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Bundesliga Matchday 13
BayArena, Leverkusen
  • 14' Patrik Schick
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
1 : 2
(1:1)
FC Bayern Munich
  • 43' Robert Lewandowski
  • 90'+3 Robert Lewandowski
  • 14' Patrik Schick
  • 43' Robert Lewandowski
  • 90'+3 Robert Lewandowski
'The cherry on top'

Bayern's goal in Leverkusen is topping the table at Christmas

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FC Bayern are in for another real thriller to round off the year! Coach Hansi Flick's team travel to Bundesliga leaders Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday (live text and Webradio commentary from 12:30 EST on fcbayern.com) in the matchday's standout fixture. "It's a bit like a final for us against serious opponents," said Manuel Neuer, who was named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper on Thursday. fcbayern.com rounds up the key information ahead of the final clash of the year.

The situation for FC Bayern

An away win in Leverkusen would see Bayern regaining the lead in the Bundesliga and sitting pretty in top spot over the short Christmas break. With a one-point gap to Bayer 04, the men from Munich are in second place after twelve matchdays. After two draws against RB Leipzig (3-3) and Union Berlin (1-1), the Reds earned an enormously important and hard-fought 2-1 win in the last home match of the year against VfL Wolfsburg during the week. Now they want the next three points in the final away game at Leverkusen. "We intend to be back on top on Saturday evening," said newly-crowned The Best FIFA Men's Player Robert Lewandowski.

Check out here where FCB's direct rivals are in action this weekend:

The opponents: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Last weekend, Leverkusen headed to the top of the table. The Werkself are the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga and also came first in their Europa League group. Coach Peter Bosz's team have won five games in a row, their most recent one being a clear 4-0 thrashing of 1. FC Köln in the derby on Wednesday. So the Rhinelanders are currently riding on a wave of success. "They have self-confidence, you can feel that. Their idea of playing football is a good one, they play a possession game which allows them to put their stamp on it. Furthermore, they're able to transition quickly," Bayern coach Flick said in his press conference on Friday.

Team news, tactics and more: You can watch Hansi Flick's pre-match press conference before the match against Leverkusen (with English translation) here:

Team news for Bayer vs. Bayern

Javi Martínez (muscle injury) and Tanguy Nianzou (muscle tear) will be missing from the Bayern squad against Leverkusen due to injury. The extent to which Leon Goretzka, who missed out against Wolfsburg with an injury, and Joshua Kimmich (after meniscus surgery) will be available is still open. "We're waiting for the training session and will consult with the medical unit," Flick said.

Check out the best images from Bayern's final training session ahead of the match:

Leverkusen will be without Charles Aránguiz, Sven Bender, Paulinho, Exequiel Palacios and Santiago Arias against Bayern. Lars Bender is also expected to miss out.

What the coaches say

Hansi Flick: "A win would be the cherry on top this year. Our goal is to spend the winter at the top of the table. Leverkusen are a very strong team who are on a very good run. For us, defending to a man will be very important again, as will making sure we avoid losing possession. If everyone performs at 100 per cent, it will be difficult for Leverkusen to beat us."

Peter Bosz: "I don't care who the favourites are in this game. For me, a top match like this means no stress. As an athlete you want to play in big games, it gives you a special energy. This will be one of those games."

If you want to know more ahead of the game, check out our facts and stats: