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Bundesliga Preview: Bayern Munich - Eintracht Braunschweig

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Bundesliga Preview: Bayern Munich - Eintracht Braunschweig
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Bundesliga Preview: Bayern Munich - Eintracht Braunschweig

Top meets bottom in the Bundesliga on Saturday as champion Bayern Munich hosts Eintracht Braunschweig at the Allianz Arena.

The odds will be stacked heavily in the Bavarians' favor, although they have been dealt a blow in the buildup to the clash, with captain Philipp Lahm ruled out due to a hamstring injury. The versatile fullback was forced off 28 minutes into his side's Champions League win at CSKA Moscow on Wednesday and will miss Bayern's next two fixtures.

He joins an injury list that includes Bastian Schweinsteiger (ankle), Xherdan Shaqiri (hamstring), Claudio Pizarro (thigh), Diego Contento (foot) and long-term absentee Holger Badstuber (knee).

Franck Ribery has missed Bayern's last two games with a rib injury, while a calf problem kept Mario Mandzukic out of the trip to Russia, but both could feature Saturday. If Croatia international Mandzukic is unavailable, coach Pep Guardiola is likely to continue with either Thomas Muller or Mario Gotze operating in a "false nine" role in attack.

Despite its fitness issues, Bayern has been almost unstoppable this season and thrashed rival Borussia Dortmund 3-0 at Signal Iduna Park in its last league outing to go four points clear at the Bundesliga summit.

Bayern comes into the game having won each of its past 17 home fixtures, finding the net 59 times in those outings. The visitors have picked up half of their eight-point haul for the season on the road, but will take no confidence from their record at Bayern, winning none and losing 14 of their last 18 trips to Bavaria.

Braunschweig will be without Dennis Kruppke (calf) and Ken Reichel (knee), with Jan Hochscheidt also set to miss out as he regains fitness after a muscle injury.

Coach Torsten Lieberknecht conceded beating Bayern is a near-impossible mission for his side, but expects to see a committed performance from his troops all the same.

He said: "To call it a Herculean task is an understatement. Worldwide, every team tries to bring Bayern to the brink of defeat. However, my guys are looking forward to the game and will not put up the white flag.

"We need to be at our maximum but I cannot ask anything super-human from my team. Many opponents have already had many ideas [on how to stop Bayern], but none were good enough to get something."

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