Lewandowski closing on coach Heynckes’ Bundesliga record
The Pole has already scored 18 goals in the Bundesliga this season.
Robert Lewandowski has his sights on equalling a record set by Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes against Schalke on Saturday.
If the prolific Pole adds to his 18 Bundesliga goals this season, he will match the achievement of Heynckes in 1972-73, when he scored in each of Borussia Monchengladbach’s first 11 home fixtures.
Lewandowski said on fcbayern.com: “I think the boss has his fingers crossed for me. If I manage that, we’ll both be in a good mood.
“He was a good goalscorer and he’s a good coach. He always tries to help me, and I always get great advice from him.”
Lewandowski is already virtually assured to finish as top scorer in the Bundesliga, with main rival Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having left Borussia Dortmund to join Arsenal, and is more concerned about reaching the 30-goal mark for the third successive season.
He said: “I’m not battling anyone else, I’m battling myself. What matters is that I play well and score goals. At the end of the day, maybe there’ll be a three in front of my total again.”
Bayern, who lead the table by a mighty 18 points, should have midfielder Javi Martinez available after he sprained an ankle last week while Thiago has returned to training following 11 weeks out with a thigh injury but is likely to have to wait a little longer.
Thomas Muller bruised his thigh during the 6-0 cup win over Paderborn in midweek but it is hoped he will be available while Jerome Boateng should have recovered from a stomach bug.
The real battle is going on far behind Bayern, with Schalke right in contention sitting fifth but only one point behind Bayer Leverkusen in second.
Schalke go into the game on a high after reaching the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal in midweek but have won only one of their last five league matches.
Schalke are winless in their last 15 matches against Bayern, but manager Domenico Tedesco said on schalke04.de: “We still go to Munich to get three points. That’s our character.
“If we did not believe in our chances, we could stay in bed in Gelsenkirchen.
“We need cleverness, freshness and fitness to succeed against Bayern. And we have to act bravely.”
Injured duo Weston McKennie and Pablo Insua both remain sidelined while Matija Nastasic is banned following his red card in last weekend’s loss to Werder Bremen.