Created on 2019-10-04 at 17:15 PM
FC Bayern are in top spot in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League during the Oktoberfest period. But just as the 186th edition of the Wiesn draws to a close this weekend, the German record champions must return to the bread and butter of the league after the 7-2 gala away to Tottenham.
"It was a match that can boost us over the next few weeks," Niklas Süle said on Tuesday night, and Niko Kovač' men aim to use the momentum from London when they entertain TSG Hoffenheim on Saturday (follow the action on fcbayern.com from 09:30ET). TSG are welcome visitors in the Bavarian capital: FCB have won nine of their 11 home matches against Hoffenheim, with two games ending in a draw.
FC Bayern contest their first match as league leaders after Saturday's hard-fought victory over promoted side Paderborn. Besides Wolfsburg, Munich are the only unbeaten team so far this campaign, and the Bavarians aim to continue their streak: "We want to win the match, we want to retain top spot to go into the international break with a good feeling," the FCB head coach declared.
TSG got off to a patchy start after the departure of longstanding coach Julian Nagelsmann. Hoffenheim have taken five points in six matches, lying 12th in the table, their weakest record since four years. Alfred Schreuder's men struggle especially in attack. TSG have only scored four goals so far, fewer than any other Bundesliga side except Köln, a negative club record. To make matters worse, Andrej Kramarić, who was TSG's top scorer last season, has been sidelined with a knee injury so far this season.
The busy week has left its marks. Jérôme Boateng has recovered from muscular problems, but Lucas Hernández is sidelined with a bruised knee sustained in the match against Paderborn, whereas David Alaba misses out with bruised ribs sustained away to Tottenham. "Unfortunately it's too early for Lucas and David. They won't be in the squad against Hoffenheim," confirmed Kovač, who will be without long-term absentees Leon Goretzka (thigh injury) and Fiete Arp (scaphoid fracture). Hoffenheim will have to make do without Ishak Belfodil (tonsillitis), captain Kevin Vogt (thigh problem) and Kramarić.
What the coaches say
Niko Kovač: "The situation in the table and their points don't reflect Hoffenheim's quality. They want to play positive football, they want to improve, but they've been out of luck. We must focus, it'll be a very, very difficult task for us. It won't be a walkover. We'll have to push to our limits."
Alfred Schreuder: "Everyone's fired up to take on FC Bayern. They're the best club in Germany. And we saw how good they are in the Champions League. It's a big challenge for everyone here. We want to take the next step, we're upbeat. We'll create chances and be bold, I'm 100 percent certain of that."
Robert Lewandowski scores at will at the moment. The Pole has scored ten goals in six matches, setting a new Bundesliga record. The 31-year-old is especially prolific against Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann, scoring 15 goals in 16 encounters with him. No other current Bundesliga pro has scored so many goals against one keeper as Lewandwoski against Baumann.
Tobias Stieler will be the man in the middle on Saturday. Bayern have fond memories of matches with the 38-year-old in charge. He last oversaw a match involving Bayern in May, when they beat RB Leipzig 3-0 in the DFB Cup final. Stieler's assistants will be Matthias Jöllenbeck and Christian Gittelmann, with Marcel Unger acting as fourth official. The video assistant referee is Sascha Stegemann.