Bayern and Schalke meet in a worthy match


Bayern Munich will again look to the goals of Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski when they welcome in-form Suat Serdar and Schalke to the Allianz Arena in Saturday’s late game, reports agencies. Lewandowski’s penalty in last Sunday’s 4-0 win at Hertha Berlin took him to 20 goals this season and back level with RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner at the head of what is officially the highest-scoring two-horse race to be top scorer in the  league’s history. 

It’s being run in parallel to the title race that sees the champions trail Leipzig by four points coming into the weekend as they hunt an eighth consecutive Meisterschale.  While Thomas Müller has also been chipping in with a Bundesliga-record 12 assists after 18 games, the Munich giants have brought in defensive reinforcements with right-back Alvaro Odriozola joining on loan from Real Madrid. 

That move should allow Joshua Kimmich, who’s available again following suspension, and Benjamin Pavard to play in their preferred central midfield and centre-back positions respectively, but it may be too soon for the Spain international to start after just a few days training with his new team, meaning Pavard remains at right-back for now. Serge Gnabry may also have to settle for a place on the bench after his Achilles tendon injury.

Schalke have already equalled their points total from the whole of last season after just 18 games under David Wagner and head to Munich full of confidence after a commanding 2-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach in the opening game of 2020. 

Germany international Serdar is the Royal Blues’ top scorer from midfield after netting his seventh of the campaign in that victory before new arrival from Augsburg Michael Gregoritsch wrapped it up to leave the Gelsenkirchen club just three points off opponents Bayern. As confident as they are, though, Schalke have only beaten the record champions once at the Allianz Arena in the Bundesliga, coming back in 2009. 

Amine Harit is expected back for the trip to Bavaria after a thigh problem last week, but Benito Raman is struggling with flu and goalkeeper Alexander Nübel, who will join Bayern in the summer, remains suspended, so Markus Schubert continues in net.