REUTERS – Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski hopes to extend his remarkable recent scoring run when the German champions host his former club Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga’s showcase derby on Sunday, and stretch their growing lead at the top.
Undefeated Bayern are again threatening to run away towards a record fourth consecutive league title even before the winter break, having already carved out a four-point lead after seven matches over second-placed Dortmund. Victory against them would stretch it even further.
The Poland striker is in mesmerizing form, scoring 10 goals in the last nine days, with five coming in a record nine-minute spell against VfL Wolfsburg and another two against Mainz 05 last week before netting a hat-trick in their 5-0 demolition of Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Tuesday.
“I always want more,” Lewandowski told reporters as the team put in their traditional appearance at the Oktoberfest beer festival on Wednesday. “You always have to want to score more goals, always play better and always achieve more. You should never think you have done enough.”
“We play at home and we want to win. Dortmund are playing a good season and they are dangerous so we have to play at least as good as we did (on Tuesday),” said 27-year-old forward, who joined Bayern from Dortmund in 2014. “But it is doable.”
Lewandowski’s goal run has been helped immensely by the assists of wingers Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman, both new signings who have settled into the team in record time and filled the gaps left by injured Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Dortmund, who won their opening five league games as they put the disappointing last season behind them, have stumbled in their last two matches, drawing both of them and knowing it is that trio of players they must somehow stop.
That is why coach Thomas Tuchel left five key players — their top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, playmakers Ilkay Guendogan and Shinji Kagawa and central defenders Mats Hummels and Sokratis Papastathopoulos — behind as the team travelled to Greece for Thursday’s Europa League match against PAOK.
“We wanted to give some players this break. We have to consider the strain on them,” Tuchel, whose team have won 11 of 13 games in all competitions this so far this season, said.
“We need to be physically at 100 percent in both games (PAOK and Bayern) and we need to have a fully fit team on both occasions.”
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)