Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich host newly-promoted Darmstadt at the Allianz Arena on Saturday with one eye towards the blockbuster Champions League tie against Serie A champions Juventus in midweek.
With an eight-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table, Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola can afford to keep an eye on Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Massimiliano Allegri’s in-form Juventus. However, Darmstadt are a side capable of capitalising on their opposition’s lack of focus, as evidenced by their impressive 2-2 draw away against Borussia Dortmund.
Although Darmstadt’s main objective still remains to survive in the Bundesliga, they will be looking to get into the top half of the table, and a result at the Allianz Arena could prove to be the perfect springboard to do that. Manager Dirk Schuster has been at the club since 2012, and knows that his team will need to pull something special out of the hat to avoid a defeat against Bayern Munich.
Possible Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Neuer; Bernat, Alaba, Kimmich, Lahm; Alonso; Coman, Costa, Müller, Robben; Lewandowski.
SV Darmstadt 98
Possible Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Mathenia; Diaz, Caldirola, Rajkovic, Garics; Vrancic, Jungwirth; Kempe, Rosenthal, Sirigu; Wagner.
- Darmstadt have conceded eight goals in their last five Bundesliga encounters.
- On the other hand, Guardiola’s side have scored 10 goals in their last five matches in all competitions.
- Set-pieces could be crucial for Darmstadt against their Bavarian opponents, as they have scored 55 per cent of their goals this season from dead-ball situations.
- On an average, Bayern Munich play 669 short passes every match. These 669 short passes constitute 90 per cent of all their passes in a match.
- Bayern Munich have won all of their last three matches against Darmstadt in all competitions.
Bayern Munich 3-0 Darmstadt
Although he likes to play different combinations in every match, Pep Guardiola is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting XI on Saturday. Bayern Munich will be looking to get a good result against Darmstadt in order to keep their momentum going and have enough quality in the attack to win this game comfortably.
Odds (Paddy Power)
Bayern Munich: 1/12