Bayern set to start tough run

Bayern set to start tough run

Published Sep. 14, 2012 9:15 a.m. ET

Bayern Munich want to start a gruelling schedule of seven games in the next 22 days with a win over their bogey team Mainz.

With the Champions League group stage starting next week, Bayern have an average of one game every three days for the next three weeks before the next international break.

Mainz, Valencia, Schalke, Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen, BATE Borisov and Hoffenheim are the opponents in chronological order, but in spite of the illustrious names who follow, the first opponent is arguably one of the toughest.

Thomas Tuchel's side have won two and drawn one of their last four games against the Bavarians - a record that Bayern forward Thomas Muller is keen on remedying on Saturday.


"Mainz have definitely been particularly uncomfortable opponents for us in recent years," he said.

"The amount of running they do make them a difficult nut to crack. It is not going to be easy, but we want to keep on winning."

Bayern have started the season with a 3-0 win at Greuther Furth and a 6-1 demolition of Stuttgart, but given the number of games coming up, they are going to need all of their strength in depth to maintain such a pace.

"The players know that I am a coach who likes to rotate his side," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes.

"It does not depend on performance alone - every player gets a chance with me."

Physical condition is the key as Heynckes picks his starting XI, which probably rules Arjen Robben out tomorrow as he took a knock while on international duty with Holland.

Mainz have shown no fear on their previous trips to the Allianz Arena, winning in 2010 and drawing there last season.

"But what can we take from that? Nothing," said Tuchel. "It is not as if that gives us any advantage for this game."

The only advantage Tuchel sees is that nobody expects his side to come away with anything other than a defeat.

"If you put a lot into it, then the chances are higher that you get something for your efforts, but whether that is actually probable is another story entirely," added Tuchel.