Gelsenkirchen - A veritable footballing treat awaits Bundesliga fans on Saturday evening as FC Schalke 04 host defending champions FC Bayern München at the Veltins Arena (kick-off 16:30 GMT/18:30 CEST).

bundesliga.com presents everything you need to know ahead of the match...

When two of the league’s heaviest heavyweights go head-to-head, fireworks are always to be expected and even at this early stage the outcome could have repercussions in the table later on in the season. A Schalke victory would be a welcome boost to the club after a poor start to the campaign, while Bayern could do with a solid performance to shake off the early-season cobwebs.

The home side's injury woes deepened last week when they lost left-back Sead Kolasinac to a cruciate ligament tear. He joins long-term absentees Fabian Giefer, Leon Goretzka and Jefferson Farfan in the treatment room, and while Atsuto Uchida is nearing a comeback he is not fit enough to feature here. will likewise play no part due to an ankle knock, with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is doubtful after coming down with a virus in midweek. However, and Jan Kirchhoff are fit for selection.

The visitors must make do without crocked trio Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez and Thiago, while Arjen Robben is doubtful after sustaining an ankle knock against Wolfsburg last week. is free to play again following suspension, Franck Ribery could make his return from injury and new signings Medhi Benatia and Xabi Alonso could also feature after making the trip north with the squad on Friday. “Both are fit and are coming with us,” said Pep Guardiola in his pre-match press conference.

Bayern were not at their best at home to Wolfsburg last week and rode their luck at times, as better finishing from the Wolves could have secured a point for the visitors. With the Bavarians still to find their rhythm, as well as needing new players to settle in, there may not be a better time to play against Philipp Lahm and Co. To that end Schalke will need to be at his ruthless best and make the most of any chances that come his way if they are to glean any points from the occasion.

grabbed the opening goal of the 2014/15 Bundesliga season last week and is one of the few Bayern players set to start in a position familiar to him as Guardiola continues with a 3-5-2 formation. The 24-year-old seems to enjoy facing Schalke too, as he has scored more goals against them than any other Bundesliga side: in just eight meetings with the Royal Blues he has hit the net five times and provided four assists.

Pep Guardiola: “Schalke have got very, very good players and it’s always tough against them. We need a good performance in order to win there.”

Jens Keller: “The boys will need to pluck up their courage and play with bravery. We need to see that every single one of them goes the extra mile in order to win. Bayern aren't in top form but they've got unbelievably talented individuals.”

Schalke have had a decidedly wobbly start to the season, crashing out to third-tier outfit Dynamo Dresden in the first round of the DFB Cup before throwing away the lead to lose 2-1 away to Hannover last week. “We need to stay compact and make fewer mistakes,” said Keller. Despite not firing on all cylinders either, Bayern eased into the second round of the cup and opened their Bundesliga campaign with a 2-1 win at home to Wolfsburg.

Bayern have won the last seven Bundesliga matches against Schalke, and the last three meetings all finished with at least a four-goal margin of victory. The Royal Blues have only found the net twice in those seven encounters and both times it was a Bayern player who scored an own goal. The Bavarians have grabbed 23 goals in the same period. Moreover, Schalke have lost to Bayern more often than they have against any other Bundesliga club (45 times).

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