Bayern Munich will look to snap their run of three straight draws in the Bundesliga when they take on Augsburg on Saturday night.

Julian Nagelsmann and Bayern Munich have endured three-game weeks’ worth of frustrations in the Bundesliga off late. The defending champions are unbeaten but have seen some heroic goalkeeping and individual errors frustrate them.

This has seen them drop down to the third spot in the league ranking, two points behind early trendsetters Union Berlin. Having defeated Barcelona midweek, Die Roten will be keen to carry that momentum into the weekend against an Augsburg side they have had the upper hand over the last few years.

Der Fuggerstadter have won just two of their opening six games this season and sit a mere two points off the relegation spots. This augurs well for Bayern, who will be keen to secure all three points with minimal fuss.

It will also be a game where the attacking rosters of both sides are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Bayern have outscored all other sides in the German top flight this season while Augsburg have the joint worst record. The home side are also poor at the back, shipping in 10 goals so far.

The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News and Tactics

Augsburg

Enrico Maassen has several absentees with the likes of Niklas Dorsch, Felix Uduokhai, Noah Sarenren Bazee and Tobias Strobl all out injured. Reece Oxford is also unlikely to feature given that he is still recovering from knee surgery.

Augsburg are yet to hit their stride this season and picked up a crucial three points last time out against Werder Bremen. Given the mismatch against Bayern, it makes sense for the home side to limit themselves to damage limitation and maybe pick Die Roten off from set pieces or on the counter.

Maassen is likely to deploy his side in a traditional 4-4-2 system on the night. Rafal Gikiewicz will start in goal behind a back four of Robert Gumny, Maximilian Bauer, Jeffrey Gouweleeuw and Iago.

Carlos Gruezo and Arne Maier will be keen to hold the fort in the middle of the pitch and face a difficult challenge against Marcel Sabitzer and Joshua Kimmich. Meanwhile, Mads Pedersen and Elvis Rexhbecaj will start on the flanks.

Mergim Berisha and Ermedin Demirovic will start up front and will try to take advantage of Dayot Upamecano’s moments of madness. However, they still face a tall task given the level of the opposition.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Gikiewicz; Gumny, Bauer, Gouweleeuw, Iago; Pedersen, Gruezo, Maier, Rexhbecaj; Berisha; Demirovic 

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Bayern Munich

The German champions are unbeaten this season but have lacked the usual clinical edge up front following the departure of Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona. Sadio Mane has filled in for the Polish ace on occasion but lacks the same clinical edge to find the back of the net regularly.

He is still expected to start upfront given Bayern’s lack of a proper alternative in the number nine position. Nagelsmann will also be without Lucas Hernandez, Kingsley Coman and Bouna Sarr. Benjamin Pavard also picked up a knock and is unlikely to be risked on the night.

Thankfully for Die Roten, they have plenty of strength in depth and should be able to ring in the changes without having to compromise on quality. Bayern will line up in their 4-2-3-1 formation that has proven itself to be solid and also freely flexible at the same time.

Manuel Neuer will start in goal behind the back four of Noussair Mazraoui, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs De Ligt and Alphonso Davies. Joshua Kimmich and Marcel Sabitzer will rekindle their partnership as a double pivot, providing a solid base for the attackers to push forward and make merry.

Leroy Sane is likely to keep his spot on the left, with Thomas Muller filling in on the right for the injured Coman. This should see Jamal Musiala don the role of the attacking midfielder in the centre, behind Sadio Mane. This will give the champions a fluid attacking three behind the striker, ready to carve up the Augsburg defence.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Mazraoui, Upamecano, De Ligt, Davies; Kimmich, Sabitzer; Muller, Musiala, Sane; Mane

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Key Stats

  • Both teams have faced each other 27 times so far, with Bayern coming out on top 21 in 21 matches. Augsburg have won just four encounters between both teams.
  • Bayern averages more points (2.3 per game) and have a higher win percentage (72%) away to Augsburg, more than any other current top-flight opposition in the Bundesliga.
  • Augsburg have lost their last three home games in the Bundesliga. Another loss on the night will see them equal the unenviable club record of four straight reversals at home they experienced in 2018.
  • Bayern’s return of 12 points from their first six games is their worst start to a Bundesliga campaign at this stage in the last 12 years.
  • Another draw on the night will see Bayern Munich equal the club record for most consecutive ties in the German top flight. They went on a four-game draw streak under Giovanni Trapattoni in 1998.
  • Bayern Munich are currently on a three-game winless run in the first half of the season for the first time since 2018.
  • Bayern Munich have the most potent attack in the Bundesliga this season with 19 goals from six games. Augsburg, at the same time, have the joint-worst attack with a mere four goals scored.
  • Bayern Munich have made 142 shots in the Bundesliga this season, topping the charts in the category. Augsburg are meanwhile, dead bottom with just 57 efforts at goal.

Player to Watch

Sadio Mane

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The former Liverpool star was among Bayern’s worst players against Barcelona and struggled to make any positive impact in the game. He has also failed to score in his last three Bundesliga appearances and is going through a mini-drought.

It is more or less the player we saw at Liverpool the last few years, who often blew hot and cold. Bayern will hope that the Senegalese international rediscovers his touch and adds that clinical touch in front of the goal. There will be no shortage of service given the players behind him, and the onus will be on Mane to step up and make the most of his opportunities.

Prediction

Augsburg 0 – 3 Bayern Munich

History and form are both against the home side in the fixture. Bayern showed off their soft underbelly in recent weeks, but the win against Barcelona will have put a spring back in their step.

Die Roten have a far better side on paper, and several of their stars are currently in good nick. Nagelsmann’s squad go into the game as overwhelming favourites, and anything short of three points will be seen as a failure. While Augsburg have it in them to cause an upset, they will be up against a Bayern side set to prove a point, and it could prove to be too much for the home side to handle.

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