Cement the lead at the top with a home win: that’s the clear objective for FC Bayern when they host Arminia Bielefeld at the Allianz Arena on Saturday evening (live ticker and Webradio from 12:30pm ET on fcbayern.com) on Bundesliga Matchday 13. After a 2-1 defeat at Augsburg and a hard-fought 2-1 success at Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League, the Munich men are targeting an important three points to end the week. We’ve got all the info you need in the preview.
See the best images from Bayern’s final training session before the home match against Bielefeld:
The situation for FC Bayern
Bayern’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga standings was cut to one point last weekend after the defeat at Augsburg. Closest challengers Borussia Dortmund play earlier on Saturday afternoon away to VfL Wolfsburg and can move above FCB for the time being with a win. However, with the two rivals facing off next matchday (4 December, 12:30pm ET in Dortmund), Bayern will be keen to defend their position at the top with victory at home. The win in Kyiv on Tuesday night, which sealed first place in the group, gives Julian Nagelsmann’s side confidence for their task.
See what Julian Nagelsmann had to say in his pre-match press conference:
The opposition: Arminia Bielefeld
With nine points from the 12 matches thus far, Bielefeld are sitting in the relegation zone in 17th place. But after a run of five defeats in six games in all competitions, they have taken four points from their last two, following up a 1-0 win at VfB Stuttgart with a 2-2 draw at home to Wolfsburg last Saturday. “Bielefeld are showing improvement from last year. They have very clear patterns and always good ideas for how to get the opposition to open up spaces. They can be particularly dangerous from chip balls,” described Nagelsmann in Friday’s press conference. “They have a good structure and always look to get in behind. They sacrifice a lot physically and in how they play, and defend with great passion.” Arminia took a point from Munich in a 3-3 draw in the sides’ last meeting in February.
The team news for Bayern vs. Bielefeld
Along with Joshua Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who have both tested positive for coronavirus, Marcel Sabitzer (calf), Tanguy Nianzou (shoulder) and Bouna Sarr (adductor) will also be absent against Bielefeld. The good news for Nagelsmann is that Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala and Michaël Cuisance (after isolation) as well as Niklas Süle and Josip Stanišić (after coronavirus) are all available again.
More on the latest team news:
Bielefeld travel to Munich without striker Florian Krüger (illness) and left-back Lennart Czyborra (appendix operation).
What the coaches say
Julian Nagelsmann: “We need to be ready from the start to go into the duels with absolute hunger. It’s an extremely important match for us because we don’t have the four-point lead anymore – and in view of next week too. We know we need to deliver and want to deliver. We want to show that from the beginning. We have to perform to our limit.”
Frank Kramer (Arminia Bielefeld coach): “It’s a privilege that we get to compete for Bundesliga points in Munich. We’ll have to defend robustly and tightly. When Arminia play against these top teams, a good focus on defensive sharpness is required. We need to be quick and use the spaces well and determinedly in order to get forward quickly.”
Here are the facts and stats on the match against Bielefeld: