Relegation-fighting Werder Bremen have the returning Robert Lewandowski and a Bayern Munich team one win from claiming an eighth successive Bundesliga title to contend with at the Weser-Stadion on Tuesday (kick-off: 8.30pm CEST/7.30pm BST/2.30pm ET).
Even at the best of times, it's a thankless task for Bremen. Werder have lost their last 18 meetings with Bayern in a row, and haven't beaten the record champions in over a decade. They went down 6-1 in the reverse fixture, despite Milot Rashica opening the scoring, but do have the Green-White shoots of recovery on their side heading into Matchday 32. Florian Kohfeldt's men moved level on points with relegation play-off incumbents Fortuna Düsseldorf with their 5-1 drubbing of rock-bottom Paderborn, taking their post-restart tally to 10 points from a possible 21. As long as they avoid another Bayern bashing, Bremen could lose and still climb out of the automatic drop zone, if they better Fortuna's result against RB Leipzig on Wednesday. Rashica should continue in attack, despite having a penalty saved against Paderborn, in turn missing the chance to end a scoring drought that goes as far back as the loss in Munich. Leonardo Bittencourt was rested, but is expected to come in for Japan international attacker Yuya Osako.
Champions-elect Bayern were less convincing in their 2-1 victory against top-four candidates Borussia Mönchengladbach, though they were without suspended duo Lewandowski and Thomas Müller. Forty points from 14 Rückrunde matches nevertheless has them on the brink of a 29th Bundesliga title. Three points against Bremen will seal the deal with two games to spare. Lewandowski scored twice, and Müller once, in a one-sided win over Bremen back in December. It remains the club's biggest victory under Hansi Flick, who has won 25 of his first 28 competitive games as Bayern coach, one more than current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola posted across the same period at the club. Alphonso Davies is set to return at left-back at the expense of Lucas Hernandez, after beginning the Gladbach game on the bench. Winger Kingsley Coman is also due a starting recall, but Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho - who netted a hat-trick in the reverse fixture - remains a major doubt. Fellow midfielders Thiago and Corentin Tolisso are definitely out.
- Bremen are the league's third-lowest scorers (35) and have the second leakiest defence (64).
- Their lack of goals has not been for the want of trying. Sargent - owner of three goals and two assists - has averaged a shot on goal every 59 minutes.
- Fellow Bremen striker Claudio Pizarro scored 87 times in 224 league games with Bayern across two spells at the club, winning six Bundesliga titles as well as the 2013 UEFA Champions League.
- Bayern have scored a Bundesliga record 92 goals after 31 rounds of fixtures.
- Returning pair Lewandowski and Müller are the league's top scorer and provider respectively. Lewandowski has plundered 30 goals, while Müller has laid on 20.
- With three goals and two assists in the reverse fixture (a 6-1 win for Bayern), Coutinho enjoyed the most prolific 90 minutes in his career to date.
Bremen: Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander (c), Augustinsson - M. Eggestein, Vogt, Klaassen - Bittencourt, Sargent, Rashica
Out: Möhwald (knee), Sahin (hip), Toprak (ankle)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies - Kimmich, Goretzka - Gnabry, Müller, Coman - Lewandowski
Out: Arp (knock), Tolisso (ankle), Thiago (groin)
Doubtful: Coutinho (ankle), Mai (ankle), Martinez (stomach bug), Süle (match fitness)
Coach: Hansi Flick