Having failed to find the back of the net for the first time in 12 Bundesliga games last weekend away at Dusseldorf, Robert Lewandowski arrives for the home game with Bayer Leverkusen in fine fettle, having scored the quickest 4-goal haul ever in the Champions League as Bayern Munich won 6-0 at Crvena Zvezda.
Bayern are back to domestic duties in the Bundesliga and in the familiar environs of the Allianz Arena where the record league champions have scored 19 goals in six games, winning five of them. The Bavarian club are on a five game winning run at home against their Matchday 14 visitors Bayer Leverkusen.
Hansi Flick has won four games on the trot without conceding a goal, which includes 4-0 wins over Borussia Dortmund at home and away to Dusseldorf respectively in the Bundesliga. If Bayern beat Leverkusen by 4 or more goals, Flick would have made the best-ever start by any manager in Bundesliga history.
Bayern, who are presently a point behind leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach, have their striker Lewandowski in sizzling form. However, Leverkusen have not conceded a goal in 12 of 15 Bundesliga games against the Pole. No other Bundesliga club have shut out the prolific striker more often.
Ninth-placed Leverkusen could climb into the top four after the Bayern game, provided results elsewhere go their way. However, Peter Bosz's men have lost on each of their last five Bundesliga trips to the Allianz Arena since a 2-1 win in 2012-13.
Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen have met on 80 previous occasions in the Bundesliga. It is a rivalry dominated by the Bavarian club, winning 47 games, drawing 16, and losing 17. Bayern have won five consecutive home games against Leverkusen since a 1-2 reverse in 2012-13. However, Bayern lost their last Bundesliga game to Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 at the Bay Arena.
Last 5 games (both teams)
Bayern Munich: W-W-L-W-D.
Bayer Leverkusen: D-W-L-D-L.
Last 5 home games (Bayern Munich)
Bayern Munich: W-W-L-W-W.
Last 5 away games (Bayer Leverkusen)
Bayer Leverkusen: W-L-W-L-W.
Jaan-Fiete Arp (fractured wrist), Lucas Hernandez (ankle), and Niklas Süle (torn anterior cruciate ligament) are out with injuries while Mikael Cusissance is ill.
Kai Havertz (hamstring), Joel Pohjanpalo (ankle), and Mitchell Weiser (ankle) are injured while Sinkgraven (thigh) is a doubtful starter.
Bayern Munich (4-1-4-1): Manuel Neuer (c) – Benjamin Pavard, Javi Martinez, David Alaba, Davies – Joshua Kimmich – Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka, Thomas Müller, Kingsley Coman – Robert Lewandowski.
Bayer Leverkusen (4-2-3-1): Lukas Hradecky – Lars.Bender (c), Tah, Sven Bender, Wendell – Julian Baumgartlinger, Charles Aranguiz – Karim Bellarabi, Nadiem Amiri, Moussa Diaby – Kevin Volland.
Bayern have scored 19 goals in six home games this season, winning five of them. Considering their home record this season, their recent home record against Leverkusen and the kind of irresistible form Robert Lewandowski is in, it is hard to foresee anything but a convincing win for the Bavarian club.
Prediction - Bayern Munich 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen.