsburg 26.
 
Wolfsburg at least has reached the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time.
 
But the inconsistency of both clubs threatens to leave them with having nothing else to concentrate on next season except for the Bundesliga.
 
SURPRISING HERTHA
 
Against many expectations, Hertha Berlin is still holding on to third place as it travels to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday.
 
Berlin is four points ahead of Schalke and six points ahead of Moenchengladbach, so it will stay third no matter what. Third place means a Champions League slot next season.
 
Moenchengladbach has won its last four against Berlin and seven of its last eight home matches this season. But it has struggled after the winter break, with four wins and five defeats, plus one draw.

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with