Berlin – Due to Bayern Munich’s history of success in German football, the term “crisis” is often bandied around when points are dropped, but with the team lying in fifth place in the Bundesliga after seven games, it is clear that all is not well.
Bayern hosts Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night without a victory since mid-August, an unusual position for a club contending for 11 consecutive titles.
Sadio Mane, who arrived in the summer and scored five goals in his first six games, has failed to score in his last five games, mirroring Bayern Munich’s woes.
Hasan Salihamidzic, the club’s sporting director, expects the July signing to rediscover his early-season form, stating that the former Liverpool striker “needs some time to adjust to the Bundesliga.”
“I know what it’s like to be a rookie in a team, in another nation, another city, and a slightly different football culture,” Salihamidzic told Germany’s Sportbild, referring to his 15-year-old transfer from Bosnia to Hamburg.
Sadio is currently undergoing this process; shortly, everything will become more familiar to him, and we will soon observe this on the field.
Bayern president Herbert Hainer pledged on Wednesday that “we will witness a completely different club on Friday – and a winning team as well” and that his team will “step on the throttle” against Leverkusen.
Munich’s opponents on Friday are similarly going through a bad patch, having won just one of their first seven games of the season and sitting in 15th place with an early departure from the German Cup.
Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann, who was regarded as a potential 10-year coach at the club before winning the Bundesliga title last year, is through the most difficult period, managing Bayern’s longest winless streak in more than a decade.
Never a good sign, Salihamidzic assured the media on Wednesday that Nagelsmann “is under no internal pressure whatsoever” at the club, despite the squad trailing Union Berlin by five points.
Thomas Tuchel, who was born just an hour away in the Bavarian town of Kulmbach, will give the trigger-happy Munich hierarchy much to ponder.
Urs Fischer is one to watch (Union Berlin)
Fischer renewed his contract with Union Berlin on Wednesday with minimal fanfare, as is typical of the Swiss coach’s reserved demeanor.
Fischer, who extended for an unannounced period along with assistant coach Markus Hoffmann, assumed control of Union in the summer of 2018, when the never-promoted club was in the middle of the second tier.
Fischer, who twice won the Swiss league and once won the cup with Basel, led Union to promotion to the first flight in his first season in command before directing them to eleventh, seventh, and fifth place in consecutive seasons.
Union are presently atop the Bundesliga standings after seven rounds.
Fischer stated, “What we have been able to experience together over the past few years is fantastic.”
“I find it difficult to express. As I’ve stated numerous times, I feel really at home at Union.”
Union Berlin play against Frankfurt on the road on Saturday afternoon.
Bayern Munich have only earned three points in their last four games, the first time this has occurred in 21 years.
Zero – The number of German championships won by Bayer Leverkusen. They have finished second five times (1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2001–02, and 2010–11) and lost the 2002 Champions League final to Real Madrid.
19 March, 2022 – Last time Union Berlin lost a Bundesliga match, Bayern Munich defeated them 4-0 on the road. They are the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga this season.
Fixtures (all times 1330 GMT unless noted) (all times 1330 GMT unless stated)
Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen (1830)
Freiburg v Mainz, Cologne v Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg v Stuttgart, Eintracht Frankfurt v Union Berlin, RB Leipzig v Bochum, Werder Bremen v Borussia Monchengladbach (1630)
Hertha Berlin against Hoffenheim (1530), Schalke v Augsburg (1730)