Without a victory in the last two games, champions FC Bayern München are eyeing a return to winning ways when rejuvenated SV Werder Bremen visit the Allianz Arena on Saturday evening (kick-off: 18:30CET/17:30GMT).
Pep Guardiola's side suffered a first defeat of the season on home turf at the hands of 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Matchday 24, before being held to a stalemate in an enthralling Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund last weekend. That said, the Bavarian giants remain formidable opponents, particularly with two of the Bundesliga's three leading scorers in their ranks in Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller.
Bremen have their own in-form frontman in Claudio Pizarro, who has a Bundesliga-high nine goals since the turn of the year. However, a muscle strain sustained late in the week means the German top-flight's top foreign goalscorer will have to watch from the sidelines and wait for the strike that will move him level with Bremen's all-time top-scorer Marco Bode.
Goals: 0-1 Müller (23')
Bayern became the first team in the Bundesliga's 52-year history to win their opening nine games of the season after recording a narrow 1-0 success away to struggling Werder Bremen.
Matchday 26 - match facts
- For the first time this season, Bayern have gone two games without a victory.
- Pep Guardiola's men have already dropped more points (seven) in the Rückrunde than they did in the entirety of the Hinrunde (five).
- For their part, it has been almost six months since Bremen won two games in succession, and the last time Viktor Skripnik's men were as high as 13th was on Matchday 7.
- This will be the 100th time the sides face each other in the Bundesliga.
- No team in the top-flight has picked up more wins against Bayern than Bremen's 26, although the Bavarians have won the last ten encounters.
- With 18 goals, Die Grün-Weißen boast the best attack in the second half of the season and have already found the net once more than in the entirety of the first half of the season.
- Lewandowski (eight goals) and Pizarro (nine goals) are the Bundesliga's top-scorers since the turn of the year.
- Bremen are the only team this season not to have conceded a goal to Lewandowski or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Bayern: Neuer - Lahm, Kimmich, Alaba, Juan Bernat - Xabi Alonso - Robben, Müller, Alcantara, Ribery - Lewandowski
Absentees: Badstuber (ankle), Boateng (adductor), Javi Martinez (light training)
Bremen: Wiedwald - Gebre Selassie, Vestergaard, Djilobodji, S. Garcia - Grillitsch - Öztunali, Veljkovic, S. Yatabare, Kleinheisler - Ujah
Absentees: Pizarro (muscle strain), Bartels (cold), Bargfrede (knee), Johannsson (light training), Junuzovic, Fritz (both suspended)