Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen: Bundesliga Preview & Potential Line-ups
Bundesliga action restarts on Friday as Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen go head-to-head in a mouth-watering clash at the Allianz Arena.
September's international break may have come to Julian Nagelsmann's rescue, handing the under-fire Munich head coach some additional time to rally his troops following a dismal season start.
After finding the net in 87 consecutive Bundesliga outings, the record-time German champions succumbed to a lackluster 1-0 defeat at Augsburg on the stroke of the international break.
It did not just halt their record-breaking scoring run in Germany's top-flight but made it four winless league matches in a row for the first time since 2002.
With rumors of the Allianz hierarchy considering replacing Nagelsmann with Thomas Tuchel, who's free on the market after cutting ties with Chelsea, Bayern can ill-afford another disappointment.
Like his Munich counterpart, Leverkusen manager Gerardo Seoane is facing imminent danger of being released by Die Werkself following the club's stuttering league start.
After picking up just one victory from the opening seven Bundesliga matchdays (D2, L4), the visitors head into proceedings tied with 17th-placed Wolfsubrg on five points.
So despite guiding his side to a sensational 2-0 Champions League triumph over Atletico Madrid earlier in September, Seoane could be counting his final days at the BayArena.
It seems Robert Lewandowski's departure for Barcelona in the summer has crippled Bayern's cutting edge up top, with the Bavarians netting under 1.5 goals in three of their last four league games.
Not since Niko Kovac's underwhelming managerial tenure had the Munich outfit failed to get on the scoresheet in two Bundesliga contests on the spin, showing how deep this crisis goes.
However, the Bavarians can draw confidence from their stellar scoring streak against Leverkusen. Since a 1-0 loss in 1989, they have found the net in 32 successive Bundesliga home H2Hs.
A comprehensive 3-0 victory at Mainz in late August looks to have been just a one-off as Die Werkself has since gone winless in three successive league fixtures (D2, L1).
Indeed, Seoane's men have blown hot and cold on the road across their opening three Bundesliga travels (W1, D1, L1) despite scoring 2+ goals in their last two league games away from home.
With Leverkusen's abysmal form early in the season representing the club's worst seven-game Bundesliga start in a decade, the visitors may be doomed even before the kick-off.
Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen Potential Line-ups
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; Benjamin Pavard, Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano, Alphonso Davies; Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka; Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, SergeGnabry; Sadio Mane.
Bayer Leverkusen (3-4-2-1): Lucas Hradecky; Odilon Kossounou, Jonathan Tah, Edmond Tapsoba; Jeremie Frimpong, Robert Andrich, Kerem Demirbay, Mitchel Bakker; Callum Hudson-Odoi, Moussa Diaby; Patrik Schick.