Werder Bremen vs. Bayern Munich: Team News, Lineups, Live Stream, TV Info

Clark Whitney@@Mr_BundesligaFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2015

Bremen's Assani Lukimya from Congo, right, and Bayern's Arjen Robben from the Netherlands challenge for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern and SV Werder Bremen in the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich will look to keep their perfect record alive when they visit Werder Bremen on Saturday. The German giants have won every game in all competitions for over two months, their eight wins from as many games in the Bundesliga having left them seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund heading into the recent international break.

Pep Guardiola's men will look to pick up where they left off before the recent internationals, with the German record champions appearing to be in their best form since the ex-Barcelona coach moved to Munich in the summer of 2013. Especially given the magnitude of their recent 5-1 win against second-placed Borussia Dortmund, many have called the title in Bayern's favor already.

Guardiola was quick to deny that the Bundesliga had already been decided, asserting after the Dortmund match (via Reuters) that "we have to stay on the ground." And club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added a reminder that "there are still 26 games to go." Yet, the fact that both club officials had to say the title wasn't "yet" won in early October speaks volumes of Bayern's dominance. And it's hard to see any team, much less Bremen, stand in their way. 

Heading into Saturday's clash, Bremen are in the midst of a dreadful run of form. Four consecutive losses have left the side from northern Germany 14th in the Bundesliga table, just two points clear of the relegation zone. And with another defeat on Saturday, Viktor Skrypnyk's men could very well sink into the league's bottom three.

The match will be an emotional one for Claudio Pizarro, who returned for a third stint in Bremen over the summer, the club that first brought him to Europe in 1999. The 37-year-old spent two spells at Bayern, the most recent being from 2012 until this July.

The Peruvian striker is adored in Munich, and although he might not start on Saturday, every meeting with a former club at this stage in his career is special. Yet Bremen will need something truly exceptional from Pizarro and company if they are to take something from this weekend's clash.

Date: Saturday, October 17

Time: 2:30 p.m. BST / 9:30 a.m. EST / 3:30 p.m. local time

Venue: Weserstadion, Bremen

TV Info: Fox Soccer 1 (U.S. only), Not available (UK only)

Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go (U.S. only)

Form Guide

Werder BremenBayern Munich
Hannover: LossBorussia Dortmund: Win
Leverkusen: LossDinamo Zagreb: Win
Darmstadt: LossMainz: Win
Ingolstadt: LossWolfsburg: Win
Hoffenheim: WinDarmstadt: Win

BREMEN, GERMANY - MARCH 14: Jerome Boateng (R) of Munich and Davie Selke (L) of Bremen compete for the ball during the First Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and FC Bayern Muenchen at Weserstadion on March 14, 2015 in Bremen, Germany.  (Photo by
Oliver Hardt/Getty Images

Predicted Lineups

Werder Bremen

Ozkan Yildirim remains sidelined as he recovers fitness following a serious knee injury. As well, Raphael Wolf and Aron Johannsson will miss out on the action for Skrypnik's side.

Possible Werder Bremen starting XI: Wiedwald; Selassie, Galvez, Vestergaard, Garcia; Fritz, Bargfrede; Bartels, Junuzovic, Garcia; Ujah

Bayern Munich

The international break offered time for Arjen Robben to recover fitness, which came at a perfect moment for Bayern given that Mario Gotze suffered a muscular injury last week that will see him miss the rest of the calendar year.

Joining Gotze on the sideline will be Sebastian Rode, Jan Kirchhoff, Holger Badstuber, Medhi Benatia, Franck Ribery, Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman.

Possible Bayern Munich starting XI: Neuer; Rafinha, Boateng, Martinez, Alaba; Lahm, Alonso, Thiago; Muller, Lewandowski, Costa

Players to Watch

Robert Lewandowski and Douglas Costa were on fire for Bayern heading into the international break, and they are obvious ones to watch for the visitors. However, Arjen Robben has worked hard in training recently and could make a comeback against Bremen. If used either as a starter or substitute, the Dutch winger could turn the match by himself.

Most of Saturday's match will, in all likelihood, be played in Bremen's half. And as such, the form of defenders like Gebre Selassie and Jannik Vestergaard will be key for the hosts. They will have to be clinical on the counter-attack, where summer signing Anthony Ujah will look to make his impression felt.

The international break didn't slow Lewandowski down, as the Poland striker led his country to qualify for Euro 2016.
The international break didn't slow Lewandowski down, as the Poland striker led his country to qualify for Euro 2016.Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

Key Battles

Robert Lewandowski vs. Jannik Vestergaard

By this point, Robert Lewandowski hardly needs introduction among football fans. The Poland international has scored 15 goals in his last six games for club and country and will face a Bremen team with a very shaky defense.

Jannik Vestergard will hope to keep Lewandowski under wraps. The 23-year-old stands a towering 1.98 meters in height and will be a formidable foe both in the air and on the ground. More will be needed of him than he's shown in recent weeks, though, as Bremen have conceded seven goals in their last four games.

Anthony Ujah vs. Jerome Boateng

Anthony Ujah was one of the few bright spots for Koln last season as the North Rhine-Westphalia club finished just five points clear of the relegation zone. The Nigerian striker scored 10 Bundesliga goals, earning a transfer to Bremen. He's yet to reach top form at the Weserstadion but will aim to turn over a new leaf against Bayern.

Jerome Boateng has had a long road to the top, but by this point he is one of Europe's best center backs. Teammate Javi Martinez even hailed him (via Abendzeitung Munich, in German) earlier this week as the best in his position in world football. If Bayern are to keep Ujah off the scoresheet, Boateng will be the key man.

Odds (courtesy of Odds Shark)

Bremen: 151-10

Draw: 11-2

Bayern: 20-99

@Mr_Bundesliga

Related

    Bayern to Break MLS Record for 17-Year-Old Canadian Alphonso Davies

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Bayern to Break MLS Record for 17-Year-Old Canadian Alphonso Davies

    Bavarian Football Works
    via Bavarian Football Works

    Barca Make 3rd Bid for Chelsea's Willian

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Barca Make 3rd Bid for Chelsea's Willian

    Sky Sports
    via Sky Sports

    Dortmund Spoil Mahrez's Man City Debut in 1-0 Win

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Dortmund Spoil Mahrez's Man City Debut in 1-0 Win

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Benzema’s Representatives Met with Milan

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Benzema’s Representatives Met with Milan

    via Rossoneriblog