Bayern Munich will be in for a tricky challenge ahead as they lock horns with Arminia Bielefeld at the Bielefelder Alm on Saturday.

Following a rather hectic session of international fixtures, Bundesliga will have no Friday night games in Matchday 4, but on Saturday’s Topspiel, Bayern Munich are set to face Arminia Bielefeld as they look to resume their 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign.

The Bavarians have had a decent start to the season, although the surprise 4-1 defeat to TSG Hoffenheim was a major dent in Hansi Flick’s otherwise excellent record. They are currently in the league table, but with Borussia Dortmund facing the same Hoffenheim side tomorrow, they will be looking to get an early lead by securing a win this weekend.

Arminia Bielefeld, however, have been the surprise package of this Bundesliga campaign, after initially getting promoted to the top-flight this summer. Although a win, a defeat and a draw suggests a mixed record, they have been excellent in all three of their matches against Eintracht Frankfurt, 1. FC Koln and Werder Bremen respectively.

Die Blauen were rather unfortunate to lose against Bremen in their last game, as a fantastic strike from Leonardo Bittencourt in the first half proved to be the only difference between the two sides.

Bayern Munich, on the other hand, are coming on the back of a 3-0 win over Duren, in the first round DFB Pokal fixture on Thursday and coach Flick will be desperate to continue his side’s good form this weekend.

Here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of their fascinating contest in the Bundesliga, tomorrow evening.

Tactics & Team News

Arminia Bielefeld

One of the key aspects of Arminia’s early-season success is their strong foundation at the back. The defensive combination between Amos Pieper and Mike van der Hoorn has been one of the most talking points of their campaign so far while goalkeeper Stefan Ortega has also done a wonderful in between the sticks.

These three will once again play a key role this weekend as Arminia look to contain the mighty Bayern Munich attack. Even the fullbacks in Nathan de Medina and Anderson Lucoqui could play a key role in Uwe Neuhaus’s narrow and compact defensive shape.

In midfield, the hosts are likely to continue with Marcel Hartel and Manuel Prietl forming the double-pivot, with Ritsu Doan being tasked with the responsibility of providing that creative essence as he looks to operate in the number ten role.

Moving forward, Joao Simun Edmundsson had to settle for a place on the bench in the last game but could be recalled to the starting lineup. He is expected to operate in the wider attacking role alongside Sergio Cordova, who has impressed the onlookers with his fighting spirit while also adding that physical presence in the final third.

Speaking of which, the Arminia Bielefeld attack will be spearheaded by none other than Fabian Klos. The club captain has worked hard for his team this season, leading his lot by examples. And the fans will be hoping for a similar picture this time around.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ortega; de Medina, Pieper, van der Hoorn, Lucoqui; Prietl, Hartel; Cordova, Doan, Edmundsson; Klos.

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Bayern Munich

Thanks to a busy deadline day, Bayern Munich have strengthened their reserves, giving Hansi Flick the ability to rotate his squad without having to worry about losing too much quality.

The man with the golden touch. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The man with the golden touch. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Bayern coach fielded a secondary lineup in the DFB Pokal fixture against Duren, resting a host of his key players. Unfortunately, however, he is still missing out on the services of new signings Tanguy Nianzou and Leroy Sane, as well as American youngster Chris Richards.

Nevertheless, we could expect Flick to reshuffle his defensive unit with the likes of Benjamin Pavard, David Alaba and Lucas Hernandez coming in at the expense of Bouna Sarr, Jerome Boateng and Alphonso Davies.

Marc Roca showed some promising signs in the Thursday game against Duren. However, the Spaniard, along with his compatriot with Javi Martinez, may have to make way for the German duo of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka.

And finally, the Bayern Munich will be led by Robert Lewandowski, with additional support from the creative trio of Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman while Flick also has Douglas Costa and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting as further options from the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Pavard, Sule, Alaba, Hernandez; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski.

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Key Stats

  • Bielefeld last lost a competitive match on home soil on 20 October 2019 – to Schalke in the DFB Cup second round.
  • Arminia’s last win of five in the Bundesliga against Bayern fell on 16 September 2009.
  • Edmundsson became the first Faroe Islander to both play and score in the Bundesliga on Matchday 2.
  • Thirteen goals scored after three matches is a new club record for Bayern.
  • The record champions have only lost one of their last 43 Bundesliga matches against promoted clubs (W40, D2). Even that was on the final day of 2017/18 to VfB Stuttgart, with the title already sewn up.

Player to Watch

Robert Lewandowski

Unstoppable. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Unstoppable. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Lewandowski will be delighted with the arrival of Choupo-Moting, who is expected to provide backup for the Pole – something he did, in the cup game against Duren.

And now, the Bayern Munich superstar is ready to resume his 2020/21 campaign against Arminia Bielefeld this weekend. Lewandowski has already five goals in three Bundesliga matches so far while being involved in three goals in the win over Bosnia, during the international break.

Stopping him will be the biggest challenge for Arminia Bielefeld, who have a very inexperienced side as their defensive lynchpin Amos Pieper was only a member of the Borussia Dortmund reserve side last year. So it will be interesting to see how the youngster copes with the pressure of dealing with Lewandowski this weekend.

Prediction

Arminia Bielefeld 0-1 Bayern Munich

Uwe Neuhaus has proven himself as a competent coach, who should have a definite plan against the Bavarians, considering the fighting spirit and the stamina his side has. Thus, the Bundesliga giants may have to fight hard for a win this weekend, especially with most of their star players coming on the back of international duties.

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