Created on 18-10-2019 at 17:20 PM
After the second international break of the season, the next phase of midweek matches awaits FC Bayern. Saturday's all-Bavaria derby away to FC Augsburg (follow the action in English from 15.30 CEST with our exclusive fcbayern.com live updates) marks the start of a busy run of seven matches in 22 days. After the Bundesliga match the German record champions travel to face Greek runners-up Olympiacos in the Champions League on Tuesday.
"I'm expecting a better autumn than last year," said Bayern coach Niko Kovač, referring to a difficult phase of four consecutive matches without a win last season. "Ideally we want to win all our next seven matches. Then we'll surely be top in the Champions League, through to the next cup round and top in the Bundesliga," Kovač commented on the goals for the next few weeks.
FC Bayern were toppled from their perch after the 2-1 home defeat to Hoffenheim before the international break. The German record champions aim to set off on a winning run against Augsburg and reclaim top spot as soon as possible. "The matchday will be exciting. We might claim first place if we win the match away to Augsburg. That's our goal, that's what we want to achieve, but we know how difficult it is," said Kovač.
FC Augsburg's start to the season has been anything but satisfying. Martin Schmidt's men have only taken five points from seven matches, lying 14th in the table. Augsburg have only won one of their last 12 competitive matches (spanning multiple seasons), a 4-1 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 4. They most recently lost 5-1 away to Borussia Mönchengladbach. Augsburg have conceded 19 goals so far this campaign, which makes them the most vulnerable of all Bundesliga sides along with promoted side SC Paderborn. And on Saturday they encounter none other than FC Bayern, who have won 13 of their 16 Bundesliga matches against them.
"We're very happy everyone's returned healthy," Kovač commented on the players who have returned from national team duty. The 48-year-old has more options than against Hoffenheim. Lucas Hernández and Leon Goretzka are fit again. After sustaining a hairline fracture of the rib, David Alaba is on the "road to recovery," travelling to Augsburg. Kovač will have to make do without Michaël Cuisance (thigh problem) and Fiete Arp (scaphoid fracture). Augsburg will be without Felix Götze, Carlos Grüezo and Marek Suchy, whereas captain Daniel Baier and Jeffrey Gouweleeuw are rated doubtful.
What the coaches say
Niko Kovač: "Augsburg have a good team, they're very tough to play against. I'm definitely expecting a very, very difficult match, an intense and physical match. We must put up a fight but also use our quality. We must resolutely take the chances we have."
Martin Schmidt: "We want to play better than recently of course. We mustn't turn in another performance like the one against Gladbach. We've changed a few procedures to boost the team's confidence and assurance. We mustn't underestimate ourselves or have too much respect. We must go for the one-on-ones and turn in a very passionate display. Teams aiming to take something against Bayern must run five to six kilometres more than they do."
Robert Lewandowski's streak continues! The forward is the first Bundesliga player to boast 11 goals after Matchday 7. On Saturday he'll face his favourite opponents. The 31-year-old striker has netted 18 times in 14 matches against FCA. He only boasts more goals against Wolfsburg, 20 in 17 matches. Lewandowski has scored eight goals away to Augsburg. He has also set up five goals, which means the Poland captain has been involved in an impressive 23 goals against Augsburg.