Klinsmann bets on Bayern recovery with squad stars

Bayern Munich coach Jürgen Klinsmann reckons the defending Bundesliga champions will recover from their worst start to the season in 31 years – and predicts victory over Karlsruhe on Saturday.

Klinsmann bets on Bayern recovery with squad stars
Optimistic Klinsmann Photo:DPA

Having led the league from start to finish last season, Bayern are currently enduring their worst start for three decades having lost 1-0 at Hanover and been hammered 5-2 in Munich by Werder Bremen at the end of last month.

And to make matters worse, minnows VfL Bochum poached a 3-3 draw a fortnight ago with two goals in the last ten minutes which pushed Bayern down to 11th in the table.

Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has given Klinsmann a job guarantee for the rest of the season and the former Germany boss insists Bayern are on the right track.

“We are going in the right direction, we just need consistency,” Klinsmann told football magazine Kicke.

“We will pull through this. You have to take an episode like this on the chin.”

With nine points from seven games, Bayern need to pick up a few more wins to silence the fans’ shouts of “Klinsmann Out!” in the Allianz Arena.

With all his stars back from their World Cup qualifiers, Klinsmann will have a virtually full-strength squad to choose from with only long-term injury victims Willy Sagnol, Christian Lell and Hamit Altintop absent.

The biggest game of the weekend pits league leaders Hamburg at home to fifth-placed Schalke 04 on Sunday.

Schalke are waiting on the fitness of Germany defender Christian Pander and will have striker Kevin Kuranyi leading the attack after he walked out on the Germany squad last weekend.

Under new boss Martin Jol, Hamburg are playing an attacking brand of football and start the weekend three points clear at the top of the table.

Second-placed Hoffenheim are at mid-table Hanover on Saturday with the league’s top-scorer Vedad Ibisevic leading the attack, but they conceeded five goals in their last game away when they went down 5-4 at Werder Bremen.

Also on Saturday, third-placed Stuttgart are in the German capital when they play Hertha Berlin.

With one eye on next Wednesday’s Champions League game against Panathinaikos, Werder Bremen host Borussia Dortmund and it remains to be seen whether coach Thomas Schaaf will rest his key players.

Having been beaten 1-0 by Hertha last time out, fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen are at second-from-bottom Eintracht Frankfurt with goalkeeper Rene Adler back fresh from making his Germany debut.

Bayer coach Bruno Labbadia is waiting on the fitness of key players Arturo Vidal and Tranquillo Barnetta.

Bottom of the table Borussia Moenchegladbach are at VfL Bochum on Friday while fellow strugglers Energie Cottbus at mid-table Cologne on Saturday.


++ Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund

++ VfL Wolfsburg v Arminia Bielefeld

++ Hanover 96 v Hoffenheim

++ Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayer Leverkusen

++ Hertha Berlin v VfB Stuttgart

++ Karlsruhe v Bayern Munich

++ Cologne v Energie Cottbus


++ Hamburg v Schalke 04

For members


EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches

The German Bundesliga kicks off on Friday evening with a match in Mönchengladbach. Here's a run-down of the Covid rules for football fans itching to join the crowds at the stadium.

EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches
Crowds cheer at a match between FC Kaiserslautern and Borussia Mönchengladbach, on August 9th, 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uwe Anspach

All eyes will be on Mönchengladbach this evening as the Bundesliga season kicks off with a match against reigning champions Bayern Munich – and this time, a crowd will be present in the stadium.

READ ALSO: German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

With several states liberalising their rules for public gatherings in recent months, many football fans are looking forward to enjoying a lively atmosphere at football matches once more. 

There’s just one problem: there are different rules for different stadiums. Here’s what you need to know about the Covid rules before you book your ticket for any of the upcoming fixtures. 

How many fans are allowed in the stadiums? 

According to a recent decision by the federal and state governments, football stadiums around the country are allowed to fill half of their seats and sell up to 25,000 tickets to fans. 

Of course, how much this limit affects the overall atmosphere – and the football clubs’ bottoms lines – depends on the capacity of the stadium. In Borussia Dortmund this weekend, the full 25,000 tickets have been sold – but that only equates to 30 percent of the stadium’s full capacity.

READ ALSO: German football: Which Bundesliga club should I support?

Meanwhile, in the stadium owned by Berlin’s FC Union, selling just 11,000 tickets is enough to fill half of the available seats. 

What do I need to show to get in? 

That really depends on the stadium in question, although in general anyone over the age of six will need to show a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery – the so-called ‘3G’ rule – to enter the grounds. But other clubs, such as FC Cologne, have decided to only permit people who are vaccinated or recovered to attend matches from August 28th onwards – with exceptions for people who can’t get vaccinated, like children and pregnant woman.

At Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park stadium, however, unvaccinated fans can enter with a negative test, though visitors who’ve stayed in a high-risk or virus variant area over the past two weeks will be unable to enter – along with people who’ve had recent contact with someone who has Covid. 

If you want to see action like this at FC Cologne’s stadium, you’ll need to get your Covid jabs sorted first. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund has taken a middle ground. While the 3G rule applies in principle, only 1,000 of the available 25,000 tickets will be sold to people who are providing a negative test. The remaining 24,000 seats will only be available for those who are vaccinated against – or recently recovered from – Covid. 

If you’re not vaccinated and are keen to see a match, it’s worth checking on your local club’s website beforehand or sending them an email to double-check whether you will be allowed in. 

What else do I need to know about? 

You’ll need to bring a FPP2 mask with you to matches to wear in your seat and while heading to the bathroom or bar, and also observe social distancing rules – meaning staying 1.5 metres apart from your fellow fans.

In most states, you’ll also need to provide your contact details, which will be saved by the club and potentially passed on to local health authorities in order to monitor a potential Covid outbreak. 

Will these rules continue throughout the season?

That’s still an open question. If infection rates in Germany continue to rise or high-profile superspreading events occur at future matches, the government could potentially crack down further on sports events in autumn.

This could involve limiting the seat numbers even further, or (more controversially), introducing a ‘vaccinated-only’ rule for entering stadiums. 

READ ALSO: Should Germany bring in Covid restrictions for unvaccinated people only?

A recent outbreak of Covid in the Mainz football team has also dampened celebrations slightly in the run-up to the start of the Bundesliga – leaving club owners urgently calling for both fans and footballers to get vaccinated. 

Speaking to WDR ahead of the season’s start, FC Cologne’s managing director Alexander Wehrle said widespread vaccination was the best route back to normality – a message reiterated by Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann.