Bayern Munich will be looking to put a disappointing past week behind them by extending their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table when they welcome Greuther Furth to the Allianz Arena on Sunday.
The hosts suffered a staggering defeat last weekend before struggling in the Champions League in midweek, whilst the visitors picked up another win to continue their resurgence in form at the foot of the table.
Prior to last weekend, Bayern had got to the point in their season where they hit cruise control, with the Bavarians having extended their lead at the summit of the Bundesliga to nine points over Borussia Dortmund, ahead of a seemingly simple round-of-16 tie in the Champions League at Red Bull Salzburg in midweek.
However, fast forward a week, and the champions have come undone twice during a rare sticky patch in their otherwise fantastic campaign.
Everything seemed as expected when Robert Lewandowski unsurprisingly opened the scoring inside nine minutes at newly-promoted VfL Bochum last Saturday, but by half time, Bayern astonishingly found themselves 4-1 behind.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side were shell shocked, and despite Lewandowski adding his second in the last 15 minutes, he could not prevent the leaders falling to a shock 4-2 defeat.
Dortmund’s victory a day later meant that the Bundesliga title race was back on once more, despite Nagelsmann’s side seemingly ending their challenge on a couple of occasions already this season.
The Bavarians would have been expected to produce a response in midweek when they travelled to Austria in their Champions League knockout tie, but the giants put in another sluggish display and were fortunate to come away with a 1-1 draw in the end thanks to Kingsley Coman’s late equaliser.
Sunday’s hosts will still be expected to comfortably progress from the tie when they return to the Allianz Arena in a couple of weeks anyway, but Nagelsmann will be expecting his side to raise their performance levels drastically in the coming weeks, beginning on Sunday when they return to Bundesliga action looking to avoid another huge upset.
Meanwhile, visitors Greuther will have the pressure taken off their shoulders when they visit the Allianz Arena, despite their ongoing battle for survival at the bottom of the table.
Following the success of promotion from the 2.Bundesliga last campaign, the reward for their efforts will be the memorable trips to some of Germany’s biggest clubs, including the home of the champions in particular at the weekend.
The Cloverleaves head into the clash as huge underdogs, but manager Stefan Leitl will be hoping his side can put in yet another spirited performance in order to take advantage of any potential Bayern slip up.
The visitors appeared dead and buried at the foot of the Bundesliga table back in December, and although their hopes of survival remain extremely slim, the minnows have at least restored some pride in recent weeks following a dreadful opening to the campaign.
Just a single point from their first 14 league games of the season meant Greuther looked set to break all of the unwanted records in top-flight history, but since then, Leitl’s side have lost just twice in their next eight Bundesliga outings, which arrived in tough trips to Dortmund and Wolfsburg.
The latest of their recent impressive results arrived in a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Hertha Berlin last weekend, with captain Branimir Hrgota netting both goals to bring his side to within nine points of safety.
However, out of their 13 points recorded so far this season, only one has arrived away from home, and with a daunting trip to Bayern to come on Sunday, they will not be expected to add to that tally come the end of play.
Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:
Bayern Munich form (all competitions):
Greuther Furth Bundesliga form:
We say: Bayern Munich 4-0 Greuther Furth
Despite Bayern suffering a couple of shock setbacks over the past week, it would be one of the biggest Bundesliga shocks in history were they to come away from the Allianz Arena without the three points on Sunday.
For all of Greuther’s excellent results of late, on their travels they desperately struggle, so all of the signs are pointing towards a comfortable Bayern win.