Schalke v Bayern Munich: Guardiola pondering Alonso selection


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Bayern Munich travel to Schalke 04 on Saturday night with a new face to call on, should they so desire.


Pep Guardiola completed a surprise swoop for veteran Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso, who felt his time at Real Madrid was up following the acquisition of Toni Kroos from Bayern.

Guardiola - who counted Alonso as a rival during his time as Barcelona manager - said his new midfield signing was fit to play, but declined to say whether the former Liverpool man would be selected.


"We all know Xabi Alonso. He has a great personality," Guardiola said. "He is a great professional and he’s clever."

Alonso also allows Bayern to continue the possession heavy style which Guardiola imposed last season, while maintaining their flexibility to use the long ball when required.

With Javi Martinez out in the long term, and Thiago Alcantra and Bastian Schweinsteiger lacking fitness, a ball-playing but steely midfielder became the priority for Guardiola.

Alonso, who is adept at both short-passing possession football and raking longer deliveries, fits the brief and, with his experience, won't take too long to adapt to the Bundesliga.

Bayern's record against Schalke, and the hosts' poor start to the season, heavily favours the champions. But with Robert Lewandowski struggling in front of goal in the early stages of his Bayern career, it could be a tight game.

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Stats by Opta


Bayern have won their last seven games against Schalke, their longest winning streak against the Royal Blues.

If FCB beat S04 on matchday 2, they would become the first club to record four successive Bundesliga wins away at Schalke.

Schalke have lost their first two competitive games of the season for the first time in 16 years – that last happened in 1998 under Huub Stevens.

The last time they suffered three straight competitive defeats at the start of a campaign was in 1987 under Rolf Schafstall.

Last season’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski is without a goal in his first three competitive games for FC Bayern. He had to wait until matchday 4 to open his account in his first season at Dortmund, scoring in a 3-1 win away at Schalke.

Manuel Neuer has won all six of his Bundesliga games against his former club, conceding just one goal. He was at Schalke between 1991 and 2011, making 156 BL appearances for the Royal Blues.

Bayern’s Jerome Boateng is the half-brother of Schalke’s Kevin-Prince Boateng. They played together at Hertha BSC for 2 BL games in 2007. There was a 2-2 draw between Jerome’s Germany and Kevin-Prince’s Ghana during the 2014 World Cup group phase.

Jens Keller has lost all three of his BL games against Bayern as a manager, with his sides scoring once and letting in 13.


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