Claudio Pizarro returns to face former employers Bremen, although the Peruvian is likely to start on the bench...
Claudio Pizarro returns to face former employers Bremen, although the Peruvian is likely to start on the bench...


Munich - FC Bayern Munich travel to Werder Bremen on Saturday looking to maintain their perfect start to the season (kick-off 15:30).

Imperious visitors

Bayern's comfortable Matchday 5 win over VfL Wolfsburg saw the league leaders set a new Bundesliga record by scoring 17 goals and conceding only two in winning their first five matches. Worryingly for Bremen, there is still seemingly plenty more to come from Jupp Heynckes' pacesetters.

These are certainly ominous times for the chasing pack. The Bavarians now boast a 100 per cent winning record in all competitions this season and can rotate their starting eleven without suffering any dip in quality. New signing has hit the ground running and took his season tally to eight goals in as many games against his former club and he will no doubt be relishing the prospect of facing a shaky Bremen defence.

Bayern's growing self-confidence is clear to see and it is testament to coach Jupp Heynckes' man management skills that he is able to keep his star-studded squad content. With the club aiming for three titles this season and currently playing such exciting football, it's little wonder they are happy to toe the line.

Campaign of change

Watching footage of Bayern making such light work of Wolfsburg will have given Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf plenty to ponder. His side had to come from a goal behind to take all three points at SC Freiburg on Wednesday night and have only managed one clean sheet all season.

Yet in light of the various summer comings and goings on the Weser, 2012/13 was always likely to be a season of transisition. The Green and Whites are are currently in a respectable seventh place, only a point behind Borussia Dortmund and they are just shy of scoring an average of two goals per game.

Old boys

Heynckes has the luxury of selecting his starting eleven from a near fully-fit squad of players, but with a Champions League group tie against BATE Borisov coming up on Tuesday, he may ring a few changes. could start against his former club, while Thomas Müller, Luis Gustavo and Toni Kroos are all in contention after missing out against Wolfsburg. Arjen Robben will play no part after staying in Munich with muscular complaints sustained in that match.

Without quite the same level of strength-in-depth at his finger tips, Schaaf must decide whether to hand Bayern loanee Nils Petersen a starting role, or to stick with Wednesday night matchwinner Joseph Akpala as the lone striker, as the Weser club look for a first home victory over die Rekordmeister since October 2006.

Probable line-ups:

Werder Bremen: Mielitz - Fritz, Prödl, Sokratis, Schmitz - Arnatouvic, De Bruyne, Junuzovic, Hunt, Elia - Akpala (Petersen)

FC Bayern Munich: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Badstuber - Gustavo, Schweinsteiger, Müller, Kroos, Ribéry - Mandzukic (Pizarro)

Christopher Mayer-Lodge