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Champions League

Hoffenheim plot new Bayern shock on Munich return


Berlin (AFP) – Because the architect of Bayern Munich’s single defeat in 2020, Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness hopes to once more down the European champions within the Bundesliga on Saturday when he returns to his former membership.

Bayern host mid-table Hoffenheim on the Allianz Area in search of revenge for September’s 4-1 league defeat – their solely lack of 2020 in any competitors.

The shock win over the European champions “will definitely nonetheless be in our heads,” admitted Hoeness, “however we need to use this recreation to harass Bayern once more”.

Bayern maintain a seven-point lead within the desk and are close to full-strength with solely Corentin Tolisso and Tanguy Nianzou sidelined.  

After poor outcomes round Christmas, Hoffenheim are again as much as eleventh due to back-to-back 3-0 wins towards strugglers Hertha Berlin and Cologne.

Nevertheless, the European champions are an enormous check for Hoffenheim on Hoeness’ return to Munich, the place the 38-year-old coached the reserves final season having beforehand labored with Bayern’s junior groups. 

A key issue Saturday is the type of Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric, who has scored twice in every of his final two video games.

Main the pack chasing Bayern, RB Leipzig host Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday evening with each golf equipment desirous to bounce again from defeats.

After crashing 3-2 at second-from-bottom Mainz, Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann in contrast Bayern to Germany’s high-speed ICE trains and his workforce to a regional prepare, struggling to “catch up”.

With a view to get again on observe, Leipzig should beat third-placed Leverkusen, who path them by three factors.

“The sport has no direct affect on the title race – it’s all about qualifying for the Champions League,” Nagelsmann insisted Thursday.

Leipzig welcome again Yussuf Poulsen after a groin harm, however playmaker Emil Forsberg is sidelined by a knee knock.

Leverkusen, who crashed at house to Wolfsburg final weekend, are lacking midfielders Julian Baumgartlinger, who underwent knee surgical procedure on Monday, and Nadiem Amiri, who’s quarantined after testing optimistic for Covid-19.

Having slipped out of the European locations to seventh, Dortmund host Augsburg on Saturday chasing a primary win in 4 video games.

“We’ve got to appropriate errors from set-pieces,” stated caretaker coach Edin Terzic after Dortmund conceded three objectives from deadball conditions in a 4-2 defeat at Gladbach.

Erling Braut Haaland scored twice within the Gladbach defeat, however Dortmund want him and England winger Jadon Sancho to fireplace their assault.

“Once they (Augsburg) make errors, we have now to be there – ice-cold,” added Terzic.

Eintracht Frankfurt, who’re a degree above Dortmund within the desk and bouyed by a 5-1 thrashing of Bielefeld, are house on Saturday to Hertha Berlin, the place Pal Dardai is again in cost.

The 44-year-old replaces Bruno Labbadia, who was sacked following their 4-1 thrashing at house by Werder Bremen.

Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic has scored three objectives in three appearances off the bench since returning on mortgage from Actual Madrid.

Dardai predicts it might be “5-4 or 6-5” at Frankfurt, who “rating numerous objectives…. we’re going there to attain another”.

One to observe: Andrej Kramaric

The Croatia striker scored twice in final September’s 4-1 win over Bayern and has additionally netted two objectives in Hoffenheim’s latest wins towards Hertha and Cologne.

He’s again in type after contracting Covid-19 on worldwide responsibility final October which sidelined him for seven video games.

Kramaric will check Bayern’s defence and his 4 objectives in two video games, “converse for themselves,” stated Hoffenheim coach Hoeness.

Key stats

76 – the minutes Luka Jovic has wanted for 3 objectives off the bench having been loaned again to Eintracht Frankfurt after failing to settle at Actual.

18 – house league video games since Bayern final misplaced on the Allianz Area when Leverkusen managed a 2-1 win in November 2019.

1 – the only victory Hoffenheim has managed on the Allianz Area, poaching a 2-1 win in Munich in October 2019.

Fixtures (all instances 1430GMT until said)

Friday

VfB Stuttgart v Mainz (1930)

Saturday

Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim, Borussia Dortmund v Augsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt v Hertha Berlin, Union Berlin v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Werder Bremen v Schalke 04, RB Leipzig v Bayer Leverkusen (1730)

Sunday

Cologne v Arminia Bielefeld, VfL Wolfsburg v Freiburg (1700)

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