Preview: Bayern's unbeaten run faces stern test in Leverkusen

By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayern Munich appear to have grown even stronger under new coach Pep Guardiola but when the treble winners travel to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday they will line up opposite the last team to defeat them in the Bundesliga.

The Bavarians have stretched their unbeaten league run to 32 games, four shy of the all-time Bundesliga record, with their last defeat coming at the hands of their fellow Champions League competitors in Munich a year ago.

After taking 19 of a possible 21 points from their opening seven games, Bayern, who have yet to lose in any competition this season, are second to Borussia Dortmund on goal difference with Leverkusen lurking a point behind in third.

Bayern crushed Manchester City 3-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday and travel to Leverkusen with their confidence sky high but the scorer of the third goal, Arjen Robben, has warned his team mates to remain focused.

"Last week in our 1-0 win over Wolfsburg the reviews were bad. Now we are a top team again so it is best to just stay firmly on the ground, because in a few days there is the next big match in Leverkusen," the Dutch winger said.

"Obviously, we want to pick up where we left off at Manchester. That is important for our development."

A victory for Guardiola's team would keep them either level or ahead of main rivals Dortmund, who are also undefeated in the league and have so far given Bayern a good run for their money.

Leverkusen are equally buoyant after snatching a last gasp 2-1 win over Spain's Real Sociedad to get their own Champions League campaign up and running after an opening Group A defeat.

Coach Sami Hyypia's team have recorded their best ever Bundesliga start with six wins out of seven games, killing off matches with their trademark lightning-quick counter attacks that has seen them score more goals than Bayern so far.

"We have been having a good feeling all season and are well prepared for this game," said Jens Hegeler, whose stoppage time free kick on Wednesday earned them their first group win.

"Bayern are Bayern. They are the best team in the world at the moment but if we do everything we can then we will have our chances in this game."

Dortmund, who crushed Olympique Marseille 3-0 in the Champions League this week, travel to Borussia Moenchengladbach in another of Saturday's fixtures.

(Editing by John O'Brien)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Peter Anderson has started work in Kabul as the fast-developing team prepare for their debut at next year's World Cup. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »