Comeback kings Bayern count on Lewandowski goals in Gladbach

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Bayern Munich v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - January 3, 2021 Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski Pool via REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski has struck twice in each of Bayern Munich's last three league matches but the champions will need even more from him if they are to beat hosts Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday and stay in top spot.

Voted Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2020 in December, the Pole has been on a roll this season, finding the net 19 times in 14 league games as he chases Gerd Mueller's legendary 40-goal haul from 1971/72.

Another double strike from Lewandowski would see him equal the league record of scoring twice in four consecutive games.

Last season's treble winners have now been forced to come back from at least one goal down in each of their last eight league games, a club record.

But they also managed at least a point in each of these matches, largely thanks to Lewandowski.

"With Lewandowski, Bayern have a world-class striker who does not need many chances to score goals," said Gladbach coach Marco Rose.

"He will look for spaces and to defend against such a player you have to have a top day. But we have good central defenders and they need to rise to the occasion."

Gladbach, who, like Bayern, have qualified for the Champions League knockout stage, have the best record of any Bundesliga team against the Bavarians since 2014, having beaten them five times and drawn twice in 12 league games.

"We have gathered experiences of playing games against top teams in the Champions League. We need to take these experiences into this game because you have to have the right attitude against Bayern," Rose said.

"We need to have the conviction that we can get something from this game. On a very good day we are able to hurt Bayern and beat them."

It will, however, be tough with Bayern's Joshua Kimmich scoring on his return from a long-term injury absence last week and looking as sharp as ever as they fired five second-half goals past Mainz 05 after falling 2-0 behind.

Bayern winger Kingsley Coman is also set to return after missing the Mainz game through injury.

The champions are top of the standings with 33 points, while Gladbach are in seventh place with 21 after managing just one win in their last four games.

"We have to keep the game open for as long as we can and carve out our chances," said Rose. "We want to get something out of it because in our situation it is very important."

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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