Bayern Munich-Schalke Preview: Die Roten seek another win against struggling visitors
After enjoying a great start to 2012-13, Die Knappen are enduring a rotten run of form, and the Bavarians will hope to take advantage and further extend their lead at the summit
By Daniel Edwards
Lahm, Dante, Van Buyten, Alaba
Muller, Kroos, Ribery
Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Fuchs
Farfan, Draxler, Bastos
Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has seen Thomas Muller and Mario Mandzukic become key figures in his side since they were given regular first team starts and the two look likely to start again on Saturday.
The Bavaraians are likely to name an unchanged team for the fourth consecutive Bundesliga fixture; a selection that would mean Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben are relegated to a place on the bench.
An eye injury suffered while on international duty with the Netherlands is almost certain to keep Klaas-Jan Huntelaar out of action for Schalke's visit to the Allianz Arena. Finnish youngster Teemu Pukki, so far used sparingly during 2012-13, is the favourite to replace the club captain up front. Julian Draxler is another doubt after returning from the Germany camp with a severe cold, but he is still in with a chance of starting.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Bayern retain their iron grip on the Bundesliga standings with 14 games to play, sitting an incredible 12 points clear of closest challengers Borussia Dortmund.
- With 51 goals scored they are also comfortably the league's most prolific outfit, averaging a total of just over 2.5 a match across the 20 fixtures played so far.
- Top scorer Mario Mandzukic (right) has converted five in his last three outings for Bayern, and also netted for his native Croatia in midweek to extend his scoring run to four consecutive games.
- Schalke's campaign has been a tale of two halves. After opening with seven wins in their first 11 games, the following nine yielded five defeats and just one victory to see the club slip down to sixth.
- Die Knappen have won the Bundesliga a total of seven times; however, their last championship success came all the way back in 1957-58.
- Current coach Jens Keller has been in charge since December 16, taking over from the sacked Huub Stevens.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Bayern München 3-0 Schalke 04
- 16.92 %
FC Bayern München 2-0 Schalke 04
- 16.38 %
FC Bayern München 3-1 Schalke 04
- 12.04 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 21, 2013||Schalke 04 0 - FC Bayern München 4|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 9, 2013||FC Bayern München 4 - Schalke 04 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 22, 2012||Schalke 04 0 - FC Bayern München 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 26, 2012||FC Bayern München 2 - Schalke 04 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 18, 2011||Schalke 04 0 - FC Bayern München 2|
|FC Bayern München|
|Dec 7, 2013||Werder Bremen 0 - FC Bayern München 7||GER1|
|Dec 4, 2013||FC Augsburg 0 - FC Bayern München 2||GERC|
|Nov 30, 2013||FC Bayern München 2 - Eintracht Braunschweig 0||GER1|
|Nov 27, 2013||PFC CSKA Moskva 1 - FC Bayern München 3||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 0 - FC Bayern München 3||GER1|
|5||Daniel Van Buyten||Defender|
|9||Michel Fernandes Bastos||Midfielder|
|17||Jefferson Agustin Farfán||Striker|
The Germany international is yet to concede a goal in 2013 for Bayern, and his marshalling of a defence that has been hit by injury this season is a big factor in their tremendous defensive record.
|Jefferson Agustin Farfán|
On form, the speedy Peru winger has the quality to tear apart any defence. Schalke will need Farfan to pull wide and exploit the spaces left by Alaba, to bolster an attack robbed of Holtby and Huntelaar.
No-one looks like stopping Bayern as they continue in imperious fashion domestically, and an out-of-sorts Schalke missing talismanic captain Klaas-Jan Huntelaar start as clear underdogs in Bavaria.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed