Berlin, Germany | AFP | Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is poised to extend his dream start to the season this Saturday with the Polish star striker in the form of his career.
Unusually for the defending champions, Bayern are not having things their own way in the Bundesliga and are fourth in the table after four matches before hosting Cologne on Saturday.
However, it’s business as usual for Lewandowski in front of goal, scoring nine times in his last six games in all competitions.
After hitting the back of the net in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against league leaders RB Leipzig, Lewandowski warned he is just warming up: “I will play better in the coming weeks.”
He has seven league goals from four league games, but both Leipzig’s Germany striker Timo Werner and Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer are on his tail with five each.
Werner can add to his purple patch of seven goals in six games in all competitions at Werder Bremen on Saturday evening.
Lewandowski, the Bundesliga’s top-scorer for the last two seasons, is no stranger to league scoring records since his jaw-dropping five goals in nine blistering minutes for Bayern in September 2015.
He racked up his 200th Bayern goal on Wednesday, a classic poacher’s effort after capitalising on mistakes by Red Star Belgrade defenders in a 3-0 win in their opening Champions League match.
If he scores against Cologne at the Allianz Arena, he will become the first Bayern player for 19 years to have scored in each of the first five rounds of German league matches since ex-Germany striker Carsten Jancker.
Lewandowski’s magnificent seven in the league includes a hat-trick last month’s 3-0 romp at Schalke and he has never started a season in such impressive form.
He also has a habit of scoring against Cologne, who he has never lost against, with nine goals in 12 games.
Lewandowski has 209 Bundesliga goals for Bayern and ex-club Borussia Dortmund, still way behind 1970s goal-machine Gerd Mueller, who scored 365 times in Germany’s top flight.
However, the prospect of breaking Mueller’s mind-blowing record of 40 league goals in the 1971/72 season is still the stuff of legends, even for Lewandowski.
“It’s still too early in the season to think of that,” he said recently on the matter.
One to watch: Mats Hummels
Having been booted out of the Germany squad in March, deemed past his prime alongside ex-Bayern team-mates Thomas Mueller and Jerome Boateng, Hummels has relaunched his career back at Borussia Dortmund this season.
He won the 2011 and 2012 Bundesliga titles under Jurgen Klopp and Hummels has brought much-needed experience to Dortmund’s defence, helping seal a goalless draw at home to Barcelona at home on Tuesday in the Champions League.
Expect another composed display at the back from him when Eintracht Frankfurt host Dortmund on Sunday.
After Germany’s defence leaked four goals to the Netherlands in last month’s home Euro 2020 qualifier, midfield legend Lothar Matthaeus led calls for Hummels to be reinstated to the national team.
Germany host Argentina in a friendly in Dortmund on October 9, but Hummels is not waiting for a call from German boss Joachim Loew.
“I try to think about it as little as possible,” he told magazine Sport Bild about a possible recall.
“If it comes, it comes.
“I was always proud to play for Germany and nothing has changed.”
99 – The minutes it takes on average for Robert Lewandowski to score for Bayern Munich.
38 – The shots Lewandowski (21) and Timo Werner (17) have had between them so far in 2019/20 — the league’s top two.
23 – The aerial duals Mats Hummels has won so far this season, the league’s second-best tally.
Fixtures (GMT — all times 1330 unless stated)
Schalke v Mainz (1830)
Bayern Munich v Cologne, Bayer Leverkusen v Union Berlin, Hertha Berlin v Paderborn, Freiburg v Augsburg, Werder Bremen v RB Leipzig (1630)
Borussia Moenchengladbach v Fortuna Duesseldorf, Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund (1600)
Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim (1830)