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Goals guaranteed

High-scoring history of Bayern v Bayer

Bayern versus Bayer Leverkusen has frequently produced goalmouth action aplenty. The fixture has features six goals on five occasions, seven goals on three occasions, and once produced eight goals: almost 29 years ago, in August 1981, FCB won the match 6-2. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (pictured), Wolfgang Dremmler, Dieter Hoeneß, Kurt Niedermayer and Paul Breitner (2) hit the target for FCB, Arne-Larsen Ökland and Peter Szech for Leverkusen. Breitner could even have made it nine, but saw a penalty saved by keeper Uwe Greiner. That match took place a long time ago, but it is merely the most remarkable example of a long-running phenomenon whereby goals are practically guaranteed when the sides cross swords.

Only three of the 61 Bundesliga meetings have ended goalless, most recently back in April 1990. Since then, the 39 league meetings between the nation’s most successful club and the Werkself (works’ team) have always featured at least one goal. Fans can reasonably expect the series to continue when the sides clash at the BayArena on Saturday, as it is a meeting between two of the league’s most prolific sides. Bremen lead the way with 59 goals, followed by Leverkusen on 58 and Bayern on 57.

The home team boast a number of in-form sharp-shooters, including Stefan Kießling, level at the head of the Bundesliga scoring charts with Schalke striker Kevin Kuranyi and Wolfsburg hitman Edin Dzeko on 18 for the season. Kießling has netted five times in his last four appearances. Looking at scorer points, the combined total for goals and assists, Leverkusen have four men in the top ten: Kießling (23) Toni Kroos (17), Eren Derdiyok (16) and Tranquillo Barnetta (14). And after 29 matches, no team has shot at goal more often than the Rhineland outfit (351 to Bayern’s 327).

However, Bayern are the most precise and effective team in the league when it comes to shots at goal. FCB have the most shots on target (53.8 percent to Leverkusen’s 49.0 percent), and 17.4 percent of all FCB shots result in a goal (Leverkusen’s tally is 16.5 percent). Arjen Robben’s presence on the field also means more goals: when the Dutch ace has been in the team, FCB score twice as often with him (an average of 2.4 goals) as without him (average 1.2 goals). Only the brave would bet on a goalless draw this weekend.

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