Fortuna Dusseldorf - Bayern Munich Preview: Bavarians looking to break another Bundesliga record with a win
Victory would see Jupp Heynckes' men record the best start to a campaign of any club in the modern domestic league's 50-year history by opening with eight consecutive triumphs
By Tom Webber
Levels, Juanan, Langeneke, Van den Bergh
Kruse, Ilso, Bellinghausen
Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Badstuber
Luiz Gustavo, Schweinsteiger
Muller, Kroos, Ribery
Bayern Munich will look to maintain their perfect record in the league so far this season, breaking yet another Bundesliga record in the process, when they travel to the Esprit Arena to face Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Jupp Heynckes is expected to play the same back line that he has done in every Bundesliga fixture so far this season but David Alaba could be in line for a return to the starting line-up.
Javi Martinez is replaced by Luiz Gustavo in midfield while, with Arjen Robben still absent through injury, Thomas Muller will continue to operate on the right. This enables Toni Kroos to play in his preferred role in behind the striker, a position which Mario Mandzukic holds onto as Mario Gomez continues his return to fitness.
The hosts, who lost their first game this term when they were defeated by Mainz in the last round of fixtures, have a few fitness worries ahead of their clash with the league leaders. Stelios Malezas is out with a thigh injury and so Jens Langeneke will be partnered by Juanan in the centre of defence.
Elsewhere, captain Andreas Lambertz and Robbie Kruse face late fitness tests, meaning that Andriy Voronin and Cha Du-Ri could find themselves among the starting line-up.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- When Fortuna Dusseldorf welcomed the Bavarian giants on December 9 1978, the hosts made history with a stunning 7-1 win over a team including the likes of Sepp Maier and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
- However, in the 44 times that these two sides have met, F95 have only managed to secure another nine victories. (W10 D9 L25)
- The last time that Dusseldorf managed to best die Roten in front of their own fans was in a 4-0 win back in the 1985-86 season.
- Bayern Munich could set a new record for the best start to a Bundesliga campaign should they win their eighth consecutive match on Saturday.
- Mario Mandzukic (pictured, right) has netted eight goals in 10 appearances in all competitions for the Bavarians this season. It took him 27 games to reach the same tally in his debut season at Wolfsburg.
- To this day, the 7-1 defeat inflicted by this weekend's opposition remains the heaviest away defeat suffered by Bayern in Bundesliga history.
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Top 3 Predictions
Fortuna Düsseldorf 0-3 FC Bayern München
- 25.37 %
Fortuna Düsseldorf 0-2 FC Bayern München
- 12.22 %
Fortuna Düsseldorf 0-4 FC Bayern München
- 11.42 %
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||9 Mar 2013||FC Bayern München 3 - Fortuna Düsseldorf 2|
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||20 Oct 2012||Fortuna Düsseldorf 0 - FC Bayern München 5|
|9 Mar 2014||Dynamo Dresden 1 - Fortuna Düsseldorf 1||2BL|
|28 Feb 2014||Fortuna Düsseldorf 2 - DSC Arminia Bielefeld 0||2BL|
|23 Feb 2014||VfL Bochum 0 - Fortuna Düsseldorf 0||2BL|
|14 Feb 2014||Fortuna Düsseldorf 1 - FC Union Berlin 1||2BL|
|10 Feb 2014||TSV 1860 München 1 - Fortuna Düsseldorf 1||2BL|
|23||Johannes van den Bergh||Defender|
|5||Daniel Van Buyten||Defender|
The centre-back has played a huge part in Dusseldorf's positive start to the season and he will need to be at his best if his side are to earn a positive result. It could be tough without his regular defensive partner Stelios Malezas alongside him and so he will really need to step up his game. Bayern are so fluid on the attack that he will not be able to lose concentration at any point, but if he organises the defence to the best of his ability then the home fans may find themselves with something to cheer. Shutting out the in-form Mandzukic will be of paramount importance.
The Croatian striker has enjoyed a fantastic start to life in Munich. Six goals from his first seven Bundesliga games for Bayern has made him an instant hit. He comes into the match having also scored for his country during the 2-0 win over Wales in midweek and he will be eager to find the net for his club once again. Although he may be quiet for large spells, Mandzukic is the type of striker that can tuck away any chance that comes his way and Dusseldorf will need to be fully focused if they are to keep him off the scoresheet.
Fortuna Dusseldorf are undefeated at home so far this season, with impressive results including draws against both Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach. But Bayern Munich are a cut above the aforementioned pair and will provide the hosts with their toughest match since their return to the Bundesliga. Jupp Heynckes' side have been superb so far this campaign, racking up seven straight wins and it is hard to see them failing to secure the record-breaking eighth victory. It may take some time, but their superior attacking talent should see them through.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed