FC Bayern München return to action from the international break looking to extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table when they welcome Eintracht Frankfurt to the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
The Bavarians will have welcomed the international break after showing noticeable signs of fatigue in a narrow 1-0 win over 1. FC Köln, following the epic injury time win over Juventus a few days before.
The home side have a fantastic record over Frankfurt in recent years, having won all but one of the last seven meetings between the sides and it has been more than 15 years since the Eagles beat Bayern at home.
The hosts currently top the Bundesliga standings, having lost just two of 27 league games so far this season, and hold a five-point gap over second place Borussia Dortmund, while Frankfurt find themselves in the relegation zone in 17th place.
However, the visitors are level on points with both the teams above them and will know any kind of result will be a bonus to their survival hopes.
Bayern have conceded just 13 goals all season, exactly half the total of the next best defence in the league, and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer could collect his 150th Bundesliga clean sheet this weekend if he can keep the Frankfurt forwards at bay.
At the other end of the pitch, Robert Lewandowski will look to extend his lead at the top of the division’s scoring charts.
All feet on the ball. ?? #packmas #FCBayern #Lewandowski @_rl9 A photo posted by FC Bayern Official (@fcbayern) on
Frankfurt assistant coach Robert Kovac, a former Bayern player, is fully aware of the test that awaits the side this weekend and doesn’t think their upcoming Champions League tie against Benfica will have any effect on the match.
“The Bayern players have a very professional attitude and when you play for this club success is everything,” he told Bayern Magazin. “I won more trophies with FC Bayern than anywhere else.”
His brother and the club’s head coach Niko Kovac is a bit more optimistic: “We want to pull off a surprise. We have the quality to do it and that’s why I took the job,” he said.
Arjen Robben (abductor), Holger Badstuber (ankle) and Jerome Boateng (groin) all miss out for the hosts, while Frankfurt will be without Alexander Meier (knee).