Preview: FC Bayern München v Bayer Leverkusen

FC Bayern München will hope to turn around a run of three matches without a win when they face an unpredictable Bayer 04 Leverkusen side at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

26/27 November 2016
Game week 12
Kickoff: 01:30 HKT
Venue: Allianz Arena

Referee: M. Fritz
Assistants: D. Schaal, M. Pelgrim
Fourth official: R. Kampka

Head-to-head summary:

Bayern 77 45 15 17
Leverkusen 77 17 15 45

Previous encounter:

Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Bayern Munich (06/02/16) Bundesliga

Players to watch:

Full speed ahead to #FCBB04! ? #packmas

A photo posted by FC Bayern Official (@fcbayern) on

After an uncertain run of form for Bayern, the club have been boosted by the news that Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer are both fit and available for Saturday’s clash. With the club showing some vulnerability at the back, the return of the inspirational Neuer in goal will no doubt give the side’s defence some much needed confidence. Meanwhile, the dangerous Robben will undoubtedly give the club’s attack a lift as he looks to cause damage down the wing for the German champions. Javi Martinez also may return and he could also no doubt add to the defensive stability.

Javier Hernandez continues to be Bayer Leverkusen’s main goal threat and he has experience of facing some of the biggest and best clubs in the world after his spells at Manchester United and Real Madrid. The 28-year-old has already collected seven goals in all competitions this season, and will want to show he has not been distracted by recent reports linking him with a return to Madrid. The Mexico international will no doubt look to use his pace and instincts in the box to try and exploit a Bayern defence that may be feeling fragile. He could be a man worth watching on Saturday.

Team form and manager quotes:

Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti has been quick to play down reports of any crisis taking place at his team after consecutive defeats to Borussia Dormund in the Bundesliga and Rostov in the UEFA Champions League. The Italian is looking for a positive response when Bayer Leverkusen visit the Allianz Arena. He told the club’s official website, “I was really disappointed with the result and our performance (against Rostov). We didn’t play well. I need to get the team back on track as quickly as possible.”

Manager of Bayer Leverkusen, Roger Schmidt, has been under some pressure at the club in recent times. Yet, the 49-year-old recently led Leverkusen to the next round of the UEFA Champions League despite being in a tough group which contained Monaco and Tottenham Hotspur. Their form led the side’s Sporting Director Rudi Voller to say that Bayer can beat anyone in Europe. He told reporters,”If anybody had said we would go through with a game to play then I would have signed up for it. Not everything went to plan in our group, but on a good day we can compete with anyone.”

Team news:

Bayern welcome back Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer to the fold after recent injury and illness respectively. Javi Martinez could be available although he will be assessed prior to Saturday’s clash. Meanwhile, Jerome Boateng has been passed fit after picking up a knock in the 3-2 defeat to Rostov.

The visitors report no notable injury concerns although captain Lars Bender may be fit after a recent bruised heel ruled him out. The side also recently welcomed back both Germany international Jonathan Tah and Turkey’s Omer Toprak at the back.