Bayern Munich will be fully expecting to move a step closer to sealing the Bundesliga title on Saturday, as they welcome newly promoted Darmstadt to the Allianz Arena. Pep Guardiola's side have only dropped points thrice all season, and have moved a comfortable eight points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund. They may well slip up again before the end of the campaign, but they're unlikely to do so against this opposition.
Darmstadt have enjoyed quite a bit of success away from home this season -- indeed, only one of their six wins has come in front of their own fans -- though they head into this game with almost half of their team suspended. Coach Dirk Schuster has a job on his hands in just fielding a competitive side, and we shouldn't be surprised if the final score seems rather one-sided. Darmstadt are currently four points clear of the relegation playoff place in their first season in the Bundesliga in over three decades.
Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
The reverse fixture between these teams was one of the few Bayern games this season in which Robert Lewandowski failed to score -- and that's probably only because he didn't play. The Polish international has been in deadly form, and overtook Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the top of the domestic scoring charts with a brace against Augsburg in his last match. He's now scored braces in four of his last five matches in all competitions, and will be expecting to feast on a dodgy Darmstadt defence.
Bayern Munich have already met Darmstadt twice this season, and have beaten them in both the league and cup without conceding a single goal. From their first meeting back in 1978, the Bavarians have never suffered defeat against Die Lilien, and they certainly won't be expecting that to change at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
Bayern Munich injuries and suspensions
Out: Jérôme Boateng (groin); Javi Martínez (knee); Sven Ulreich (fitness); Holger Badstuber (ankle). In doubt: None.
Darmstadt injuries and suspensions
Out: Marcel Heller, Aytaç Sulu, Jérôme Gondorf, Peter Niemeyer, Konstantin Rausch (suspended); Fabian Holland (groin); Milan Ivana (knee). In doubt: None.
Bayern will still be without Boateng and Martínez, while their defensive counterpart became the most recent addition to their injury list after breaking his ankle. Backup goalkeeper Ulreich has only been fit enough to participate in light training after injury, and will still be unavailable.
Darmstadt have a truly remarkable five players suspended; they join Holland and Ivana on the sidelines for this match.
Match date/time: Sat., 9:30 a.m. ET, 3:30 p.m. local
Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
TV: FOX Soccer Plus, GOLTV (U.S.); Sportsnet One (Canada)
Online: FOX Soccer 2Go (U.S.); Sportsnet World Now (Canada)