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Bundesliga Preview: Bayern Munich - Schalke

Goal.com

Bayern Munich represents a daunting host Saturday for a Schalke side seeking to bounce back from a mauling at the hands of Real Madrid.

The Gelsenkirchen outfit was subjected to a humiliating 6-1 thrashing by the Blancos on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Schalke had entered the fixture in confident mood, with Madrid having won only once in 25 previous visits to German opposition.

Yet Carlo Ancelotti's men are not on top of La Liga by accident and a scintillating display from the Spanish side — which saw Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo all score twice — has seemingly ended any hopes Schalke had of reaching the quarterfinals.

Life is not likely to get any easier for Jens Keller's men when they travel to the Allianz Arena to face runaway Bundesliga leader Bayern. Pep Guardiola's charges have been simply unstoppable in Germany's top flight this season and their relentless march toward a defense of the Bundesliga title shows no signs of being slowed.

The unbeaten Bavarians have dropped points on just two occasions this season thanks to a mix of irresistible attacking displays and defensive solidarity, highlighted by the fact Bayern boasts comfortably the best offensive and defensive record in the league with 61 goals scored and just nine conceded.

Prior to its heavy defeat at home to Madrid, Schalke had displayed excellent form, winning five times in an unbeaten run of league games spanning seven matches. However, Schalke has lost six games in a row against Bayern without scoring, conceding at least four in the previous three meetings between the teams.

Thomas Muller misses out for Bayern this weekend because of a hamstring injury, while the game could come too soon for Franck Ribery (thigh) and Xherdan Shaqiri (hamstring). Schalke attacker Julian Draxler made his first start since December against Madrid after an ankle injury and was able to complete the full 90 minutes.

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