Created on 2019-11-29 at 17:30 PM
Saturday evening, floodlights on – perfect conditions for FC Bayern. The German record champions welcome Bayer 04 Leverkusen to the Allianz Arena (live ticker from 18:30 CET on fcbayern.com) in the headline fixture of Matchday 13, hoping to continue their impressive record at that kick-off time. The Reds have collected 19 points from a possible 21 in their last seven Saturday evening outings, with a goal difference of 24-3.
Bayern’s winning run under new coach Hansi Flick culminated in a 6-0 drubbing of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Tuesday. The 54-year-old’s record now reads four wins, 16 goals scored and none conceded since he took charge.
“It’s a run that’s slowly becoming outrageous,” marvelled Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the post-match banquet in Belgrade, while calling for the team to “reach the top by Christmas”. The defending champions are currently in third place, one point behind leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Like Bayern, the Werkself also enjoyed success in the Champions League in midweek, securing at least a place in the Europa League in the New Year thanks to a 2-0 win at Lokomotiv Moscow. However, ninth-placed Leverkusen haven’t quite lived up to expectations in the league, with their highly talented squad – which includes the likes of Germany international Kai Havertz – failing to consistently fulfil their potential. Last weekend they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to SC Freiburg, despite having 27 attempts on goal.
Bayern won 3-1 in this fixture last season in September 2018.
Bayern have recovered well from their exertions in midweek. “We’re at full strength aside from the long-term absentees,” confirmed Flick, who has everyone available bar Niklas Süle (torn cruciate), Lucas Hernández (ankle injury) and Fiete Arp (rehab after scaphoid fracture). David Alaba is back with the team after sitting out the trip to Belgrade for personal reasons, so the boss is spoiled for choice. “I can’t go wrong because everyone is eager to show their qualities!”
What the coaches say
Hansi Flick: “Leverkusen are technically and positionally very strong. They defend aggressively from the front – similar to what we’re doing. Therefore, it will certainly be an intriguing game. We’ve prepared the team well for what we’re about to face. The meeting was longer than usual, which shows you how seriously we’re taking Leverkusen. They’re a side who play football and look to outplay the opposition. They’re very bold.”
Peter Bosz (Bayer 04 Leverkusen coach): “Bayern have momentum. No one’s scored a goal against them up to now [Ed. since Hansi Flick took over]. What matters to us are the points, we want to take them back from Munich. I think that’s possible. We need to have a very good day against Bayern, with all players delivering their maximum performance. That’s the only way we’ll have a chance as a team. We always want to win – even away at Bayern!”
Bayern’s home record against Leverkusen offers them hope of getting three important points in the battle at the top. The reigning double winners have won their last six home matches against the Rhineland outfit and have lost just one of the last 29 (W23 D5) – a 2-1 defeat during the treble-winning 2012/13 campaign.