Saturday, September 19
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Sep 28, 2019 at 2.30pm UK
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Preview: Paderborn vs. Bayern Munich - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Paderborn vs. Bayern Munich - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Paderborn and Bayern Munich, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bayern Munich will continue their pursuit of Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig on Saturday afternoon as they travel to basement side Paderborn, who are without a league win this season.

The German champions currently sit second in the table with 11 points - two points behind Leipzig, who are the only team to win four of their opening five matches of the 2019-20 campaign.

Match preview

Promoted from 2. Bundesliga last season, Paderborn are competing in just their second ever campaign at this level of football - the last of which came in 2014-15, when they were relegated after finishing in 18th position.

Steffen Baumgart's side are the only team in Germany's top flight yet to record a victory this season - drawing one and losing four of their five matches. They started with back-to-back defeats to Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg before claiming an impressive point away to Wolfsburg on August 31.

The promoted outfit suffered a 5-1 home defeat to Schalke 04 in their first match after the international break, however, before going down 2-1 at Hertha Berlin last weekend. Only Mainz (15) have conceded more league goals than Paderborn (14) this season, which will be a concern heading into the clash with Bayern.

This weekend's match will actually be just the fourth occasion that Paderborn have faced Bayern, and the latter have won all three by an aggregate score of 16-0. Their last meeting was in the DFB Pokal in February 2018, and the Munich giants ran out 6-0 winners at the Benteler-Arena.

Whether Baumgart's side stay in the league this season is not going to depend on their results against the bigger teams, though. Indeed, they have a huge game at home to Mainz next weekend and might well accept a defeat against Bayern if it meant overcoming their fellow strugglers on October 5.

A total of 11 points from five matches has left Bayern in second position in the table - two points behind Leipzig heading into Week Six in Germany's top flight. A bunched-up league sees just three points separate the top seven, and Bayern will fancy their chances of putting another victory on the board this weekend.

Niko Kovac's side started their campaign with a 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin before winning 3-0 at Schalke 04 and 6-1 at home to Mainz in their next two. Leipzig, who have shown plenty of positive signs this season, then held the champions to a 1-1 draw in their first match after the international break.

Bayern returned to winning ways last weekend, though, as Robert Lewandowski scored twice in a 4-0 home success against Koln. The Poland international has a stunning 11 goals in eight appearances this season and will once again be the main threat for the champions on Saturday afternoon.

Having beaten Red Star Belgrade in their Champions League opener on September 18, Kovac's team will be looking for their third straight victory this weekend. The Germans will then travel to London to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League on Tuesday night, which looks set to be a fascinating affair.

The likes of Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund will be hoping that Paderborn can pull off a shock result this weekend, but it is very difficult to imagine a scenario where Bayern, who seem to be getting into their stride, do not come away with all three points from their trip to the Benteler-Arena.

Paderborn form: LLDLL

Bayern form: DWWDW

Team News

Paderborn are once again expected to line up in a 4-4-2 formation with Michel and Ben Zolinski leading the line while Sebastian Vasiliadis is certain to start in a midfield position.

Baumgart has no pressing injury concerns heading into the contest, meaning that the likes of Jamilu Collins and Christopher Antwi-Adjei will also feature for the home side.

As for Bayern, Leon Goretzka and Jann-Fiete Arp are both unavailable for selection, but David Alaba has returned to first-team training and could feature on Saturday afternoon.

Lewandowski is a certainty to start at the tip of the attack - Kovac has plenty of options for change in midfield, though, and will surely have one eye on the Tottenham clash next week.

Philippe Coutinho and Serge Gnabry are both expected to start, while Kingsley Coman could get the nod over the likes of Ivan Perisic and Thomas Muller in the final attacking spot.

Paderborn possible starting lineup: Huth; Drager, Strohdiek, Hunemeier, Collins; Cauly, Vasiliadis, Gjasula, Antwi-Adjei; Zolinski, Michel

Bayern possible starting lineup: Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Sule, Alaba; Thiago, Kimmich; Coman, Coutinho, Gnabry; Lewandowski

We say: Paderborn 0-3 Bayern

Bayern are the overwhelming favourites heading into this weekend's contest, and it is difficult to back against the champions picking up all three points. We fancy a routine away victory on Saturday afternoon.

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