The record champions have lost each of their last four Bundesliga encounters with current titleholders Borussia Dortmund, the worst such streak ever to befall the Bavarians since their promotion in 1965.
Real title matters
Jupp Heynckes’ side have established a ten-point advantage over second-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen which, with just three games of 2012 remaining, guarantees their place at the top of the pile going into 2013.
However, they had a three-point cushion at the turn of the last year only to lose out on the title, and defeat to Dortmund in Saturday’s Klassiker could yet put their march towards the title under threat.
"I don’t care about being winter champions," said Heynckes, eager as ever to get his hands on the one official title which is handed over in May. "All this means is that we have had a good or very good season so far, that we have a cushion over the teams behind us and that the team are capable of keeping their concentration when it matters." Nothing more, nothing less.
Thomas Müller agreed, reminding that "there is always a second half to the season as well" before adding that his team can "be happy with the result" but less so the performance. More will be required on Saturday if Bayern are to bring their Dortmund hoodoo to an end on Saturday.
Four consecutive league defeats over the past two seasons signalled a shift in power in German football which Bayern’s ruthless start to the present campaign is beginning contradict.
Bayern are of course keen to wrestle back the title and show that they remain Germany’s number one, something they never really doubted. “Dortmund are the team with the greatest quality...after us," smiled Toni Kroos. "We know that they're tough opponents and we've had problems against them in the last two years. We want to show that we are better than that."
Victory over Dortmund at the Allianz Arena would also be a sign of maturity as Bayern seek their first piece of major silverware in three years, although winning just one title in May will hardly make up for two years of misery in Bavaria.
"We still have a few games and goals before the winter," said captain Philipp Lahm. "We want to extend our advantage in the Bundesliga, clinch top spot in our Champions League group and get through to the next round in the Cup. But we’re top for the winter, and that’s definitely something very, very important."
Bayern’s three-pronged assault therefore continues against Dortmund, BATE Borisov and FC Augsburg, although the first challenge of that trio is easily the most appetising. "Everybody is looking forward to the big game, us players more than anybody," said Lahm with a grin.