Former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has put the club's recent slump in form down to the fact Bastian Schweinsteiger is sidelined and compared the midfielder to Barcelona's Xavi.
Bayern have fallen to two straight league defeats in Bundesliga against Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, having started the season in blistering form. And it is no coincidence that the club's slide has begun after they lost Schweinsteiger to a clavicle fracture in the Champions League clash against Napoli on November 2, according to Hitzfeld.
"The absence of Schweinsteiger is a real blow for Bayern. He has developed incredibly well, both on and off the pitch,'' he told Sport 1.
"He is the brain of the team. The current situation at Bayern is a bit like if Barcelona would have to make do without Xavi due to injury. Schweinsteiger is that important to the team."
Bayern have dropped to third in the Bundesliga table, a point behind Borussia Dortmund and Monchengladbach, and face fourth-placed Werder Bremen this weekend with Schweinsteiger scheduled to be back after the winter break.