Munich - FC Bayern München host FC Augsburg this Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CEST) in the pick of the Matchday 4 fixtures in the Bundesliga – a Bavarian derby between two sides who will be flying the Bundesliga flag in Europe next week.
bundesliga.com presents five things you need to know about Saturday's Bavarian battle…
1) So near and yet so far
Only 75 kilometres separate the two Bavarian cities, yet their footballing paths have been far more distant – at least until recently. While Bayern have been a perennial force in the top flight of German football, it was not until 2011 that Augsburg joined them at the nation's top table and provided Bayern with a new local derby. Their only previous meeting had come in the DFB Cup, with Bayern emerging triumphant in 1983.
2) Lahm wants no let-up
Bayern are blazing a trail at the top of the Bundesliga once again and captain Philipp Lahm is keen for it to continue. "We're the home team, and we want the next three points," he said during the international break, adding,"we've started the season well and we want to carry on this way". Indeed, Bayern last started a season with three straight wins two years ago, only to slip up on Matchday 4 with a 1-1 draw at SC Freiburg. Before that, they had set a new Bundesliga record of eight straight wins at the start of the 2012/13 season, a record they are now pursuing.
3) Helping hand
Bayern are to send out a signal as they enter the field of play at the Allianz Arena this weekend, with the players to emerge from the tunnel holding the hand of a German child on one side and a refugee on the other. "We at FC Bayern consider it our socio-political responsibility to help displaced and needy children, women and men, supporting and assisting them in Germany,” commented chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as the record champions pledged their support to the refugees arriving in the country.
4) Koo's return
Augsburg make the short trip buoyed by a significant return – that of Ja-Cheol Koo, who penned a permanent contract with the Fuggerstädter during the international break. The South Korean hopes to "ensure we reach our objectives in the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Europa League" after becoming a permanent member of the side for the first time after two previous loan spells. The 26-year-old is in for a tough afternoon on his debut, though – in nine meetings with Bayern (three in an Augsburg shirt) he has lost all nine, although he did score against them for FCA in a 2-1 defeat in April 2012.
5) Recent Augsburg resurgence
How many sides can claim to have beaten Bayern in two of their last three meetings? Well Augsburg can, having followed up a 1-0 win at home in April 2014 with another 1-0 triumph on their last visit to the Allianz Arena back in May. Those successes came when Bayern had already wrapped up the title, but the memory of those victories will still be fresh among Markus Weinzierl's charges.