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Bayern buoyant, Leverkusen´s Heynckes splutters

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 31 Oct 2009

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League leaders Bayer Leverkusen may have to do without coach Jupp Heynckes for Saturday’s trip to Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga with buoyant Bayern Munich in the chasing pack behind them.

Leverkusen are at Schalke’s Veltins Arena on Saturday night, but flu-victim Heynckes has been unable to train the team this week and his doctor will tell the 64-year-old on Friday whether he can sit on the bench at Schalke.

Both midfielder Renato Augusto (calf strain) and Germany star Simon Rolfes (knee) are definitely out with injury.

“The knee still needs a little time,” said Rolfes, who is set to miss Germany’s friendlies against Chile on November 14 and Ivory Coast on November 18.

“Giving a date when I will play again will help nobody, I am not overly concerned.

“I regained my fitness very quickly in the summer.”

Reports broke here last Sunday that Schalke on on the verge of bankruptcy with substantial debts in excess of 100 million euros, but the club replied on Thursday saying they have sliced 25.5 million euros off their debt.

They have sold part of their Veltins Arena’s stadium for 15 million euros, while they have secured a loan for 10.5 million euros in a bid to balance their books.

The Royal Blies are fourth in the table and only two points behind Leverkusen with Hamburg and Werder Bremen also capable of taking over the lead this weekend should results go their way.

Fifth-placed Bayern are four points off the pace and they have a chance to close the gap at Stuttgart on Saturday having been buoyed by the 4-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup on Wednesday.

Strikers Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni both scored their first goals of the season with Klose in superb form having scored the first two himself before setting up the third.

Stuttgart are facing their sixth consecutive defeat after crashing out of the German Cup at Greuther Fuerth on Tuesday which led to a crisis meeting where it was decided coach Markus Babbel would keep his job.

But Babbel can ill afford more defeats with his side hovering above the relegation zone.

Bremen are on a run of good form having been beaten just once all season and they should have few problems against struggling Nuremberg, who were beaten 3-0 by Hoffenheim last weekend.

Defending champions Wolfsburg are up to seventh in the league and are beginning to find the way back to home strength with two successful recent wins on their own turf against Hannover 96 and Borussia Monchengladbach.

They are looking for a third over Mainz who are holding their own in midtable after being promoted last season, but are erratic in the league.

Having been robbed of the chance to go top by Kevin Kuranyi’s last minute header for Schalke, second-placed Hamburg are hosting Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday with Bruno Laddadia expecting to have key players David Jarolim, Jerome Boateng and Ze Roberto fit from minor injuries.

Saturday

VfL Wolfsburg v Mainz 05

VfB Stuttgart v Bayern Munich

Hamburg v Borussia M’gladbach

Cologne v Hanover 96

Nuremberg v Werder Bremen

Schalke 04 v Bayer Leverkusen

Sunday

Freiburg v Hoffenheim

Eintracht Frankfurt v VfL Bochum

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