The Bavarians are eager to continue their winning spree in Bundesliga as they return to the Allianz Arena to face Schalke on Saturday.
Bayern Munich will look to continue their winning run in Bundesliga from last week when they return to Allianz Arena to face an in-form Schalke side on Saturday.
The Bavarians were dominant on their trip to Berlin as they decimated Hertha 4-0 and are in a rich vein of goalscoring form. Hansi Flick’s men are still four points adrift of RB Leipzig, who are at the summit of German football, therefore Bayern need to maintain their rhythm and close down the gap.
Meanwhile, Schalke has found form in recent matches as they are coming to this match on the back of a 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach and will look to continue in the same vein of form against Bayern. They will be hoping to at least salvage a point from the Allianz Arena as they keep pushing for a top four spot.
Last time these two teams met was in the reverse fixture of Bundesliga this season at the Veltins Arena where Bayern won 0-3 courtesy of a Robert Lewandowski hat-trick. Therefore it will be Schalke’s shot at redemption as we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the sides before this feisty encounter.
Tactics and Team News
Hansi Flick does not have fresh injury concerns apart from absentees Niklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez and Javi Martinez. Kingsley Coman, who sustained a knee injury, has returned to training but it is highly unlikely that Flick will risk the Frenchman.
The Bavarians may continue to opt for the conventional 4-2-3-1 formation as it allows their midfielders to take control of the game. Manuel Neuer’s selection under the bar is a no brainer as Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davies are likely to continue in full-back positions.
Jerome Boateng will keep his place at the heart of the Bayern Munich defence and is likely to be paired up with David Alaba. New signing Alvaro Odriozola may start from the bench.
In midfield Joshua Kimmich will return from suspension and is likely to replace Leon Goretzka. The German international will play alongside Thiago Alcantara in a double pivot. On the flanks Ivan Perisic is likely to keep his place after a superb outing against Hertha Berlin while Thomas Muller will continue to play from the right.
Lastly Philippe Coutinho will take up the No. 10 role just behind Robert Lewandowski who has been in terrific form this season and is also leading the Bundesliga goalscoring charts along with Timo Werner with 20 goals.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Thiago; Muller, Coutinho, Perisic; Lewandowski
David Wagner has some injury concerns and he will be missing some of his first-team players in Weston McKennie and Salif Sane. Both the players have sustained serious injuries and it will take time before they will be allowed to take the field. Meanwhile Benjamin Stambouli is also unlikely to take part as he sustained a fracture in his metatarsal.
Die Knappen may continue to play their unconventional 4-1-2-1-2 formation with young German goalkeeper Markus Schubert starting in goal ahead of Alexander Nubel. In defence, Ozan Kabak and Matija Nastasić will form the centre-back pairing with Jonjoe Kenny and Bastian Oczipka playing in full-back positions.
In midfield just ahead of the back four, skipper Omar Mascarell will play as a defensive midfielder breaking up play and recycling possession. Up ahead players like Daniel Caliguiri and Suat Serder will provide that bite and creativity to the whole unit. Amine Harit is likely to return to the lineup in a free role just behind the front two.
In attack, Belgian forward Benito Raman will partner new signing Michael Gregoritsch. Raman has scored four goals along with three assists this season while Gregoritsch recently joined Schalke on loan from Augsburg has already scored and assisted on his debut against Gladbach.
Probable Lineup (4-1-2-1-2): Schubert; Kenny, Kabak, Nastasic, Oczipka; Mascarell; Caliguiri, Suat Serder; Amine Harit; Gregoritsch, Raman
- Schalke have lost maximum matches (53) and conceded maximum number of goals (209) against Bayern than any other side in the Bundesliga.
- Bayern are unbeaten in 19 competitive matches against Schalke stretching back to a 1-0 DFB Cup semi-final loss in 2011. Manuel Neuer was in goal for the Royal Blues that day, and the current Bayern captain is yet to lose in 14 games against his hometown club, conceding just five goals.
- Suat Serdar has scored seven goals this season for Schalke – a personal best in the Bundesliga. All of those strikes have given the Royal Blues the lead.
- No team has conceded fewer goals from open play this season than Schalke (11), but they have given away and conceded a league-high six penalties. Nineteen of Bayern’s last 20 Bundesliga goals have come from open play.
Player to Watch
Despite Robert Lewandowski scoring a hat-trick against Schalke in the reverse fixture, Thomas Muller will be the player to keep an eye on mainly because of his all-round display. Muller has mustered 12 assists along with three goals and is in great form having scored against Hertha Berlin last week.
Schalke are likely to opt for a narrow formation increasing more men in the middle of the park and hence Muller will have a lot of space to latch onto the second balls and make moves to get in behind the defence.
Although goals seem to have dried up, Muller has proven his worth with his great attacking shift and has turned more of a creator as the assists show for it. It will be interesting to see how David Wagner manages to keep Muller out of the game.
Bayern Munich 3-1 Schalke
The Bavarians have been in great form ever since the start from December hiatus. They have scored goals for fun and even in the reverse fixture they scored three goals past the Die Knappen at the Veltins and there is no reason why they can’t repeat that result at home.
With Robert Lewandowski in red hot form and the overall team performing well under Hansi Flick it will be an uphill battle for Schalke to gain anything from this fixture. However, they may take a consolation goal but it looks like another win on the bounce for the reigning German champions.