Preview: Bayern v Berlin

FC Bayern München will be targeting a record 15th consecutive win on Saturday when they host a Hertha Berlin side looking to bounce back from a defeat.

Date: 24 February 2018
Match Day 24
Kick-off: 16H30 local time
Venue: Allianz Arena
Referee: G. Winkmann
Assistants: C. Bandurski, A. Blos
Fourth official: M. Petersen

Head-to-head summary: 

TEAM              MATCHES  WIN   DRAW   LOSS

Bayern              63           37       18          8       
Berlin                 63           8         18         37 

Previous encounter: 

Berlin 2-2 Bayern 01/10/17 (Bundesliga)

Berlin goalscorers: O. Duda (51'), S. Kalou (56')

Bayern goalscorers: M. Hummels (10'), R. Lewandowski (49')

Players to watch: 

Thomas Muller has rediscovered his form under Jupp Heynckes recently and has taken his goal tally for the season up to nine, adding to his nine assists. However, the main threat still remains Robert Lewandowski, who has netted 29 in 33 appearances.

Hertha will be looking towards striker Davie Selke and winger Salomon Kalou to provide the goals for the visitors. Both men have scored nine goals in all competitions this season, with Kalou recently finding the back of the net at Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Team form and manager quotes: 

Die Roten have looked unstoppable across all competitions since the arrival of manager Jupp Heynckes in October. They have lost only once since he took over the reins at the Allianz Arena.

The Bundesliga leaders have won 23 out of their last 24 games and enjoy a 19-point lead at the top of the league standings. Their most recent victory was a 5-0 thrashing of Turkish outfit Besiktas in the Champions League last-16 on Tuesday.

A victory over Berlin would see Heynckes become the first Bayern manager to win 15 consecutive games.

When asked about the threat of complacency creeping into their game, Heynckes told the press: "There can be no relaxation, it will not happen. I do not know if there must be a drop in energy. 

"We play in front of our own audience, in front of a great atmosphere. The weather is uncomfortable, so we have to walk a lot (laughs). We want to continue to score in the league. We want to continue this way."

Meanwhile, Berlin saw their unbeaten run of four Bundesliga games come to an end last week when they lost 2-0 at home against 1. FSV Mainz, with Robin Quaison netting a brace for the visitors.

Prior to the defeat, Berlin drew three consecutive games before a surprise 2-0 victory at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, where Valantino Lazaro and Salomon Kalou provided the decisive goals for the away side.

"The players felt that [the 2-0 defeat] was not alright, and in the beginning of the week it was a bit lethargic in training, but now we have done well," Berlin manager Pal Dardai told his press conference. 

"I have had one-to-one interviews with some of them, and the posture and mood now look pretty neat."

Team news: 

The hosts are without Jerome Boateng, who is ill, and an injured James Rodriguez.

Berlin will be missing Julius Kade, Julian Schieber, Arne Maier, and Vedad Ibisevic due to injuries.