Bayern Munich v TSG Hoffenheim
Friday, 15 January 2010
Kickoff: 20:30 CET
Friday night sees the return of the Bundesliga after the winter break, and we couldn’t have asked for a more mouth-watering clash. Bayern will go top of the table if they win, but it won’t be that simple.
Hoffenheim are a good team with a lot of spirit. They will also be out for revenge following the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season. Hoffenheim had a goal ruled out despite replays showing the ball had crossed the line, and Bayern earnt a 1-1 draw.
Bayern have won their last six games, and sit in third spot in the Bundesliga, just two points behind leaders Leverkusen. Hoffenheim will not fancy their chances against a confident team who are unbeaten at home in the Bundesliga this season. Franck Ribery is not yet ready to return to action, but Arjen Robben is set to start against Hoffe.
Bayern see the clash as a must-win game. Coach Louis Van Gaal said: “We can confirm the form we showed at the end of last year. That would be important psychologically. We could spread some fear among our rivals.”
Hoffenheim have competed well against Bayern in the three matches ever played against them. However, the visitors have many key players missing from their line-up. Brazilian midfielder Carlos Eduardo is doubtful with a knee injury, while Isaac Vorsah and Chinedu Obasi are away on African Nations duty.
If Hoffe are going to beat Munich they will have to rely on the Bosnian pair of Vedad Ibisevic and Sejad Salihovic. They can both win games and Hoffenheim will need them both on top form for any kind of upset.
Munich have almost a full squad to pick from, and have plenty of motivation with the chance to go top for the first time in over 600 days. Hoffenheim didn’t have a great 2009 and will be looking for a fresh start and a push towards European qualification.
It is sure to be a fast-paced and passionate game. Munich are clear favourites and it is up to them to put their ability and confidence into a solid three points.