By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Bayern Munich will look to maintain their place at the top of the Bundesliga table when they face fellow Bavarian side Augsburg on Saturday.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Bayern will head into Saturday’s contest in a buoyant mood after they booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals. After beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the first leg in their last-16 tie, Bayern took a narrow lead into Wednesday’s second leg. Neither side were able to break the deadlock in the first period, but second-half goals from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Serge Gnabry clinched Bayern a crucial 2-0 victory.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side will now turn their attention back to Bundesliga matters, with the league leaders currently level on 49 points with Borussia Dortmund.
Bayer have only lost two of their 23 league games this season, but one of those defeats took place against Augsburg when the two sides met in September. Despite losing 1-0 to the Fuggerstädter in the reverse fixture, Bayern have proven to be an invincible force at the Allianz Arena. Saturday’s hosts are the only side yet to lose a top-flight home game this season, having won 11 and drawn four of their 17 home league matches.
Nagelsmann has confirmed that Choupo-Moting will miss out with a back injury. The Bayern boss has also revealed that Matthijs de Ligt, Thomas Müller, Kingsley Coman and Leon Goretzka are struggling with fatigue and will need to be assessed before Saturday’s contest. The hosts are still unable to call upon long-term absentees Lucas Hernandez and Manuel Neuer.
Augsburg will have the chance to claim consecutive victories this weekend after they edged out Werder Bremen last Sunday. January signing Dijon Drena Beljo registered his first goal for the club to open the scoring before Jens Stage restored parity in the 16th minute. Augsburg retook the lead within three minutes of the restart thanks to Arne Maier’s effort, which proved to be the winning goal as Augsburg held firm to record a narrow 2-1 win.
The Fuggerstädter have now collected four consecutive home victories in the Bundesliga, but they have been unable to transfer their impressive home form onto their travels. Since claiming a 3-2 away victory over Schalke 04 on October 2, Augsburg have picked up one point from seven away league games.
Having conceded at least two goals in each of those seven away fixtures, Augsburg know that they will have their work cut out to keep a high-scoring Bayern side at bay.
The visitors are without the services of Fredrik Jensen, Felix Uduokhai, Andre Hahn and Tobias Strobl. Reece Oxford, meanwhile, is expected to miss out through illness.