Goals guaranteed in top clash
Fans have reason to look forward to the encounter between Schalke 04 and FC Bayern as goals are all but guaranteed given the history of the fixture. Only three of 92 Bundesliga meetings have ended in goalless stalemates, the most recent one dating back to December 2002, with the last scoreless draw in Schalke almost 40 years ago in March 1977. On average the fans see 3.2 goals per game in encounters between the Ruhr valley outfit and the German record champions. fcbayern.com has collected more facts and stats in the build-up to the top clash.
Positive record against Schalke
The record is stacked in favour of the Bavarians with 47 wins, 27 draws and 18 defeats. Even the away record is positive: the Munich men left the pitch as winners 15 times, drawing 19 and losing 12 matches in Gelsenkirchen. FC Bayern have not lost a Bundesliga fixture against Schalke since December 2010, a 2-0 reverse. They have won nine and drawn two games against the Royal Blues since then.
Unbeaten away in 2016
FC Bayern have taken at least one point from all league matches on foreign soil this year. The German record champions have won eight of ten fixtures, with two games ending in a draw. The last similar run for the Munich men dates back to 2014, from April to December. Their last league defeat was in December 2015, a 3-1 reverse in Mönchengladbach.
Reunion for two FCB stars
Manuel Neuer and Rafinha are particularly familiar with the Veltins Arena, returning to their old stomping ground on Friday evening. Since joining the Reds in the summer of 2011 Neuer has encountered Schalke ten times, winning eight and drawing twice. The World's Best Goalkeeper has never conceded more than one goal per game against Schalke, and a total of only four. Rafinha's personal record against the Gelsenkirchen club is perfect with seven wins in seven meetings! Friday will also bring a reunion for goalkeeping coach Toni Topalovic. Schalke's forward Alessandro Schöpf and coach Markus Weinzierl once played for the Bayern reserves.
Gräfe in charge
Veteran match official Manuel Gräfe from Berlin will be the man with the whistle in Friday's top clash. The sports scientist has been a Bundesliga referee since 2004 and a FIFA referee since 2007. Gräfe has previously taken charge of 38 matches involving the Reds, most recently the 2-0 victory away to Wolfsburg in February 2016. His assistants will be Guido Kleve and Markus Sinn, with Frank Willenborg acting as fourth official.