Bayern Munich head into their Bundesliga clash with Schalke on Saturday knowing victory is a necessity as they look to keep pace with leaders RB Leipzig.
Hans-Dieter Flick's side have won their last four league games on the bounce, having previously lost successive games to Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen.
Schalke have enjoyed a recent upturn in form in recent months, losing just once in their last ten Bundesliga fixtures, and currently sit fifth as they look to challenge for Champions League qualification.
How to Watch on TV
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 25 January|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||17:30 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||Allianz Arena|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 2|
New signing Alvaro Odriozola could feature on the bench for Bayern after sealing a loan move from Real Madrid, while Joshua Kimmich is available again having served a suspension.
Kingsley Coman and Lucas Hernandez have both returned to light training, though it would be a surprise to see either included in Flick's starting lineup, and Javi Martinez is out with a muscle issue. Niklas Sule is out for the rest of the season.
Schalke boss David Wagner is expected to keep faith with most of the team that saw off Gladbach, so expect to see Michael Gregoritsch start again after the Austrian scored and assisted against Augsburg. Alexander Nubel is suspended but Amine Harit could return having missed last week's win.
|Bayern Munich||Neuer; Pavard, Alaba, Boateng, Davies; Kimmich, Thiago; Muller, Goretzka, Coutinho; Lewandowski.|
|Schalke||Schubert; Kenny, Kabak, Nastasic, Oczipka; Mascarell; Raman, Harit, Caligiuri, Serdar; Gregoritsch.|
Head to Head Record
Bayern unsurprisingly lead the head to head between the two sides with 64 wins to Schalke's 20. 29 games have ended as draws.
You have to go back to 2011 for the last time Schalke beat Bayern in all competitions, and 2010 for their last victory over the current Bundesliga champions in the league.
Since a 2-0 win over Bayern in the 2010/11 season, Schalke have lost 15 league games, with their best results in that time being three 1-1 draws.
Bayern's inconsistency under Niko Kovac saw them drift away from Leipzig at the top of the Bundesliga, but four wins on the bounce has helped reduce the gap to four points.
The Bavarian outfit have also scored 15 goals during that time, with six coming against Werder Bremen and four being netted vs. Hertha Berlin.
Schalke have two wins and two draws from their last four league games, including victories over Gladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt, with their last loss coming at Bayer Leverkusen in early December.
|Bayern Munich||Schalke 04|
|Hertha Berlin 0-4 Bayern Munich (19/1)||Schalke 2-0 Borussia Monchengladbach (17/1)|
|Bayern Munich 2-0 Wolfsburg (21/12)||Schalke 2-2 Freiburg (21/12)|
|Freiburg 1-3 Bayern Munich (18/12)||Wolfsburg 1-1 Schalke (18/12)|
|Bayern Munich 6-1 Werder Bremen (14/12)||Schalke 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt (15/12)|
|Bayern Munich 3-1 Tottenham (11/12)||Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Schalke (7/12)|
Bayern need a win to stay in touch with Leipzig, knowing they could be seven points behind their title rivals before Saturday's late kick off.
Robert Lewandowski has four goals in his last four games and will be looking for more on Saturday night, with Timo Werner now level in the goalscoring charts in Germany's top flight this season.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Schalke