GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

Ribery the key for resurgent Bayern Munich

October 30, 2008

BERLIN, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich have yet to hit anything like top form this season but with Franck Ribery back fit and scoring goals extending their revival at home to Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday should pose few problems.

Ribery, who suffered a nasty ankle injury playing for France at Euro 2008, started his first game of the Bundesliga season against Bochum on October 4 and since then Bayern have taken 10 points from a possible 12 to climb back up to fourth place.

Ribery was largely responsible for the two most recent wins.

It was his goal four minutes from the end of the first half that sparked the Bayern revival against Wolfsburg, as they came from 2-0 down to win 4-2.

It was a similar story away to Eintracht Frankfurt in midweek, with the Frenchman setting up the equaliser for Miroslav Klose and sealing a 2-1 win himself with his second goal in two games.

Bayern should, in fact, have won a lot more comfortably against Frankfurt but they failed to take advantage of a series of first-half chances.

Still, Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann is getting used to his team coming from behind and he had no concerns at all that victory would come.

"We didn't take our chances and an unlucky goal made it all a bit precarious but I wasn't worried," Klinsmann told reporters.

"This team is becoming so fit and so stable and we turned it round and completed the win very competently."

The season is turning into an interesting clash of styles, as Bayern eke out wins and Hoffenheim just carry on enjoying themselves.

Hoffenheim are on leading the league in their first season in the top flight thanks to their devastating attacking form.

That was in evidence again on Wednesday as they came from behind against Bochum to seal a 3-1 victory with three goals in a short second-half burst.

Ralf Rangnick's side, who lead the standings by a point from Bayer Leverkusen, are at home to Karlsruhe on Saturday.

By that time they may well have slipped down to second as Leverkusen are once again in action on Friday at home to unpredictable Wolfsburg.

Confidence is certainly not going to be a problem judging by the way coach Bruno Labbadia spoke to reporters after Leverkusen's win away to Werder Bremen on Tuesday.

"The way we did it against Werder was great," Labbadia said. "We didn't give them a chance and we just waited for our own opportunities. We've played very well so far this season."