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Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen:
Can the champions return to winning ways?

By Ben Sully   @SullyBen

Bayern Munich will attempt to end a four-game winless run in the Bundesliga when they play host to Bayer Leverkusen on Friday.

Following a poor start to the season, the visitors are looking to claim just their second victory of the campaign.
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Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0

Bayern Munich

Bayern return from the international break in an unfamiliar position. The reigning Bundesliga champions occupy fifth place with five points separating them from league leaders Union Berlin.

While their Champions League campaign has begun perfectly with 2-0 victories over Inter Milan and Barcelona, their Bundesliga form leaves a lot to be desired.

After being involved in three consecutive draws, Bayern suffered their first defeat of the season before the international break, losing 1-0 away to Augsburg. Mergim Berisha scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 59th minute as Bayer struggled to break through a resolute Augsburg defence, and when they did, they were met by the defiant goalkeeping of Rafał Gikiewicz.

As a result of the surprise defeat, Bayern are now winless in four Bundesliga games for the first time since the 2001-02 season. They will look to end their poor spell of form against a struggling Leverkusen side before they face Borussia Dortmund, Freiburg and Hoffenheim in their next three league games.

Although their run of scoring in 87 consecutive Bundesliga games has come to an end, Bayern are still the league's highest scorers this season, and they will hope their firepower can help them claim all three points on Friday.
Team News

The hosts are unable to call upon the services of Lucas Hernandez and Bouna Sarr due to injury issues. Meanwhile, Kingsley Coman is a doubt after missing Bayern's last three matches.

Bayer Leverkusen

Leverkusen may be unbeaten in their last three games in all competitions, but they head into Friday's contest in 15th place with only goal difference keeping them outside the bottom three.

Their opening seven league games have yielded only one victory, which has led to Gerardo Seoane's position as head coach coming under scrutiny.

With a positive run of results needed, Leverkusen will hope they can upset the champions to claim their second league win of the season.

Despite losing five of their last six competitive meetings with the Bavarians, Leverkusen can take inspiration from the fact they have collected four points from their previous three away games against Bayern.

Including last season, Leverkusen have lost only one of their previous eight away games in the Bundesliga. Incidentally, that promising run of form began with a 1-1 draw against Friday's opponents.
Team News

The hosts are expected to be without the services of Exequiel Palacios, Karim Bellarabi, Andrey Lunev and Florian Wirtz due to injury issues. Although, Amine Adli could be included in the squad after the midfielder returned to training this week.

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