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Martinez itching to make Bayern debut
Published : 01 Sep 2012 03:47:30
Bayern Munich host VfB Stuttgart in their opening home league game of the season on Sunday with new signing Javier Martinez, the Bundesliga's most expensive player, eager to make his debut.
"I'm itching to get started, I would like to help the team as soon as possible," he said in Thursday's press conference as Bayern unveiled their new star, who is reported to have cost 40 million euros (US$51m).
The 23-year-old Spain midfielder signed a five-year deal from Athletic Bilbao and is set to play alongside Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger in the defensive midfield role.
But Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes put the brakes on any euphoria when asked if Martinez would make his debut Sunday at the Allianz Arena.
"Javi must first have some quiet, he has be integrated into the team, that is an important process," said Heynckes.
"There are a lot of expectations on him and it's not so important at the moment whether he plays on Sunday.
"What is more important is that he gets to know us."
Bayern enjoyed an impressive start to the season last Saturday with a 3-0 win at newly-promoted Greuther Fuerth, while Stuttgart suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Wolfsburg thanks to Dutch striker Bas Dost's 90th-minute winner.
On Saturday, defending champions Borussia Dortmund are at Nuremberg with the hosts hoping to pull off a surprise.
Dortmund opened the season with a 2-1 win at home to Werder Bremen last Friday with Germany midfielder Mario Goetze coming off the bench to score the winning goal.
"Perhaps that was a sign that not all Dortmund's cogs are working together," suggested Nuremberg coach Dieter Hecking on Thursday.
Nuremberg's Franken Stadium will be a 50,000-seater sell out with Hecking insisting his side have a chance if they build on their 1-0 win at Hamburg last Saturday.
"A compact and aggressive style of play can be a key, but all players have to go beyond their limit," he said.
"We can't afford to give Dortmund too much respect."
Nuremberg are waiting on the fitness of midfielder Mike Frantz, who missed training on Thursday with flu.
Dortmund are set to welcome back Poland defender Lukasz Piszczek, who missed the win over Bremen with a calf strain, while Mario Goetze is expected to start in Nuremberg.
Schalke are home to Augsburg and are hoping to have Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay in their squad before the transfer window closes on Friday with the Royal Blues hoping to sign the 26-year-old on a one-year loan deal.
Greece centre-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos is sure to play having turned down an offer from Russia's Zenit St Petersburg.
"As everyone can imagine, the offer from Zenit was very lucrative financially," said Papadopoulos.
"But the fact that I am still here, and will stay, says everything about how I feel about the club.
There are several derbies this weekend with Bremen home to Hamburg and Duesseldorf welcoming Moenchengladbach on Saturday while on Sunday Wolfsburg host Hanover.
Hamburg are hoping to lure Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart back to north Germany from Tottenham Hotspur.
Both sides lost their opening Bundesliga matches and will be looking for bragging rights in the 97th derby.
"These are stormy times. We need to quickly get back to challenge at the top," said Hamburg's ex-Germany goalkeeper Rene Adler.
Mainz 05 v Greuther Fuerth
Schalke 04 v Augsburg
Bayer Leverkusen v Freiburg
Werder Bremen v Hamburg
Nuremberg v Borussia Dortmund
Hoffenheim v Eintracht Frankfurt
Fortuna Duesseldorf v Borussia M'gladbach
VfL Wolfsburg v Hanover 96
Bayern Munich v VfB Stuttgart