Created on 2021-01-22 at 15:39 PM
League leaders FC Bayern travel to bottom club Schalke (Sunday, 9:30 am ET) to kick off the second half of the season. The Munich side have dominated at this time of year in recent seasons, and have a strong record against the upcoming opponents. Here are all the important facts and figures ahead of Matchday 18.
1. Strong Bayern run against Schalke
Bayern are undefeated in 20 Bundesliga duels against Schalke (17 wins, three draws) - for the strugglers this is their longest spell without a win against any opponent in German football. The Munich side's only longer unbeaten run in the Bundesliga is against Werder Bremen (24 games). The 8-0 win at the start of the season was also Bayern's biggest Bundesliga win since the 8-0 victory against Hamburg in February 2017. For Schalke this was their joint highest Bundesliga defeat since November 1969 (8-0 against 1. FC Köln).
2. Bayern move through the gears in the second half of the season
FCB have won every second half opener since the 4-1 loss in Wolfsburg on Matchday 18 of 2014/15, and they've only lost one of their last 34 second half matches (29 wins, four draws), falling 3-1 to Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 20, 2018/19.
3. Lewandowski with two record runs
Robert Lewandowski has scored at least one goal (13 in total) in his last ten Bundesliga appearances against Schalke - the longest run against a single club in Bundesliga history. In addition, the Pole netted in the seventh straight away game with his 1-0 goal in Augsburg, equalling the previous record. So far this has been achieved by four players in the German top flight - most recently Sean Dundee at the turn of the year 2002/03.
4. FCB can handle the role of favourites
FC Bayern last lost a Bundesliga game against the bottom side in March 2008. Since that 2-0 defeat at Energie Cottbus, there have been 20 wins and three draws in 23 duels against the team in 18th place.
5. Neuer's clean sheets against ex-club
Manuel Neuer equalled Oliver Kahn's record with the 196th clean sheet of his career against FC Augsburg - and he could now become the sole holder of this record. In 16 Bundesliga duels with his ex-club, Neuer has kept a clean sheet eleven times, more often than against any other team while wearing the Bayern jersey. In addition, he has not lost a competitive game against his former colleagues (15 wins, three draws).
Read all about Manuel Neuer's new Bundesliga record here:
6. Ex-Schalke man Sané with strong record against S04
Leroy Sané also has fond memories of duels with his former club Schalke 04. In the 8-0 win in the first half of the season, the Germany international scored his first competitive goal for Bayern and set up two more. In a total of three games against the strugglers (two of them with Manchester City), Sané has been directly involved in eight goals (three scored, five assisted), more than against any other team in his professional career.
7. Top goalscorers of 2021 face off
Schalke youngster Matthew Hoppe has scored five goals in his first seven Bundesliga games for S04, all in the calendar year 2021 - only the world best footballer Lewandowski has scored as many as the 19-year-old American since the turn of the year.