Munich - Lightning, according to the legend, never strikes in the same place twice. FC Bayern Munich will be hoping that proves the case when they take to the pitch at Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday, seeking the victory that would give them outright ownership of a new Bundesliga best-mark - eight straight wins to start the season.
The Allofs family
The two sides have rarely met in recent years and Bayern last lost to Düsseldorf back in 1990/91. Almost 13 years prior to that, however, the Munich outfit suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats in their history at the hands of their upcoming opponents.
While it was current Düsseldorf board member Thomas Allofs who secured that 1-0 success in April 1991, it was his older brother Klaus, currently director of sport at SV Werder Bremen, who helped Düsseldorf to a 7-1 triumph over Bayern in 1978, the heaviest away reverse in the record champions' history.
"It was certainly something extraordinary to beat FC Bayern like that," said Thomas Allofs to bundesliga.com "The balance of power between Fortuna and Bayern back then was as it is now. I think that was the only time I ever came out on top against them. A game against FC Bayern is always special," Special and rewarding, as Allofs revealed. "They played a friendly against us when we were in the Third Division without asking for a fee," he recalled. "That was to help us as we were struggling financially. It's now a dream come true to be able to play against them in the Bundesliga after so many years."
Dwelling on the past will not help Fortuna become the first team in Germany to deny Bayern all three points this season, though. Nor will increasing the pressure by making this game out to be the most important of the year. "It's not the biggest highlight of the season - we have 34 highlights," said Fortuna coach Norbert Meier. The first seven have already been and gone, with considerable success, the newly-promoted side picking up ten points along the way. More than enough for Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes to take them seriously.
"Fortuna have made a great start to the season and Norbert Meier and Wolf Werner have done a fantastic job over the past few years," Heynkes told the F95 club website. "They've assembled a great team and they're are going to play a big role in the Bundesliga, that's for sure." The 51,500 capacity crowd inside the ESPRIT Arena will also test Heynckes' side. "I expect, as always when FC Bayern come to town, emotion, passion and great football," he said. "I just hope my team perform well, and successfully."
Ins and outs
Heynckes once again has to find an alternative to Arjen Robben, who remans sidelined with a muscular strain. He could also be forgiven for having one eye on next week's Champions League clash with Lille OSC, a game which has gained in significance in the wake of Bayern's defeat to BATE Borisov in their previous group outing. However, he does have David Alaba available for the first time this season, and the Austrian full-back showed his form with a goal and an assist on international duty in midweek.
The hosts could be deprived of captain Andreas Lambertz, who has a toe injury, but Stefan Reisinger appears to have recovered from a knee injury and should be a candidate for a starting berth.
Fortuna Düsseldorf Giefer - Levels, Juanan, Langeneke, van den Bergh - Bodzek, Kruse -, Ilsö, Bellinghausen, Voronin - Schahin
Bayern MunichNeuer - Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Badstuber - Luiz Gustavo, Schweinsteiger - Müller, Kroos, Ribery - Mandzukic