High flying Mainz pay a visit mighty Munich

25th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

26 November 2004 , HAMBURG - Mainz 05 coach Juergen Klopp returns to Munich's Olympic stadium for the first time in 32 years when his promoted team faces Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday. "It was at the 1972 Olympics. I saw the 100 metres final won by Valeri Borzov," Klopp told Kicker sports magazine. He was five years old at the time. "I wanted to be with my parents because I was afraid at home on my own. They went there and so I came along," Klopp said. Mainz will not be scared going into the

26 November 2004

HAMBURG - Mainz 05 coach Juergen Klopp returns to Munich's Olympic stadium for the first time in 32 years when his promoted team faces Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday.

"It was at the 1972 Olympics. I saw the 100 metres final won by Valeri Borzov," Klopp told Kicker sports magazine.

He was five years old at the time.

"I wanted to be with my parents because I was afraid at home on my own. They went there and so I came along," Klopp said.

Mainz will not be scared going into the match as they have enjoyed a spectacular season so far in their top flight debut to rank seventh in the standings.

"We will try to stick to our game plan. Let's see if it works out," said Klopp.

But a victory in the Olympic stadium would be an upset of Olympic proportions as Munich have by now seemingly found the winning formula.

Coming off a mediocre start into the season under new coach Felix Magath, a 3-1 league win against Kaiserslautern took them to the Bundesliga summit for the first time in nearly 18 months and a 5-1 Champions League drubbing of Maccabi Tel Aviv have considerably boosted team morale.

"Magath's scheme is working well now," said Kicker sports magazine on Thursday.

Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge praised the team's discipline and its attractive game.

"We are very satisfied with the recent developments," he said.

Magath has found a solid starting 11 led by Lucio, Michael Ballack and Roy Makaay. In addition, in-form striker Paulo Guerrero and veteran playmaker Mehmet Scholl have played strongly as substitutes.

Munich lead the way with 29 points, two points ahead of VfL Wolfsburg and Schalke, and have no intention of relinquishing first place again.

"We want to become winter champions," said Rummenigge, looking at a psychological edge over the opposition of sitting at the top through the 12 December 22 January  winter break.

Wolfsburg were dethroned as leaders last weekend after losing for the fourth time in a row on the road, 3-1 in Hamburg. They now host Hertha Berlin.

Schalke have won seven of their last eight games and on Sunday run into Arminia Bielefeld, who are another strong promoted team in sixth place.

But Schalke club manager Rudi Assauer expressed his confidence that his team's run won't be derailed.

"We don't have a streak - we have class. Our confidence grows with every game we win," said Assauer.

In the relegation zone, meanwhile, bottom club Hansa Rostock are desperate to avoid an eighth straight home defeat which would equal the league record from Tasmania Berlin in the 1965/66 season.

"We must win points before the winter break to avoid relegation," said their new coach Joerg Berger.

Rostock host Bayer Leverkusen, who got an impressive 1-1 draw at Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday but have played indifferently in the Bundesliga where they rank a modest 11th.

In other action, champions Werder Bremen take on Borussia Dortmund in a meeting of big-name clubs which have been below par up to now, Kaiserslautern face SC Freiburg, VfL Bochum host Nuremberg, Borussia Moenchengladbach play SV Hamburg (Saturday) and VfB Stuttgart visit Hanover 96 (Sunday).

DPA

Subject: German news
 

 

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