Bayern Munich vs Schalke 04 - Bayern may top the league, but Neuer says it's not good enough

Posted Saturday, February 04, 2017 by PA

Manuel Neuer believes Bayern Munich have fallen short of their own high standards this season.

The Bundesliga champions hold a three-point lead over RB Leipzig and have won their last eight matches in all competitions.

But goalkeeper Neuer insisted Bayern have not been good enough as they prepare to return to the Allianz Arena for the first time since the winter break.

"We know there are important games coming up," Neuer told the official Bayern website ahead of Saturday's home game against Schalke.

"We've got more potential in our ranks than we've shown recently.

"We're determined to play better and we want to start off in the first home game of the new year."

Neuer's old club Schalke lie 11th in the Bundesliga and have lost five of their last seven games in all competitions.

But Neuer feels that Bayern should not under-estimate Markus Weinzierl's side.

"Schalke have their backs to the wall to a certain extent," Neuer said.

"It's a tricky game as, from a Schalke point of view, it's possible to make amends in a game against FC Bayern.

"They've got some great players and strengthened their squad over the winter break. We need to be on our guard."

Schalke signed Guido Burgstaller from Nuremburg during the January transfer window and the striker came up with the winner on his debut against Ingolstadt.

Holger Badstuber has also joined on loan from Bayern, so there is a prompt reunion with the Germany defender for the Bavarians.

"We text each other regularly," Neuer said.

"I've offered him my help and I'm happy to be there if he needs me.

"We're all hoping he'll play against us and get to play regularly."

Already without injured pair Jerome Boateng and Franck Ribery, Bayern are missing Joshua Kimmich because of an intestinal infection.

But Thiago Alcantara and Arturo Vidal return to the squad, and club captain Philipp Lahm could make his 500th competitive appearance for Bayern.

Schalke could include Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for the first time since the Holland striker suffered a nasty knee injury at the end of October.

Burgstaller and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are rated as doubtful, while Max Meyer will be checked after some rib bruising.

"Under normal circumstances it would not be in our minds to bring Klaas-Jan, but we are in a situation where we have to consider every possibility," head coach Weinzierl said at his pre-match press conference.

"Through the season we have certainly missed circa eight to ten goals from the centre-forward position.

"The collection of injuries make it difficult to find replacements, but we have trained well in the last few days.

"The team is looking very lively and Bayern have not been playing with their usual superiority.

"So we will definitely want to put on a show in front of their fans."

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