Action resumes in the Bundesliga (BL) after the month-long Christmas break. Champions Bayern Munich will travel to in-form Bayer Leverkusen in one of the more mouth-watering clashes of the week.
Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:
With Bayern having established an 11-point cushion at the top, all eyes are on fourth-placed Leverkusen (28 points) to breathe a new lease of life into the title race.
The winter break should help add a bit more energy to these two most forward-thinking sides in the league. Leverkusen (34 goals) and Bayern (37 goals) are behind only Borussia Dortmund (39 goals) in terms of goals scored. This game pits the league’s top-scorer Robert Lewandowski (Bayern, 15 goals) against the highest-scoring German in the BL – Kevin Volland (Leverkusen, nine goals).
Leverkusen have remained unbeaten for the past 14 games (W7, D7, L0) in all competitions. It would have been a wonderful run, had it not been for the irritating number of draws! In fact, Leverkusen are unbeaten in the BL at home this season (W4, D4, L0), but the number of stalemates is a concern!
Bayern’s away record is the best in the league (19pts, W6, D1, L2), although both their losses this season, have come on the road. The Champions have failed to score in just one match away from home – in the 2-0 loss to Hoffenheim back in September.
Key battles: Leon Bailey versus Arjen Robben will be the battle of the apprentice against the master! The Jamaican Bailey has been vital for Leverkusen so far this season, with six goals and four assists – with four of his goals being equalisers. The 20-year-old is one of the best attacking midfielders in the league, although the 33-year-old Robben will no doubt counter that. Bayern haven’t lost any of the 14 games (W11, D3, L0) that Robben has started, and his duel with Bailey will be keenly fought!
Stat attack: Bayern have not won at the BayArena in the Bundesliga since back in March 2013, but their last win came with Jupp Heynckes in charge! Leverkusen, for the record, have just one win in their last ten BL encounters (W1, D3, L6).
Bayer Leverkusen: K. Bellarabi (doubtful), V. Yurchenko (doubtful)
Bayern Munich: T. Alcantara (thigh injury), C. Fruchtl (foot injury), M. Neuer (leg injury), M. Hummels (doubtful), R. Lewandowski (doubtful).