After getting off to a sputtering start to the season, the perennial Bundesliga champions have kicked it into high gear since their coaching change. Jupp Heynckes goes for win No. 6 when Bayern face Celtic in Glasgow.
Bayern Munich have been perfect in October, winning all five of their games since Jupp Heynckes came out of retirement to take over as head coach following the firing of Carlo Ancelotti.
Their last two victories were their most significant ones yet. First they eliminated RB Leipzig in the second round of the German Cup on Wednesday before beating them in the Bundesliga on Saturday. The latter result moved Bayern to the top of the Bundesliga table for the first time this season.
However, their season is only starting to heat up. The Bavarians flews to Glasgow on Monday — their farthest international trip of the season to date — in preparation for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Celtic.
No Robert Lewandowski
For the first time this season, Bayern will take the field without star striker Robert Lewandowski, who left at the end of the first half of Saturday's 2-0 win against Leipzig with a thigh injury, and didn't make the trip to Glasgow.
"If we were playing against Real Madrid, maybe he would have traveled. The coach doesn't want to risk anything, clearly. There is also the game on Saturday that is very important for us in the back of our minds," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told reporters at Munich's airport, referring to the top-of-the-table clash in Dortmund.
Lewandowski has started the last 23 games for Bayern, and the Polish striker has only been substituted off three times this season. In an interview published on German publication Sport Bild's website on Sunday, the 29-year-old superstar complained about Bayern's lack of depth up front.
"It has been really hard for me," Lewandowski said. "I am starting every three days for Bayern and the national team. No player can play 90 minutes in every game of a season. There is no other possibility at the moment. We don't have a back-up at my position. "I also want a little rest sometimes."
Kingsley Coman returns
After Lewandowski was forced out on Saturday, Heynckes used veteran midfielder Arturo Vidal as a false nine. Kingsley Coman, who missed Bayern's last game with a knee injury, could be a better option up front. Heynckes will decide in Glasgow whether or not to play the French forward, according to a statement on Bayern's website. Another possible option, Thomas Müller, is out with a thigh injury.
The Bayern coach used German-Ghanaian Kwasi Okyere Wriedt, who has spent most of the season with the club's reserves, in extra time of their German Cup victory over Leipzig - but he is not on Bayern's Champions League roster. Instead, Heynckes has elected to take 18-year-old striker Manuel Wintzheimer to Scotland.
If the Bavarians beat Celtic, this would be the first time since 1980 that they'll have won all of their games in October.