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Neuer returns to former club as Bayern visits Schalke


eaders Bayern Munich will be looking to add to Schalke’s Bundesliga misery on Saturday when Germany captain Manuel Neuer returns to Gelsenkirchen.

Borussia Dortmund’s new striker Paco Alcacer is an injury doubt for their trip to fellow Champions League side face Hoffenheim.

Bayern’s captain Manuel Neuer is set to make his 350th Bundesliga appearance at Schalke, where he started his career, as the hosts chase their first league points of the season.

The 32-year-old left Gelsenkirchen having in 2011 for Bayern, who are unbeaten in their last 16 games against Schalke with 12 wins and three draws.

Neuer has not lost to Schalke in 12 games with Bayern, who are chasing a seventh straight win in all competitions this season.

Schalke finished second to Bayern last season, but have made a dreadful start, losing their first three games.

Bayern’s rising star midfielder Renato Sanches hopes to keep his place in Gelsenkirchen – and play his first Bundesliga game this season – after a superb display in the 2-0 win at Benfica on Wednesday.

After two torrid seasons, the 21-year-old capped a barnstorming display in the Champions League, by finishing the move he started for a superb goal, but he has been kept back in the Bundesliga by Bayern’s new head coach Niko Kovac.

Both Germany forward Thomas Mueller and defender Nikolas Suele can expect to return to Bayern’s line-up after starting on the bench at Benfica.

Having missed the 1-0 win at Brugge on Tuesday in the Champions League, Dortmund striker Alcacer, on loan from Barcelona, is rated doubtful for the trip to Hoffenheim with a leg injury.

“We don’t know if he will play,” admitted Borussia coach Lucien Favre after Alcacer scored on his Bundesliga debut in the 3-1 win against Frankfurt.

Dortmund are second to Bayern in the table, but struggled at Brugge before Christian Pulisic marked his 20th birthday with the late winning goal.

Their captain Marco Reus says they must do better in Sinsheim after failing to consistently threaten the Brugge goal before Pulisic’s winner.

“At the moment, we just aren’t playing the type of football we expect to play,” admitted the Germany winger.

Borussia Moenchengladbach have made a great start with two wins and a draw as they head to Hertha Berlin on Saturday to face Thorgan Hazard’s favourite opponent.

The Belgian midfielder, brother of Chelsea star Eden, has scored six goals with three assists in nine games against Hertha, who Gladbach have beaten eight times in the last nine meetings.

However, Pal Dardai’s Berlin have also started well with seven points after beating new boys Nuremberg and Schalke before drawing 2-2 with Wolfsburg last weekend. -AFP

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