Ancelotti hoping for repeat performance

Carlo Ancelotti was nearly 15 minutes late for his press conference on Monday afternoon, such is his busy schedule at the moment. It’s only two days since the match against Mainz and on Tuesday Bayern face their next challenge with an away fixture at Schalke 04 (20:30 CEST kick-off, live ticker and Webradio commentary). After an impressive performance at the weekend, the Italian is fired up for the task ahead.

“We played very well against Mainz and the three points give us even more confidence. We want to follow up that performance against Schalke,” the 58 year-old told journalists. After a near-perfect display on Saturday, Ancelotti could adopt the motto “never change a winning team.” However, he rejected this option: “I believe rotation is important at the moment to keep the players motivated and in good form.”

Robben ill

As well as injured duo Juan Bernat and David Alaba, the Bayern boss will also be without Arjen Robben who is absent with illness. But Ancelotti asserted that the next two matches – against Wolfsburg on Friday and the highly anticipated trip to Paris in the Champions League next week – will not influence his team selection: “We’re focused on this game, it’s an important one. Schalke have nine points.”

That’s as many as FCB have. “Domenico Tedesco is doing a very good job. They’ve started the season well and they’re well organised in defence and attack,” said Ancelotti in praise of his opposite number, who took charge of the Royal Blues in the summer. It’s no wonder that he is going into the encounter with the record champions full of optimism after three wins in his first four Bundesliga games. “We need to play with courage and we’ll give everything we’ve got,” declared the 32 year-old.

One advantage for the Italian-born coach is that other than former Bayern player Alessandro Schöpf, he has a full squad to pick from. Schalke will also be looking to their home crowd to help them again. “I know they have a great stadium, one of the nicest in Germany. A lot of fans will be against us but we’re used to that, and it can also give you extra motivation,” said Corentin Tolisso ahead of his first visit to the Veltins-Arena.
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Neuer Terlepas perlawanan menentang Schalke

Manuel Neuer injured his left foot in training on Monday and will miss the match against Schalke. The goalkeeper will undergo a scan on Tuesday to determine the extent of the injury.
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Goal machine Lewandowski in numbers

He just keeps scoring... FC Bayern’s goal machine has started the 2017/18 season in top form! Robert Lewandowski already has five Bundesliga goals this season after his brace in the champions’ 4-0 win over Mainz on Matchday 4, meaning he currently leads the top scorers list ahead of Sunday’s matches. has gathered a few stats on the Poland captain’s form.

Lewy’s goalscoring stats

8 - FC Bayern have played seven competitive games so far this season (including the Supercup), and Lewandowski has scored eight goals. That’s the highest tally of any Bundesliga player!

8 - When the Pole scores, he often does so multiple times. In eight of the last nine league games in which Lewandowski’s been on the scoresheet, he’s added at least one more goal (six braces and two hat-tricks).

13 - Lewandowski likes playing during the Oktoberfest period, too. The 29 year-old has netted 13 goals in Bundesliga home games during the festival! Only Gerd Müller (18) has a better record in a Bayern shirt.

24 - The win against Mainz was not the first time this week that Lewandowski has been celebrating. The striker scored his 24th Champions League goal in the 3-0 win against Anderlecht in midweek – that’s equivalent to a goal every 115 minutes. No other player has scored so frequently for the Reds in the competition!

82 - Lewandowski made his 100th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern against Mainz and his tally stands at an incredible 82 goals! No other striker has achieved a better record in his first 100 games for a club. Lewy also has 20 assists to his name.

155 - With 155 goals, the Pole is now the highest-scoring current Bundesliga player. In second place is a long-time FCB player in Mario Gomez on 154.

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"A step in the right direction"

The run continues... FC Bayern have started their Champions League campaign with a win for the 14th time in a row and sown the seeds for a successful group stage. The record German champions beat their Belgian counterparts RSC Anderlecht 3-0 on Tuesday night and are now level on points with Paris Saint-German, who beat Celtic 5-0, ahead of the meeting in Paris in a fortnight.

“They’re a top team. They have super players in their squad but we’re also a very, very good team. We’ll give as good as we’ve got and I think we can do it,” sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said after the game at the sold-out Allianz Arena. The Parisian club lead Group B on goal difference ahead of FCB, but both teams want to progress to the knock-out stage as winners of the group.

However, before attentions turn to Paris, the team need to analyse the Anderlecht game and work on any issues. And as all participants agreed afterwards, there is room for improvement. “We won and have the three points from the first group game, and that’s okay,” Salihamidzic stated, but also added, “There’s a lot of things we can do better. It was a bit slow throughout.”

Not taking advantage of the extra man

Bayern found things tough going following the early dismissal of Anderlecht’s Sven Kums and Robert Lewandowski’s converted penalty to make it 1-0, and couldn’t find a way through the ten-man Belgian champions. “We didn’t have as many chances today. There were plenty of shots from range but not enough clear-cut chances,” explained right-back Joshua Kimmich. “We had to up the ante quicker.”

“We wasted a couple of chances in the first half and could have had a bigger lead,” analysed Champions League debutant Niklas Süle. It allowed the visitors a chance to get back into the game and Bayern rode their luck early in the second half when the ten men squandered a chance to make it 1-1. However, the tiring visitors were unable to cover the ground as the game wore on and it allowed Thiago and then Kimmich to secure a 3-0 win in the end.

Ancelotti “happy on the whole”

“It wasn’t a top performance but it was enough for this stage. We had the game under control and played the ball well,” said coach Carlo Ancelotti, who was “happy on the whole” with the display. Jerome Boateng, who made his comeback after a four-month absence, stressed, “It has to be our objective to play better. We made too many simple mistakes, and we have to improve on that quickly because we’ve got other teams to face now.”

According to Süle, the game against Anderlecht was “definitely a step in the right direction” following the defeat to Hoffenheim three days earlier. “We dominated the entire game but also had a couple of lapses in concentration which led to hairy moments at the back. There is always room for improvement,” said the centre-back. The next chance to show that is on Saturday when Mainz are the guests at the Allianz Arena in the Bundesliga.
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