Bayern Munich will be looking to retain their place at the top of the Bundesliga table when they play hosts to SC Paderborn on Friday night.

Bayern Munich have enjoyed an amazing run of form under Hansi Flick. They have managed to return to the top of the Bundesliga table, with 46 points on the board. But to their misfortune, Borussia Dortmund have also performed really well while closest competitors RB Leipzig are trailing them by just a point.

Therefore, the Bavarians simply cannot afford any mishap when they play hosts to SC Paderborn on Friday. At the same time, however, they will have an eye on their game against Chelsea next midweek, in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie in the UEFA Champions League.

Bayern are, however, coming on the back of a solid 4-1 win over 1.FC Koln in their last game. And against a Paderborn side, who are dawdling at the bottom of the league table with just 16 points, they will be confident of their chances.

That being said, Paderborn have registered two wins in Ruckrunde so far and notably managed to hold FC Schalke earlier this month. Hence, they shouldn’t be taken lightly and here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides ahead of this exciting encounter in Bundesliga this weekend.

Tactics & Team News

Bayern Munich

With Flick having one eye on the important Champions League fixture against Chelsea, he could ring in the changes in the relatively easier test versus Paderborn. That means key players like Thiago Alcantara could be dropped to the bench, paving the way for Corentin Tolisso to start in central midfield.

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 05: Corentin Tolisso of FC Bayern Muenchen runs with the ball during the DFB Cup round of sixteen match between FC Bayern Muenchen and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Allianz Arena on February 05, 2020 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Tolisso is in line to receive a rare start. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Frenchman is tipped to start alongside Joshua Kimmich in the double pivot. Leon Goretzka could also start, in a more advanced number ten role while Thomas Muller could be given a breather. The German could make way for Philippe Coutinho, who is likely to operate at left-wing.

That means Kingsley Coman might also be given a rest, though the same cannot be said for Serge Gnabry. The ex-Arsenal star is expected to retain his role at right-wing, especially with Ivan Perisic still out injured. Meanwhile, the Bayern Munich attack will be led by the one and only Robert Lewandowski.

In defence, Alvaro Odriozola is poised to receive his first start for Bayern Munich. He will operate at right-back, at the expense of Benjamin Pavard, who is suspended for the game along with Jerome Boateng.

Hence, we might see Lucas Hernandez forming the central defensive pairing with David Alaba, with Alphonso Davies at left-back while Manuel Neuer is a guaranteed starter in goal.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Odriozola, Hernandez, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Tolisso; Gnabry, Goretzka, Coutinho; Lewandowski

SC Paderborn

Paderborn will miss out on the services of young defender Luca Killian. Nevertheless, the likes of Laurent Jans, Christian Strohdiek and Sebastian Schonlau are all expected to retain their place in the four-man backline. But, Jamilu Collins could be given a rest, paving the way for Gerrit Holtmann to potentially replace him at left-back.

PADERBORN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 15: Head coach Steffen Baumgart of Paderborn looks on prior to the Bundesliga match between SC Paderborn 07 and Hertha BSC at Benteler Arena on February 15, 2020 in Paderborn, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Can Baumgart’s men pull off a surprise win at the Allianz Arena? (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The midfield could remain unchanged, with Klaus Gjasula featuring as the lone defensive midfielder. He will be tasked with the responsibility of clearing out any loose balls in midfield. Meanwhile, the duo of Sebastian Vasiliadis and Ben Zolinski will look to add more composure during the possession phases.

Paderborn coach Steffen Baumgart could make one change in attack, however. Dennis Srbeny made an impact after coming on from the bench against Hertha Berlin. We expect him to get the nod ahead of Streli Mamba this weekend and spearhead the Paderborn attack.

Srbeny could be supported by the wide attacking duo of Kai Proger and Christopher Antwi-Adjei, though new signing Samuel Fridjonsson, as well as Dennis Jastrzembski, are also options in the final third.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Zingerle; Jans, Strohdiek, Schonlau, Holtmann; Vasiliadis, Gjasula, Zolinski; Proger, Srbeny, Antwi-Adjei

Key Stats

  • Bayern have won their first three Bundesliga games against Paderborn with a goal record of 13-2 – their best record after three games against any side in their Bundesliga history.
  • Paderborn have conceded more Bundesliga goals against Bayern than they have versus any other side (13). They also suffered their heaviest Bundesliga defeat against the record champions: 6-0 at home on 21st February 2015.
  • League leaders Bayern will play their 250th Bundesliga game at the Allianz Arena against bottom of the league Paderborn. The last meeting between top and bottom came on 4th May 2019, as Bayern beat Hannover 3-1.
  • Bayern have scored 12 goals in the opening 15 minutes of Bundesliga games this season – a league-high. Paderborn, on the other hand, have let in 13 goals in the opening quarter of an hour, more than any other side.
  • Bayern’s 3-0 lead in Koln (in 12 minutes) was the quickest they have led by this scoreline since their 5-3 win over Oberhausen on 20th January 1973. They have only ever been 3-0 up earlier once before: also against Oberhausen on 30th April 1970.

Player to Watch

Philippe Coutinho

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 05: Philippe Coutinho of FC Bayern Muenchen looks on during the DFB Cup round of sixteen match between FC Bayern Muenchen and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Allianz Arena on February 5, 2020 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Desperate to make an impact! (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images)

It seems like Coutinho’s days at Bayern Munich could be numbered. The Brazilian joined the club in the summer, in a season-long loan deal, with the Bavarians having an option to make the move permanent. However, he hasn’t been able to make the desired impact, mainly due to a lack of game-time.

That being said, Coutinho has no shortage of potential suitors. This game, therefore, could come as an excellent opportunity for him to make an impact and showcase his true potential. Moreover, it is likely that a good performance against Paderborn should help him make a push for the starting eleven against Chelsea next week.


Bayern Munich 4-0 SC Paderborn

Despite failing to win against RB Leipzig earlier this month, Bayern Munich are simply in a sensational scoring run. And it is unlikely to be a stopped by a Paderborn side, who have conceded over 2 goals per game this season. Hence, we expect the Bavarians to dominate the proceedings and come out as convincing 4-0 victors.

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