Bayern Munich will welcome Robert Lewandowski’s Barcelona to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, hoping to break their slump in the Bundesliga. Despite Wednesday’s impressive 2-0 win over Inter Milan, Bayern has now drawn three consecutive games and finds itself in the unfamiliar position of third place after six games. While Bayern has scored 31 goals in nine games this season, they have been missing Lewandowski’s penetration at crucial moments in recent weeks.
Lewandowski has had a dominant start to life in Spain, scoring six goals in five La Liga games for Barcelona to maintain his position atop the scoring charts.
Barcelona is unbeaten in the league, sitting second behind Real Madrid with four wins and a draw.
Lewandowski scored a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 5-1 home win over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League.
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic stated directly after their 2-2 home draw with Stuttgart on Saturday that his team knew better than most the type of damage Lewandowski could inflict.
“We have been warned,” Salihamidzic said about his former striker’s form for his new club.
– ‘He uses every opportunity’ –
Bayern has a strong recent Champions League record against Barcelona, with two 3-0 wins and an 8-2 quarter-final thrashing on their way to winning the 2020 title.
The six-time European champions are well aware that this Barcelona team is stronger than previous incarnations.
“Worried? I don’t know (about that),” Salihamidzic said on Saturday when asked if his side were fearful ahead of Barca’s visit.
“We have to shift up two gears, even three against Barcelona.
“Barcelona have top players, play good football (and) ‘Lewa’ is up front, he uses every opportunity.”
Manager Julian Nagelsmann stated that his team’s Bundesliga form will not affect their preparation for the game on Tuesday.
“I approach the week the way I would have done it if we had won,” Nagelsmann said on Saturday.
“We’re trying to come up with a good idea for Barcelona, which will be difficult.
“I would have done the same thing if we had won 4-0 today.”
Nagelsmann said after his team’s 2-0 win over Inter that they were “looking forward” to facing the man who scored 344 goals in 375 Bayern appearances.
“I am looking forward to it (the reunion with Lewandowski). Not so much as an opponent because he’s very dangerous, but as a person I will be pleased to see him.”
Despite the acrimonious nature of Lewandowski’s departure, Nagelsmann expressed hope that fans would warmly welcome him back.
“I hope the fans will honour that too, regardless of how things were with his departure.”
Following the draw with Stuttgart, Thomas Mueller, a forward for Bayern, said he was “mad at ourselves for the first time this season” and was relieved that attention was being diverted from his team’s domestic issues.