Markus Weinzierl and Rafał Gikiewicz ahead of Bayern game
A big challenge awaits FCA at the end of the international break as FC Bayern Munich pay a visit on Friday evening (20:30 CET). While head coach Markus Weinzierl is demanding more consistency from his team, goalkeeper Rafał Gikiewicz is relishing the role of underdogs.
With a third of the season gone, FC Bayern sit four points clear at the top of the table. “We’re the clear outsiders,” said Markus Weinzierl. “But we’ll try to get something. We have to be brave and take away the enjoyment from their game.“
The head coach said that he’s soon good phases from his team in recent games, but not over the full 90 minutes. “It’s fundamental that we show our presence and are a tough side to play against,” said Weinzierl. “Above all, we have to allow less in defence.” In order to take points from Bayern, the head coach said that “a lot needs to come together.” “We need a great day and a top goalkeeping performance.“
Rafał Gikiewicz may also be asked a lot of. Bayern have scored 40 goals in eleven games, with Robert Lewandowski alone finding the back of the net 13 times. “I might speak to him after the game, but until then, I’ll be trying to save every single shot of his,” said Gikiewicz ahead of the match-up against his countryman. The goalkeeper is looking forward to “a fantastic game” and emphasised, “we have nothing to lose.”
In front of him, the goalkeeper may see Jeffrey Gouweleeuw and Reece Oxford feature in defence. The pair are ready to play after being rested during the past week. A starting line-up decision on Iago, who still has pain while training with a hand injury, is yet to be made. Florian Niederlechner is a big doubt due to a metatarsal injury.
Regardless of who is named in the starting XI, Weinzierl underlined the importance of the defence. “The focus will be on allowing less,” said the 46-year-old. “We have to be alert from the beginning, enjoy going into one-on-ones and defend our goal as a team.”
FCA have fallen behind in the opening quarter of an hour in each of the past four games, something that they want to avoid on Friday. “It’s not good for your confidence when you concede a goal so early,” said Gikiewicz and highlighted that the team “must show a good performance over the 90 minutes, staying secure at the back and scoring goals at the front.”