Saturday, May 27, 2017

Bayern Munich v Ingolstadt: Champions seek return to winning ways

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 10 Dec 2015

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Bayern Munich’s unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season came to a shuddering halt at Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend, but they will be looking to get back on track when Ingolstadt visit the Allianz Arena.

Second-half goals from Oscar Wendt, Lars Stindl and Fabian Johnson sent Bayern 3-0 down at Borussia Park on Saturday, before Franck Ribery came off the bench to score a late consolation.

Ribery’s return salvaged a positive for coach Pep Guardiola, with the French winger having not featured since March thanks to a persistent ankle injury.

Ribery came through that cameo appearance unscathed and managed 45 minutes in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League as he nears match fitness.

That win in Croatia – which wrapped up a group campaign that saw Bayern finish top – will have helped in the healing process after last weekend’s disappointing loss, but Guardiola will be keen for his side to re-assert themselves domestically against Ingolstadt on Saturday.

After a promising start to life in the top flight, Ingolstadt’s form has taken something of a turn for the worse of late.

One win in seven matches leaves them sitting 11th in the Bundesliga and a major scalp in Munich appears unlikely, although Bayern’s previous league defeat came as part of a run of three, so there is arguably no better time to play them.

Coach Ralph Hasenhuttl remains positive his side can compete and believes keeping a clean sheet for as long as possible will be all-important to the team’s chances.

“We have not lost in advance and I hope we can be on an equal footing for a long time,” he said.

“We all have ideas but whether they work is another matter.

“We are very happy. As one ascends, it is a highlight for every single player to compete with the best team in the world.

“We are an ambitious team and we want to show that we have even more to give.”

Bayern frontman Robert Lewandowski has been the subject of reports linking him with Real Madrid in recent days, but responded by netting both goals in the win over Dinamo.

Lewandowski trails former Borussia Dortmund team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by three goals at the top of the Bundesliga scoring charts and will be hopeful of making up some ground by adding to his tally of 14 this weekend.

Key Opta stats:

– The sides have only met once before competitively – Bayern beat Ingolstadt 6-0 in the second round of the 2011-12 DFB-Pokal.
– Victory this weekend would see Bayern guarantee top spot at Christmas. If they are first at Christmas it will be the fifth consecutive time they have managed the feat – something that has never previously happened.
– Bayern have won all eight of their home games and have a goal difference of +27 (30 scored, 3 conceded) – the best in the history of the division at this stage of a campaign.
– Bayern have won their last 13 home games in all competitions, netting at least twice in each of those victories (3.8 per game on average). They have never secured 14 wins on the spin in all competitions under Pep Guardiola.
– Bayern have won their last 22 games against newly-promoted sides, scoring 75 goals and conceding 10, as well as shutting them out on 14 occasions. Their last defeat against such a team came in Kaiserslautern (2-0 in 2010).
– The best defences in the division come to blows this weekend – Bayern have let in just eight goals, while Ingolstadt have shipped 15. Bayern have the best attack in the league, though (43 goals), while Ingolstadt have the worst (11).

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