Bayern Munich's Philippe Coutinho
Bayern Munich's Philippe Coutinho (R) and head coach Niko Kovac walk across the pitch during a training session at the team's training ground in Munich. Image Credit: AFP

Berlin. German champions Bayern Munich are hoping their fans’ enthusiasm with the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho this week will spill over on to the pitch when they travel to Schalke on Saturday.

Defeat in the German Super Cup to Borussia Dortmund and a 2-2 home draw with Hertha Berlin in their Bundesliga opener last week made for a disappointing start to the season for the Bavarians.

Another slip-up at Schalke would set the alarm bells ringing at Bayern, who have won the last seven league titles.

Coutinho, who joined Barcelona from Liverpool in January last year for about $170 million, was the third most expensive transfer in history but has failed to hit the same heights at the Camp Nou as he did at Anfield.

Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski, who had repeatedly called for reinforcements if the club were to remain competitive, said Coutinho was a game changer.

“Players like him can decide whether you win the game or not,” said Lewandowski. “With such a player one can play together with no problems from the very first game.”