The runaway Bundesliga leaders are hoping to extend their lead at the top when they play host to top-four hopefuls Schalke on Saturday evening at Allianz Arena.
Bayern Brimming with Confidence
Bundesliga reigning champions have truly turned a corner under coach Jupp Heynckes who returned from retirement to help his old club re-gain footing following a below-par spell under Carlo Ancelotti in 2017.
The experiment of turning over to decorated tactician for help did raise a couple of eyebrows but in the end, it proved to be a right decision as Bayern Munich are currently on an eleven-match winning run which was rounded off with a thumping 6-0 victory over Paderborn in the DFB Cup during the week. The Bavarians are high on confidence and will be returning back to Bundesliga duties in fine spirits thanks to an 18-point lead in front of Bayern Leverkusen and RB Leipzig in third and fourth, respectively. Not only have Bayern Munich have been compelling and mesmerizing in their attacking exploits this season, they have been rather impressive defensively. Having scored the most goals in the league (51), Bayern Munich have allowed the least as well (16) and will most certainly be looking to register the third consecutive clean sheet against out-of-sorts Schalke.
Manuel Neuer continues to miss out, whereas Thiago, Arturo Vidal and Javi Martinez are also unavailable through injuries. Bayern Munich striker Thomas Muller has picked up a bruised thigh in DFB Cup win and is in doubt for the Saturday’s clash.
Consistency has been a major issue for the Gelsenkirchen-based club this season in Bundesliga. The top-four hopefuls had attempted to launch a title challenge this season but currently sit in fifth in the standings, only one point behind the second and third-placed sides, after going second themselves earlier in the season.
Schalke did well to bounce back from last weekend’s home defeat against Werder Bremen, having recorded a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg in the DFB Pokal during the week. Guido Burgstaller scored his ninth goal of the season for a much needed morale-boosting victory which puts Schalke in the semi-final of the Cup competition. Domenico Tedesco is doing a great job with his youthful side and – as only the 32-year-old himself – Schalke manager made sure to add more firepower during the January transfer market in order to make a contribution to club’s cause. Schalke brought in Marko Pjaca, Cedric Teuchart and Abdul Rahman Baba who are all expected to raise the level of the team’s quality in the second part of the season. Two defeats and only one victory from last four Bundesliga matches offers little promise but Schalke are not to be discarded just yet.
Pablo Insua is suffering from an inflammation, whereas Weston McKenmie is nursing a ligament damage. Matia Nastasic is unavailable through his red card suspension, whereas Riether and Baba Rahman are doubtful.
Bayern Munich have been rightfully installed as firm favourites to grab another three points and extend their lead at the top. The Bavarians were last beaten by Schalke back in 2011 and boast a rather impressive record against the club from Gelsenkirchen which we believe will be continued.
Top pick: Both teams to score – No 1.90 (9/10) @Betfair
Alternative pick 1: Bayer Munich to win to Nil 2.25 (5/4) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Bayern Munich/Bayern Munich 1.87 (13/15) @Ladbrokes