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At Hertha Berlin

Back to the day job with European momentum

Back to the day job with European momentum! Just three days after the amazing 5-1 win over Arsenal in the Champions League, Bayern are back to the routine business of the league. The record champions can maintain their seven-point advantage at the top and take a step closer to the defence of the Bundesliga title when they visit Hertha Berlin on Saturday (kick-off at 15:30CET, coverage available via our live ticker and web radio).

“The game against Arsenal has given us more confidence and certainty for the upcoming games,” said coach Carlo Ancelotti on Friday in the hope of a similar performance to Wednesday evening at the Allianz Arena. However, the Italian was quick to add, “Of course we always want to play like we did against Arsenal, but that’s not possible. The Bundesliga is a different competition with 34 games. We only have two against Arsenal.”

Little time to recover

Ancelotti therefore expects a "different game" against Hertha to the one against the Gunners. His team have also “not had much time to recover,” whilst sixth-placed Berlin have had a full week to recover and prepare. “Hertha are a good team and did well in the first half of the season. It’ll be a tough and important game. We have to prepare well and concentrate hard tomorrow,” stressed Ancelotti ahead of the final training session.

The 57-year-old former footballer wanted to wait until after the final training session before the departure to Berlin to get a better idea of the condition of his players before making a decision on the squad. “I might make some changes tomorrow,” announced Ancelotti, who has used various formations so far and hinted at another one as he targets the club’s 16th victory in the 21st game of the league season. Mr. Ancelotti will again be without Franck Ribery and Jerome Boateng, who was born in the capital.

Hertha want to rile Bayern

Things have not been going so well for the Old Lady since the winter break. The capital club have lost four of their five matches in 2017 and have dropped from third to sixth in the table. “Winning a point gives us the chance to get out of this slump,” said coach Pal Dardai in hope of a return to positive ways on Saturday, although fully aware of the difficulty of the task at hand. “If they’re having a good day, we don’t have much of a chance.” Hertha’s last win over the record champions was eight years ago. Berlin have since lost the last eleven in a row against Bayern.

Hertha see their home advantage as the trump card for the game, although they will be without former FCB player Mitchell Weiser (back injury) and Julian Schieber (knee). The Old Lady have won eight of their nine games at the Olympiastadion this season, conceding just four goals. “We’re really looking forward to facing Bayern Munich in front of a sold-out home crowd,” declared former Alexander Esswein. “We want to take the fight to Bayern and we’ll try to get a point, maybe three, from the game.”

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