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Bayern to Berlin, Wolfsburg vs. Moenchengladbach

November 27, 2014

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — If there is ever a good time to lose a match, then this was it, according to Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola.

Bayern fell 3-2 to Manchester City in a Champions League match it largely controlled despite playing with 10 men for about 70 minutes, but the loss had little significance. Bayern was sure to win the group and advance even before the match.

“Good that it happened now,” Guardiola said.

The loss in Manchester may lift the danger of complacency setting in as Bayern dominates the season — which it also started with a loss.

Few remember that Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern 2-0 in the lightly regarded German Super Cup. The two teams have gone vastly different ways since then.

While Bayern leads the Bundesliga with a seven-point lead, Dortmund is in the danger zone. Dortmund also lost in the Champions League, 2-0 to Arsenal, but is through into the second round as well.

Dortmund’s domestic troubles could get even worse with a tough trip to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday, while Bayern travels to Hertha Berlin.

Here are some things to know about this weekend’s Bundesliga matches:

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SAME COACH, SAME JOB

When Armin Veh resigned this week, Stuttgart was quick to find a successor — Huub Stevens.

Stevens coached Stuttgart for the last 10 matches of last season and saved the club from relegation, but then left for “personal reasons.”

Veh guided Stuttgart to its last title in 2007 but quit after only 12 league matches, with the team bottom of the standings with only nine points.

Stevens is under no illusion.

“I think it’s going to be more difficult than last year,” he said after taking the job.

His first match will be at Freiburg on Friday.

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UNHAPPY IN BAYERN

Since Xherdan Shaqiri arrived in Bayern in 2012, his team has played 30 Champions League matches. The Switzerland international was in the starting lineup in only one of them.

Shaqiri remains a bench player in the Bundesliga as well. Now, he is thinking of leaving the club.

“It’s only normal that you are unhappy if you don’t play,” Shaqiri told Kicker magazine. “It remains to be seen if I’ll still be there for the second round (of the Champions League). We’ll sit down together during the winter break and calmly talk about it.”

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FEATURED MATCH

The featured match of the 13th round is Wolfsburg against Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday.

While Moenchengladbach was expected to play an important role this season, Wolfsburg is somewhat of a surprise. It won eight consecutive matches in all competitions before being stopped by Schalke 3-2 last weekend.

Moenchengladbach is coming off two straight losses and is now third, 10 points behind Bayern. Wolfsburg is second, seven points behind.

The match will also be a showdown between two Swiss goalkeepers. Wolfsburg’s Diego Benaglio stepped down as Switzerland goalkeeper after the World Cup, opening the way for Moenchengladbach’s Yann Sommer to take over.

“It’s quite possible that Diego made it possible for Swiss goalkeepers to play in the Bundesliga,” Sommer said.

Freiburg and Augsburg also have Swiss ’keepers.

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SCHALKE’S TROUBLES

Schalke’s inconsistent season continues under new coach Roberto di Matteo.

Following a 3-2 victory over Wolfsburg came the 5-0 crushing loss to Chelsea in the Champions League.

Now, Schalke has lost defender Joel Matip for a long time. Matip has a hairline fracture in a bone in the right foot and has undergone an operation.

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