Munich - FC Bayern München weren’t in town when Oktoberfest 2013 kicked off, which was perhaps just as well. Pep Guardiola’s men were in Gelsenkirchen, expertly passing their way through FC Schalke 04 en route to a 4-0 victory.
This week, though, the Reds' superstars will be entertaining on home turf. Hannover 96 visit on Wednesday in the DFB Cup, before VfL Wolfsburg come calling in the Bundesliga. And although Pep’s troops have looked impressive this season, when the world's most famous beer festival is in full swing, home advantage isn't always as helpful as it would seem for the 22-time Bundesliga champions. bundesliga.com takes a look at Bayern’s record during the Wiesn.
There’s a simple answer to how the Oktoberfest affects FC Bayern München’s home form: it makes them worse. Bayern have won 64 per cent of their Bundesliga games during the Wiesn or 52 of their 80 matches, with 21 draws thrown in. However, statistics show that they tend to score fewer goals and concede more, losing above one goal per game, in fact. For a team that prided itself on a defensive record of just 18 goals shipped in the entire 2012/13 campaign, that balance will want addressing.
Moreover, Bayern have won 74 percent of games at home outside of the Oktoberfest. Now it would be churlish to say that the festival affects them directly, but it is certainly clear that Bayern struggle to reproduce their usual steam-rollering form while 6.9 million visitors are in town.
As we have seen, that is a case that can be made from Bayern's 49 years of Bundesliga history. On the other hand, more recent form gives a better insight into how this season’s games during the Wiesn will turn out. In the last two seasons results have been encouraging, as Bayern have defeated Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-0 in 2011, as well as Wolfsburg (3-0) and 1899 Hoffenheim this time last year. Last season’s successes came during a record-breaking Hinrunde, en route to becoming the fastest Herbstmeister in Bundesliga history.
Wolfsburg visit again this year, coming to the Allianz Arena on Matchday 7. Before that, however, there is the visit of Hannover with which to contend. Mirko Slomka’s side will frequent the Allianz Arena for the second time this season, and Die Roten gave a good account of themselves in a 2-0 defeat to the reigning champions on Matchday 5. Both they and northern rivals Wolfsburg will have to stop an ever-improving Guardiola side still unbeaten at home this season.
Schalke were die Münchner’s first victims of the festive period last Saturday and indeed the Royal Blues seem to struggle during the Wiesn. As well as being thumped 4-0 at the weekend (albeit not in Munich), they were also the unfortunate visitors for Bayern’s biggest home Oktoberfest win, 7-1 in 1977. The Bavarians were propelled to that result thanks to goals from Gerd Müller and Uli Hoeneß, who have scored the most league goals during the festival, with 21 and 13 respectively.
Their successors will visit the festival to sample the Bier and Hendl on Saturday evening after the Wolfsburg game, but before the revelry comes the hard work. Mario Mandzukic and Co. will be hoping to enjoy the local delicacies after making those Wiesn statistics look a little bit more pleasant, and full of confidence after their 'best game of the season so far'.