Created on 24-01-2020 at 17:30 PM
FC Bayern entertain FC Schalke in the first home match in 2020 on Saturday evening (follow the action from 18.30 CET with our live updates at fcbayern.com). Hansi Flick's men aim to pick up where they left off and extend their run of four consecutive Bundesliga victories.
Hansi Flick's most important statements ahead of the first home match of the year👇🏻
Bayern advanced to second place in the table when they beat Hertha Berlin 4-0 last weekend. The German record champions are four points short of RB Leipzig. Two weeks ahead of the heavyweight encounter with the men from Saxony at the Allianz Arena, Hansi Flick said: "We must perform well in every match and live up to our full potential. Then it'll be like in the last few years: whoever wants to win the title must beat us."
FC Schalke are back among the teams fighting for the Champions League spots after a patchy 2018/19 season. The Royal Blues have taken 33 points in 18 matches under new coach David Wagner, who took over last summer, the same number as they managed in the whole of last season. Despite the successful start to the second half, a 2-0 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach, the Schalke coach said: "We're the underdogs, no question. We know Bayern are in good form again," said Wagner.
Lucas Hernández resumed the full squad programme on Friday, but the match against Schalke probably comes too early.
Joshua Kimmich is available again after serving a one-match ban. Flick declared: "He'll play from the start." The 54-year-old has another option in new signing Álvaro Odriozola. Lucas Hernández made another step towards a comeback and completed the full squad programme for the first time after undergoing ankle surgery in October. The match against Schalke comes too early for Kingsley Coman, who continued his rehab after suffering a capsule tear in his left knee, Niklas Süle (torn cruciate) and Javi Martínez (thigh injury).
Manuel Neuer is always highly motivated against his ex-club, and his performances tell the story. The 33-year-old Germany keeper has gone unbeaten in his 15 competitive matches against the Ruhr valley outfit (12 wins, three draws). He has only conceded five goals against Schalke, his club from 1991 until his transfer to Bayern in the summer of 2011.