Bayern Munich have a perfect opportunity to rebound from their midweek UEFA Champions League exit this weekend as they take on fellow Bavarians, Ingolstadt, in the Bundesliga.
Pep Guardiola's men managed to overcome Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their semi-finals tie on Tuesday, but the 2-1 result saw them knocked out due to the away-goals rule.
Yet Bayern have a chance to put it all behind them with a win on Saturday that would see them clinch a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title.
"We did absolutely everything," Guardiola said after the match, according to the club's official website. "We’ve had a fantastic Champions League campaign."
"We have to lick our wounds tonight and then go on against Ingolstadt on Saturday," added chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
The perfect way to react would be to win the Bundesliga, but Ingolstadt have other plans. The Schanzer are safe from relegation and all but mathematically assured of a final position insufficient to put them into the UEFA Europa League, but nonetheless they have it all to play for.
Saturday's match is, after all, a derby match against Germany's biggest team, with the city centers separated by some 80 kilometers. And as such, a special atmosphere can be expected at the Audi Sportpark.
Date: Saturday, 7 May
Time: 2:30 p.m. BST/9:30 a.m. ET/3:30 p.m. local time
Venue: Audi Sportpark, Ingolstadt
TV Info: Not available (U.S. only), BT Sport 1 (UK only, on time delay beginning at 8:00 p.m.)
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go (U.S. only), BT Sport Player (UK only)
|Hoffenheim: Loss||Atletico Madrid: Win|
|Hannover: Draw||Monchengladbach: Draw|
|Darmstadt: Loss||Atletico Madrid: Loss|
|Monchengladbach: Win||Hertha BSC: Win|
|Schalke: Win||Werder Bremen: Win|
Robert Bauer is suspended due to accumulated yellow cards, while injured trio Maurice Multhaup, Christian Ortag and Danilo Soares will miss out on Saturday's action.
Possible Ingolstadt starting XI: Nyland; Da Costa, Matip, Hubner, Suttner; Gross, Roger, Morales; Hartmann, Lezcano, Lex.
Holger Badstuber and Arjen Robben are both injured for the visitors, who will otherwise have a full squad available. Guardiola may opt to rotate, although he more likely than not will choose a strong lineup with the Bundesliga title still not yet clinched.
Possible Bayern starting XI: Neuer; Lahm, Martinez, Boateng, Alaba; Thiago, Vidal; Coman, Lewandowski, Muller, Ribery.
Players to Watch
Moritz Hartmann is Ingolstadt's danger man, with 10 goals to his name this season. Otherwise, the hosts will have to hope for big performances from their back five, including captain Marvin Matip in particular.
For Bayern, Franck Ribery will have a point to prove as the season approaches its end, as will Kingsley Coman during the time that Robben is absent.
Marvin Matip vs. Robert Lewandowski
Matip is less known than his brother, Schalke defender Joel, but the 30-year-old is Ingolstadt's captain and shares much in common with his sibling. The towering defender will need to be at the top of his game to keep Lewandowski off the score sheet.
Lewandowski was on target against Atleti in midweek, but it wasn't enough to save Bayern from defeat. The Poland international will be especially motivated with the Bundesliga's top-scorer honors still in the balance, and he will be keen to push his team to confirming the league title.
Moritz Hartmann vs. David Alaba
Hartmann's 10 goals have led Ingolstadt in 2015-16 and are a big reason why the Schanzer will be in the Bundesliga next season. The 29-year-old has a good first touch, a powerful shot and has developed into a fearsome finisher.
Alaba will line up opposite Hartmann and will be assigned the task of neutralizing his opponent, but he will also need to get forward to provide service in the center. The Austrian is huge for Bayern both in defense and attack, and the Bavarians will want more of the same from him on Saturday.
Odds (courtesy of Odds Shark)