As Bayern Munich prepare for another weekend of Bundesliga action with a tricky home tie against Mainz on Saturday afternoon, we take a look at how the German and European champions are progressing through their campaign under new coach Pep Guardiola.
First of all, we should of course get the most basic stat out of the way: how many games Bayern have won this season. Of the 18 games that Pep Guardiola has presided over in the Bundesliga, Champions League, DFB Pokal and numerous friendlies over the course of the preseason, he has won 14, drawn three and lost just one from a possible 18.
Yet, although the Bavarian giants are currently top of the Bundesliga table and their group in the Champions League, a quick dive in to the different methods of their goals and how they are winning games gives a much clearer understanding of Pep's side, rather than just a simple look at how many games they have indeed won, drawn or lost.
Here we can see that of the nine seperate goalscorers for Bayern throughout the Champions League and Bundesliga this season, four specific attacking players have been the most prolific and quite simply the most efficient in front of goal.
As we take a look at the different sources of goals within this side, it’s evident that Bayern are far from a one-man team, with multiple goal scorers in both attack and midfield.
Another aspect to this topic is of course Guardiola’s reluctance to use Mario Mandzukic in every game, as we saw against Bayer Leverkusen before the international break, meaning that although the Croatian striker may be the most likely and effective route to goal, he isn’t always the Catalonian coach’s preferred choice.
Although Bayern have only played two games in the Champions League as opposed to eight in the Bundesliga, there is a clear correlation between their ability to score and prevent goals in each.
In the league, Bayern have scored 15 while only conceding three in eight games; in Europe they have conceded just one and scored six in two games. Showing a clear and comfortable ability to score considerably more goals than they concede in both competitions, despite the obvious (or perhaps not?) difference in quality of the opposition.
A similar degree of dominance can also be applied to Bayern's basic form, as we saw in the first graph of Bayern's win/loss/draw ratio, with the champions enjoying a rather cosy 100 pecent record at home in the Allianz Arena.
It's only once we run a fine comb over their away form that we begin to notice any discrepancies. As we can see in the graph above, Bayern's form on the road is considerably bumpier than their home form, with only five wins from their eight away trips in Europe and throughout Germany.
In defence of Guardiola, the one significant loss was in their preliminary Super Cup final against Dortmund in last summer, in which few coaches would have been expected to jump straight in and beat as talented a side as Dortmund's as they fought desperately to avenge the Champions League final defeat just a few months prior.
Yet the two draws, against Freiburg and Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, are notable blips in the new coach's initial dash for the league title. Bayern may look imperious at times and bully most teams in to submission, but they have shown a tendency to drop points when it's least expected.
In fact, if we are to isolate the games in which Bayern has played against "good" opponents, i.e the Bundesliga top six from last season, Guardiola's side begin to look even more vulnerable.
Such games that are in question here are again the preseason Dortmund clash, four games against last season's top six in the Bundesliga, and two European games, including the Super Cup final against Chelsea, which would go down as a draw in normal time.
Using this model Bayern's win ratio drops to an alarming 50 percent, suggesting that the current European and German champions are only half as effective against top opposition as they would usually be at home in the Allianz Arena.
Of course, such stats and deductions are only conclusive to a small sample size of the first few weeks of an entire campaign, and with Bayern still to play Dortmund and Manchester City before the winter break it may be wiser to wait until then to form such conclusions.
All stats, fixture details and player records came from Whoscored.com
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