The Bianconeri’s upcoming Champions League opponents Bayern Munich will face their toughest test of the New Year to date when they travel to fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday night.
Two wins from their first two league games of 2016 have enabled Pep Guardiola’s men to pick up where they left off following the winter break, and they remain bookmakers’ favourites to extend that run at BayArena tomorrow evening.
History, however, suggests that the hosts should be optimistic in their chances of coming away with a result, having succumbed to defeat in just one of their last eight home meetings with Bayern in all competitions.
Another obstacle for the reigning champions to contend with is the form of Javier Hernandez, whose goalscoring prowess (13 in 16 Bundesliga matches) promises to threaten a backline deprived of the likes of Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez and new signing Serdar Tasci.
An exorcism of their Leverkusen demons would continue Bayern’s march towards a third consecutive Bundesliga title under the stewardship of Guardiola, extending their lead to 11 points should closest rivals Dortmund lose earlier in the day to Hertha Berlin.