Bundesliga Matchweek 21 preview: Bayern Munich vs. Arminia Bielefeld (Mon - 20:30h. CET; 19:30h. GMT) - Team news, possible lineups

Bayern Munich return to Bundesliga action against Arminia Bielefeld Monday after adding a second FIFA Club World Cup to their trophy cabinet following a triumphant week in Qatar.

The Bavarians are looking to restore their seven point lead at the top of the table, with the visitors requiring an unlikely win in order to move out of the relegation zone.

Match preview

European champions Bayern defeated Al Ahly of Egypt and Tigres of Mexico without conceding a goal in either game on their way to succeeding Liverpool as FIFA Club World Cup winners.

A brace from Robert Lewandowski proved enough to dispatch the Asian champions in the semi-final, with Benjamin Pavard's 57th-minute winner downing the plucky CONCACAF side in the final.

While it is always an illustrious competition to win, though, Hansi Flick's priority will be retaining the Bundesliga and the Champions League while he has this incredibly talented group of players at his disposal.

With Leipzig cutting the gap between themselves and Bayern to four points by beating Augsburg on Friday night, Bayern must ensure they do not let their standards slip in a match which they will be heavily backed to win against relegation strugglers Arminia.

While the table is not a particularly pleasant sight for Arminia at the moment, with Uwe Neuhaus's side currently occupying the relegation playoff position, it is not somewhere they would not have expected to be at this stage of their first season back in Germany's top flight since 2008-09.

Moreover, after last weekend's home tie against Werder Bremen was called off due to heavy snowfall, Arminia are only one point behind Hertha Berlin with two games in hand.

However, the likelihood of that gap closing after a trip to the champions is a remote one. No side in Europe's big five leagues is a bigger outsider this weekend, with Neuhaus requiring a monumental effort from his players to avoid even a heavy defeat.

The 61-year-old will certainly be hoping for plenty of jet lag amongst the Bayern ranks, otherwise a repeat of the 4-1 reverse fixture could be on the cards.

Bayern Munich Bundesliga form: LWWWWW
Bayern Munich form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga form: LWDWLL

Team News

Bayern will be without Thomas Muller after the legendary forward tested positive for COVID-19 while in Qatar. He was flown home on an ambulance aircraft, in part to avoid any contamination with his teammates.

Serge Gnabry, Alexander Nubel and Tanguy Nianzou are ruled out through injury.

Arminia, meanwhile, appear to have no injury or suspension issues to contend with.

After two weeks of rest, it remains to be seen whether Neuhaus's side are revitalised or rusty heading into this incredibly difficult fixture.

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Tolisso; Sane, Musiala, Coman; Lewandowski.

Arminia Bielefeld possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Brunner, Pieper, Nilsson, Laursen; Doan, Hartel, Kunze, Yabo; Cordova, Klos.

Source: Sports Mole / Brett Curtis 



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