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High stakes in Hamburg

FCB target crucial win against northern rivals

Bayern are comfortably on track in the Champions League, and are now looking to continue the job of closing the gap on the leading group in the Bundesliga. Victory away to Hamburg SV on Friday evening (Live in English from 8.15 pm on Web Radio) in the 91st league meeting between the biggest clubs in the north and south of Germany would see Bayern draw level with their opponents on points, and climb to a much more familiar area of the table too.

“If we beat Hamburg, we’re back in business,” said Louis van Gaal, emphasising the significance of the clash with the side currently in fifth. Uli Hoeneß rated the game “very important. We can’t afford to lose, and we really need to win.” Defeat could see the gap to leaders Dortmund and Mainz go back up to 13 points, “and it would make it more and more difficult to win the league,” Hoeneß warned.

“We can’t afford to drop many more points. We basically need to go to Hamburg and win,” agreed Philipp Lahm, a sentiment shared by Bastian Schweinsteiger: “Obviously, we want to win the game. We’re in a bit of a spot, because we don’t have many points yet. It would be good to come away with all three.”