Bayern see league turnaround after Roma win

Munich: Bayern Munich are confident their 2-0 Champions League Group E opening win against AS Roma on Wednesday will spark a return of form in the Bundesliga with the champions languishing in 11th place after three matches.

The Bavarians, who host Cologne on Saturday, have not scored in the league since their opening match on Aug. 20 in their 2-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg, and have only got four points from three games.

"Now it is extremely crucial to look at the Bundesliga and take it game by game," said midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. "We have to make sure we get the three points (against Cologne) and win, win, win."

"We can play much better than we have done until now."

Bayern have been lacking some spark without injured Dutch winger Arjen Robben who aggravated a muscle injury during the World Cup and will be out for at least another month.

But Franck Ribery, who was suspended for the Champions League game, will return against confident Cologne, who picked up their first win of the season against St Pauli last week.

"Of course this victory over Roma gives us a boost for the Bundesliga," said scorer Thomas Mueller, who netted Bayern`s first goal and ended a run of four Bundesliga and Germany games without a goal.

"I had not scored in four games if you count the Germany internationals but I never gave up," said the joint top scorer at the World Cup.

Cologne will be hoping to counter-attack better than Roma, who defended in numbers and managed to carve out only one real scoring chance throughout the game.

"Obviously we cannot play attacking football against Bayern and we will have to be patient," said former Bayern striker and Cologne captain Lukas Podolski. "We have to be compact at the back and be effective with our counter-attacks."

Schalke 04, last season`s runners-up, are desperate for their first points when they host rivals Borussia Dortmund, after losing all of their league matches so far as well as their Champions League opener against Olympique Lyon.

Coach Felix Magath is confident his team, which includes former Real Madrid strikers Raul and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, will gradually peak. But his players know only a win will do in the highly anticipated Ruhr valley derby.

"We are running out of time," warned Ivan Rakitic. "We have to start picking up points and need some good result and there is no better opportunity than against Borussia on Sunday."

In another fierce local rivalry, promoted St Pauli host Hamburg SV, with police taking extra measures to avoid any crowd trouble.

Bureau Report