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Can Robert Lewandowski break Gerd Müller's 40-goal Bundesliga record?

bundesliga.com, 30 May 2020, 19:20
Can Robert Lewandowski break Gerd Müller

Robert Lewandowski has scored 29 times in 2019/20. With five rounds of fixtures still remaining, can the Bayern Munich striker break Gerd Müller's 40-goal record?

Lewadowski 's previous best-mark after 29 matchdays was 26 goals (2015/16). The 31-year-old maxed out a league-best 30 strikes that season, and repeated the feat the following campaign, only to finish one behind former Borussia Dortmund teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the final scoring charts.

Lewy reclaimed his crown in 2017/18 (29 goals) and defended it last term (22 goals). The last player to win back-to-back Torjägerkanonen was Bayer Leverkusen 's Ulf Kirsten. Only the legendary Müller has claimed three in a row - an historic run which began with a fabled 40-goal return in 1971/72.

Müller had just the six goals to show for the first 11 matches of the 1971/72 season, and 17 across the Hinrunde (for reference, Lewandowski had a record 11, and 19 respectively at the same junctures this term). That means ' Der Bomber ' put away 23 during the second half of the campaign.

Five goals in Bayern's 7-0 drubbing of Rot-Weiß Oberhausen on Matchday 21 swelled his tally considerably, and represented his sixth single-game multiple of the season. A further three braces and as many hat-tricks - coupled with a goal in games against each of Arminia Bielefeld and Cologne - took him onto 40, improving his previous best by two (1969/70). He was 26.

Lewandowski will turn 32 in August. Somewhat surprisingly, his double in the 5-0 rout of Fortuna Düsseldorf on Matchday 30 - the Pole's sixth brace of 2019/20 - earned him another slice of Bundesliga history as the first player over the age of 30 to reach 29 goals.

The German top flight's record non-German marksman might have reached the milestone sooner, had a shin injury not prevented him from lining up in the 6-0 win at Hoffenheim and subsequent 2-0 victory over Augsburg.

Watch: A tactical look at how Lewy and Müller stack up

Speculation aside, Lewandowski has now hit double figures in nine of his 10 seasons of Bundesliga football - the exception being his debut campaign at Dortmund. Seventeen in 2014/15 - his debut season at Bayern - was the only other time he dipped below 20.

No player has come close to matching Müller's 40-goal total with such alarming regularity, but will the Poland captain - on track to land a fifth top scorer's cannon - make it a case of 10th time lucky?

If Lewandowski continues to fire at his current clip of 1.07 goals per Bundesliga game, he will end the 2019/20 season on 34 goals. If his performances mirror those of the tail-end of the Hinrunde, he will sign off on 32. However, to equal Müller's record, Bayern's leading man needs 11 goals - 12 to break it.

It's by no means an impossible task when - to paraphrase the man in Rocky Balboa's corner, Mickey - you eat dessert for starters and expel goals by the bucket-load.

The ex- BVB man has scored against all 18 of the current Bundesliga clubs, but has only found the net three times in 15 games against Leverkusen, and four in 14 in meetings with Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bayern's next two opponents, and two sides battling it out for a place in the top four.

Goals against relegation-threatened Werder Bremen can be expected, given his return of 16 in as many games - including six minimum-of-two returns such as in this season's 6-1 home success in Munich. Fifteen in 16 against Freiburg bodes well, while Wolfsburg are his favourite opposition of the lot.

Fifteen games, 20 goals - of which 16 have fallen in his last nine. Double braces last season were impressive, but his five-goal haul of September 2015 blows that - and Müller's aforementioned salvo against Oberhausen - out of the water. It took his predecessor 44 minutes.

Watch: Lewandowski's historic five goals in nine minutes Wolfsburg will never forget

If Lewandowski can score a Guinness world record-breaking five goals in nine minutes, he can plunder at least 11 in 450. If anyone can topple Müller, it's LewanGOALski...

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