Created on 03-04-2017 at 15:00 PM by Redaktion
After a great start to 'crazy April' it's time for FC Bayern to go one better. Tuesday night sees the record champions take on 1899 Hoffenheim in a top-of-the-table clash (20:00 CEST, available via our live ticker and on FCBayern.tv Web Radio). A win against the third-placed team will take Carlo Ancelotti's team a step nearer to a fifth league title in succession.
"We're on the right track and now we need to step it up, focus on what we’re doing and carry on," declared Arjen Robben after the 6-0 hammering handed out to FC Augsburg on Saturday. Hoffenheim, Dortmund, Real Madrid, Leverkusen and Real again – five tough games for FCB in the next 14 days including three away from home.
"Hoffenheim are a very good team," said Ancelotti as his players prepare to face them on Tuesday night. "They're playing really well at the moment and are one of the best teams in the Bundesliga. They're dangerous, very good in defence and attack. We can expect a very intense match," said the 57-year-old coach after the final pre-match training session at the Säbener Straße HQ on Monday.
Alonso and Martínez return
Thomas Müller, ,who bagged a brace against Augsburg, also sounded a warning about the next opponents: "We always have to be on the front foot to win as they don't give anything away at Hoffenheim. They’re a good team." The stats show how difficult it has been for FCB at Hoffenheim to date. The Reds have won five out of eight games (three draws) but the winning margin was just one goal four times.
It's clear Ancelotti will make several changes to his winning team. Javi Martinez and Javi Alonso are available again on Tuesday after serving one-match bans while Thiago ("He's played a lot of games") and the injured Müller are sidelined. Ancelotti is already without Manuel Neuer and Douglas Costa.
Hoffenheim aiming for first win
Hoffenheim, who are unbeaten in six matches, have a full squad and are very confident. After last Friday's 3-1 win away to Hertha Berlin propelled them into a Champions League spot, TSG are now looking to get their first ever win against FCB. "It will be top match. We're at home, we're confident and we want to put on a good performance," declared Sebastian Rudy, who is set to join FC Bayern in the summer along with Niklas Süle.
"I see both of them wanting to show their new club they've signed really good players," said coach Julian Nagelsmann with an eye on giving his top performers an extra bit of motivation. Hoffenheim produced an impressive display in the 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture when they looked very lively up front. "It will be a test for us of what to expect next season," said striker Andrej Kramaric in the clear expectation of European football next term.