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Trio fit again

FCB welcome Hertha BSC in top-of-table clash

We are just three matches into this Bundesliga season and there is already a clash between two leading sides. FC Bayern and Hertha Berlin meet on Wednesday evening at the Allianz Arena in Munich (follow the match via the live ticker and web radio from 20:00 CEST) as the only teams yet to drop a point this campaign. With nine points each on the board, FCB top the table thanks to a superior goal difference (+10) compared to Hertha’s +5.

“Hertha have played well in the last three games. They are compact at the back, play very aggressively, are very dynamic and quick going forward. And they have a very good team spirit,” said Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti in praise of the Berliners’ performances so far. In particular, for their 2-0 win over Schalke at the weekend they “played very well. It will be a difficult game for us. We have to be at our best.”

Boateng starts

Ancelotti once again has an embarrassment of riches to draw upon for Wednesday. Philipp Lahm, David Alaba and Mats Hummels took part in training on Tuesday after recovering from viruses and will return to the squad against Hertha BSC. “They are ready,” said Ancelotti. However, the Italian wants to wait until the day of the match itself to decide which of them will play following their illnesses.

Ancelotti has, however, already decided on one thing: After making his comeback against Ingolstadt, Jérôme Boateng will start alongside Javi Martinez at centre back against his former club. “He is in a good condition. He has trained well over the last few days,” said Ancelotti. But Arjen Robben has to remain patient ahead of his return. “He will be on the bench,” according to the Italian.  “He might play in the second half. Maybe 30 or 45 minutes.”

Hertha arrive confident

The Berlin side have their own worries ahead of this tie as they will be without playmaker Vladimir Darida. The Czech international tore a ligament in his left ankle against Schalke and will be out for several weeks after undergoing an operation on Monday. John Anthony Brooks (adductor injury) and new signing Ondrej Duda (bone marrow oedema) are also missing for the side from the capital, who have made their best start to a season for 46 years and so travel to Munich with great confidence.

With his “little, hard-working team”, coach Pal Dardai wants to ruffle the feathers of “great coach” Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern, “so we can make our fans happy.” Hertha want to take at least a point from this game. “But it’s not enough to just play well against Bayern. We have to be efficient and play to the limit,” remarked Dardai in acknowledgement of the difficult task ahead. “If they have a good day, then we have no chance.”