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Away to Hoffenheim

Points provide the focus for Van Gaal’s men

There’s no time to draw breath in the thick of Bayern’s packed autumn schedule. Three days after a goalless draw at home to FC Köln, the champions visit second-placed Hoffenheim on Tuesday (Live in English from 7.45 pm CET on Web Radio), determined to run up a second win of the new campaign and close the gap to the leading group in the standings.

“Pretty soon, we need to start winning our games,” said Philipp Lahm, aware that five points from four matches and no win in the last three rates as poor by FCB standards. “We need to win, there’s no ifs or buts,” added defender Holger Badstuber. Thomas Müller used an even more dramatic turn of phrase: “We desperately need the points now.”

“We’re a top team, and we should be higher up the table than this,” urged coach Louis van Gaal on the eve of two vital matches, away to Hoffenheim (10 points) on Tuesday, and four days later at home to current leaders Mainz (12 points). “We’re all focused on taking six points. That's more important than wasting words on anything,” Van Gaal said.