Munich, Germany – Bayern Munich is currently in an incredible run of form with eight consecutive wins in all competitions without allowing a goal, and coach Jupp Heynckes received even better news this week.
Ahead of Saturday's game against Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena, Bayern welcomed back Mario Gomez, Arjen Robben and Daniel van Buyten to practice after the trio missed last week's 2-0 win over Schalke.
In addition, Luiz Gustavo was able to train this week after picking up a small injury against Schalke, leaving Heynckes without just two players ahead of the key league match and Tuesday's Champions League game against Manchester City.
Heynckes spent the last two seasons as coach of Leverkusen, so with just Ivica Olic and Breno - who was fine despite a fire that gutted his house this week - sidelined, prospects are good for his first game against his former side.
"I had two intense and very harmonious years in Leverkusen," Heynckes admitted this week, "and I've not forgotten that in the space of three months.
"I'm looking forward to the reunion."
Heynckes is currently in his third stint with Bayern, his first from 1987-91, and his second a short role late in 2009 to secure a Champions League berth. The former West German international led Bayern to back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990, and has the club on track for another title this season.
Bayern opened with a 1-0 loss to Monchengladbach, where Heynckes spent most of his playing career, but has been flawless since with five consecutive wins in the Bundesliga, and three in the Champions League.
The squad has set a new mark with just one goal allowed through six Bundesliga games, and the eight straight wins in all events without allowing a goal is a new record as well.
Despite the fine form, Heynckes is glad to have Netherlands winger Robben back in the picture, as well as Gomez - who already has eight goals in league play.
"It looked very good indeed," Heynckes about Robben, who returned to training for the first time in weeks. He added about Gomez: "He's extremely likely to start on Saturday."
Gustavo should also be fit and Van Buyten has recovered from an Achilles knock to provide another option in central defense.
Bayern has a two-point lead over Werder Bremen and Monchengladbach, and Bayer is five points back after a 4-1 loss to Cologne last week. But Heynckes is not foolish enough to put too much value in that result.
"It was a slip-up," Heynckes said. "I'm assuming Leverkusen will put in a very different display here in Munich compared to what happened against (Cologne), more like their performance against Chelsea, where they let in two goals, but were otherwise excellent."
While Bayern welcomes City to the Allianz on Tuesday, Leverkusen hosts Belgian side Genk on Wednesday in the Champions League.
Also Saturday, defending champion Borussia Dortmund visits Mainz without a win in its last four overall, including two losses and a draw in the Bundesliga. Dortmund is already eight points off the pace, level on points with Mainz, and could find it tough to recover if it continues to drop points.
Monchengladbach will try to continue its strong start at home against Nurnberg on Saturday, when Schalke hosts Freiburg, Wolfsburg hosts Kaiserslautern, and Augsburg hosts Hannover.
On Sunday, Werder Bremen hosts Hertha Berlin and Cologne hosts Hoffenheim. On Friday, winless Hamburg and interim boss Rodolfo Esteban Cardoso, who replaced fired Michael Oenning, visit Stuttgart to start the weekend's action.