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Bundesliga Matchday 6
Benteler-Arena, Paderborn
  • 68' Kai Pröger
  • 84' Jamilu Collins
SC Paderborn 07
2 : 3
(0:1)
FC Bayern Munich
  • 15' Serge Gnabry
  • 55' Philippe Coutinho
  • 79' Robert Lewandowski
  • 68' Kai Pröger
  • 84' Jamilu Collins
  • 15' Serge Gnabry
  • 55' Philippe Coutinho
  • 79' Robert Lewandowski
“Must be compact like a Roman legion”

Alaba returns for Paderborn trip

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Bayern are currently in good form, as the mood during the week during training showed. “We’re working with great concentration but we’re also laughing a lot,” head coach Niko Kovac explained. “The chemistry is right. There are friendships developing and when you’re friends, you try to support each other.” According to the coach, that could be the decisive factor for Saturday’s Bundesliga match at SC Paderborn (kick-off at 9.30AM ET, stay tuned to fcbayern.com for updates). The clash against the promoted club is the start of another busy period for FCB, in which they will play three matches in the space of eight days. fcbayern.com has all the important information for you ahead of the game.

Form

The last matchday went very well for Bayern as they beat Köln 4-0 at the Allianz Arena while other teams around them at the top dropped points, allowing the record champions to climb up to second the table. Kovac has stated his desire for this trend to continue against Paderborn: “At the very least, we want to maintain this place in the Bundesliga by the end of next week, or maybe even climb up one higher.”

The opponent

It’s been easy to spot Steffen Baumgart’s mark on Paderborn’s play in their games so far this season. “What he embodied as a player is now embodied in his team. They want to play out from the back, not just pump it long. They have quick, nimble-footed players who can be a threat up front,” said Kovac in his analysis. The promoted side have scored six goals this season but also conceded 14, and as such they currently sit bottom of the table with just one point.

Injury update

Leon Goretzka (recovery from thigh operation) and Fiete Arp (broken wrist) were already ruled out of Saturday’s game, but on Friday Ivan Perisic was also confirmed as an absentee due to flu. However, David Alaba is back after his muscle tear. Kovac, therefore, has a number of options for his line-up but will not be looking ahead to Tuesday’s Champions League match at Tottenham Hotspur when he selects his team. “You can’t focus on the second game, now it’s time for Paderborn,” the tactician stressed.

View from the dugout

Niko Kovac: “We know we’re playing against the bottom side but that doesn’t mean anything. We take every opponent seriously. We’ll head to Paderborn with great respect and want to win the game. We have to remain compact when not in possession, just like a Roman legion used to do. Our team is prepared. I’m assuming we’ll be able to get over this hurdle despite its difficulty.”

Steffen Baumgart: “Promotion has given us the chance to play against teams who we last year would have needed to call up and ask if they’d play a friendly against us. And most would have said no. The difficulty of this task is obvious, but it’s about winning three points. When the game kicks off at 3:30 the scoreline is 0-0, and then we’ll see how it looks after 90 minutes.”

Key fact

The differences between the two clubs could not be greater. FC Bayern’s membership of over 290,000 is bigger than the entire population of Paderborn as a city (roughly 150,000), while there is also a gap in a sporting sense. Paderborn are playing just their second season of Bundesliga football, while FCB have been in the top flight uninterrupted since 1965 and only missed out on the first two campaigns. There have been four competitive encounters between the two clubs, twice each in the Bundesliga and DFB Cup, with Bayern winning all of them by an aggregate scoreline of 21-1.

Referee

Felix Zwayer will take charge of his first Bayern match of the season. His assistants are Thorsten Schiffner and Rafael Foltyn, with Daniel Schlager as the fourth official. Tobias Stieler is the video assistant.