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Poised for pole position

Hamburg and Bayern in tussle for top spot

Speaking during the winter training camp in Dubai, Uli Hoeneß more than once made reference to the fact that Bayern went into the mid-season break level on points with Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim. “Actually, it feels like we’re top already. Bayern can easily make up four goals,” the general manager argued. Promoted high-flyers Hoffenheim claimed the so-called autumn championship on goal difference from the Munich giants.

Bayern can actually go top for the first time this season on Friday. “You only have to look at the table. We couldn’t be more motivated,” commented Jürgen Klinsmann on the eve of his side’s clash with fourth-placed Hamburger SV. Hoffenheim entertain Cottbus on Saturday, so a point would suffice to make Bayern the overnight leaders. However, Klinsmann is aiming for more: “We want all three points.”

Following a gala display in thrashing Stuttgart 5-1 in the last sixteen of the DFB Cup on Tuesday, the champions travel to Hamburg with their confidence soaring. “The team is fired up. We want to go top as soon as possible,” Klinsmann remarked. However, Hamburg – also still in the cup after beating TSV 1860 Munich 3-1 this week – are just as determined to claim the points. “We can go top of the league if we win,” pointed out chairman Bernd Hoffmann. The Northerners are a mere two points behind FCB.