Bayern sack Van Gaal despite vital Bundesliga run-in
Bayern Munich are in serious danger of missing out on a spot in the Champions League next season, but it still seems slightly weird that they would sack Louis van Gaal with just five Bundesliga games remaining.
Van Gaal’s last duty was to draw 1-1 away at Bayern’s rivals Nuremburg, which has left them fourth in the table with just the top three qualifying for the Champions League.
Andries Jonker has been placed in temporary charge for the remainder of the campaign and has the main job of ensuring Bayern overhaul Hannover in the race for third.
The pressure on Jonker will be extreme over the closing five games as it would be unthinkable that Bayern failed to reach the Champions League.
His tenure starts with what is virtually a must-win game at home to second-placed Bayer Leverkusen and this fixture is interesting for a number of reasons.
Leverkusen can still catch Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga, but are managed by Jupp Heynckes, who has a conflict of interests having already agreed terms to take over at Bayern in the summer.
Bayern are 8/11 in the Bundesliga betting to beat Leverkusen, with the visitors 3/1 to take the three points that would keep their faint title hopes alive.
One thing that will be imperative to Jonker is to give Mario Gomez the necessary confidence to rediscover his scoring touch that appears to have left him of late.
Gomez has scored only one goal in his last six games, but his 19 Bundesliga goals this season is perhaps the chief reason that Bayern are as close as they are to the Champions League qualification places.
One bit of bad news for Jonker is that Arjen Robben will miss the Leverkusen game after getting sent off after the final whistle against Nuremburg for an outburst at referee Knut Kircher.
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