Arjen Robben is not expected to be out for long, but Saturday's game against Mainz may come too soon
Arjen Robben is not expected to be out for long, but Saturday's game against Mainz may come too soon

Bayern after more of the same

Munich - After kicking off the 2012/13 campaign with two straight wins, FC Bayern Munich are understandably eager to return to domestic action in Saturday afternoon's home clash against 1. FSV Mainz 05 (kick-off 15:30 CEST).

Hanging heads

The Bavarians have set their sights on extending their perfect streak against the 05ers, but it may not be all plain sailing for Jupp Heynckes' men, especially given the mixed fortunes his multinational clan experienced on FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying duty.

Fleet-footed winger was forced to miss the Netherlands' 4-1 victory over Hungary on Tuesday after complaining of groin trouble during the pre-match warm-up. In light of the 28-year-old's injury history - Robben missed large spells of 2011/12 due to a similar ailment - he is unlikely to be risked at this stage of the season.

It remains to be seen what state of mind defenders Holger Badstuber and Philipp Lahm return to the club in too. The Germany internationals may have picked up maximum points from their two qualifiers, but their displays were far from convincing. Germany's back line was given a real runaround in the first half against Austria and they were fortunate not to concede more than a solitary goal.

Awkward guests

Still, there were also plenty of positives to be taken from the early-season pause. Bastian Schweinsteiger remained in Munich to build up his match fitness alongside Javi Martinez, who was excused from Spain's squad due to his recent transfer, so the defensive midfield duo are rested and raring to go. Meanwhile, fellow internationals Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri enjoyed successful trips into their homelands, with the former creating two and scoring the other in France's 3-1 win over Belarus, while Shaqiri netted for Switzerland in their 2-0 triumph over Albania.

The Bayern stars will nonetheless need to focus all their energies into beating a Mainz side which has proven a stern test for over the past couple of years. In their last six league games against the 05ers, Bayern have lost three times and drawn once. Indeed, last season Thomas Tuchel's men took four points from their two encounters with the Munich Reds and seem to be one of the few clubs who actually enjoy their visits to the Allianz Arena.

Jonathan Stockitt