Champions League: Bayern arriving in Israel on a high
Germans set to land at Ben-Gurion ahead of clash with Mac Haifa after thumping Borussia Dortmund 5-1 in the Bundesliga.
By ALLON SINAI
Bayern Munich will arrive in Israel on Monday afternoon brimming with confidence ahead of its Champions League group stage opener against Maccabi Haifa on Tuesday.
The German giant recorded an emphatic 5-1 road victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday, and after a mediocre start to the season, has now won its last two league matches in impressive fashion.
"We weren't good in the first half. We lacked aggression and didn't want to get stuck in," said star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
"It was better in the second half. Obviously, it's a great result and we scored some good goals, but taking the first half into account, it wasn't our best performance of the season. If we work as hard as we did in the second half, we'll keep winning."
Bayern's superstar striker Franck Ribery, who scored on Saturday, is expected to start against Haifa.
After flirting with Real Madrid in the summer and falling out with new coach Louis van Gaal, Ribery now seems to be happy at the club and hinted on Sunday that he is ready to extend his contract.
"In soccer these things can often happen very fast," said the Frenchman who is under contract in Munich until 2011. "It only takes a small meeting and then the decision is made."
Ribery insisted any problems he had with the coach are now a thing of the past.
"At the beginning, I did not know the coach,"he admitted
"He has his own character and makes many demands, but there was never a problem between us.
"He has his ways as a coach, he is very intelligent and has lots of experience."
Munich played on Saturday without German international striker Miroslav Klose, who is also set to miss the match against Haifa at National Stadium in Ramat Gan.
Haifa, meanwhile, maintained its perfect start to the Premier League season on Saturday, defeating Hapoel Ramat Gan 3-1 for its third straight victory.
Midfielder Eyal Golasa, still only 17-years-old, scored his first league goal of the season and is expected to start against Bayern after finding the back of the net twice in the Champions League qualifiers.
"We had to fight hard to beat Ramat Gan, but all that matters is that we won," Golasa said.
"I don't fear Bayern, this is only soccer. We will be meeting European giants in the group stage, but we know that in soccer everything is possible."
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