The last time Hamburger SV came to Munich, the club left stuck in a seven goal differential nightmare, one it could not wake up from in time to qualify for European competition.
Now the players return to the ground zero where the bombardment occurred, this time with a mission to resurrect a season that has left them five points above the relegation playoff spot.
FC Bayern München will have a vehemence about them, a volcano that will come out of dormancy when the club manufactured the opportunity for Manchester City to give the defending treble winners its first loss in a major competition. Now the only streak the club will be able to maintain is its 40 match domestic unbeaten streak as the Stern des Südens goes for its 19th Herbstmeisterschaft.
Will lightning strike twice as it did in Augsburg a fortnight ago? With a depleted Hamburger defense and a reinforced Bayern attack, another big victory could be on the horizon.
The Match (108th meeting)
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Head: Tobias Welz
FC Bayern: 4 W, 1 D, 0 L – 3 YC
Assistants: Rafael Foltyn, Martin Thomsen
Fourth Official: Harm Osmers
Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com
Television & Streaming
USA: Gol TV USA
Germany: Sky Bundesliga 1 & 2 | HD
FC Bayern: LWWWW
Bundesliga: 56 W, 21 D, 19 L
DFB Pokal: 7 W, 1 D, 2 L
Ligapokal: 0 W, 1 L
Biggest Victory: 9-2 (March 30, 2013, Munich, Germany)
Biggest Defeat: 0-5 (April 1, 1977, Hamburg, Germany)
The return of Philipp Lahm to his fullback position was an intriguing venture, for now it raises the question if Pep Guardiola has a alternative program with Lahm, Javi Martinez, Thiago Alcantara and Rafinha all available. Rafinha was absent for one Bundesliga match this season, and has started at right back in 11 of FC Bayern's 15 matches.
The club reported on Friday that David Alaba and Martínez are both questionable for the match. Martínez is having shoulder problems and "is not yet quite right" according to Guardiola, while Alaba has a jammed finger.
Guardiola may have to go with the false 9 up front again, considering how good Hamburg is in the air. Hamburg wins the fifth most aerial duels per game in the Bundesliga, so perhaps having a quicker option like Mario Götze up front might be the better play. Götze has a goal in his two spells up top.
There is a zero probability of another muffed clearance from Jerome Boateng, for he must sit in the stands due to yellow card accumulation. Depending on how the match unfolds, Jan Kirchhoff might finally get some minutes in central defense.
Also of note, Xherdan Shaqiri might get a look as well, considering he made an appearance at midweek. Either he or Thomas Müller will do battle with Marcell Jansen, so it will depend which match-up Guardiola would like to exploit.
The final Bundesliga match before the winter recess will be one die Roten will want to leave an impact on.
Projected Lineup (4-1-4-1)
Alaba – Dante – van Buyten – Rafinha
Bench: Starke, Contento, Kirchhoff, Martínez, Shaqiri, Pizarro, Mandžukić
As if the club's form was not bad enough, Hamburger SV now have a rash of injuries. The biggest is René Adler, as the Hamburg No. 1 will miss the game with an ankle injury, according manager Bert van Marwijk. Add Heiko Westermann's knee injury and the club's defense looks like taking a cracked windshield off of a car – it may not do the job the best but at least it was there.
One player that van Marwjik can rely on is Rafael van der Vaart, one of the best attacking midfielders in the Bundesliga, who was out against FC Augsburg for "private reasons". The Dutchman will directly swap for Maximilian Beister, who is suspended with yellow card accumulation. Vedad Iličević is also out in midfield due to "tragic family circumstances".
The injury to Slobodan Rajković means that van Marwijk has had to rely on 17-year-old Jonathan Glao Tah in central defense next to Johan Djourou. German international Marcell Jansen is the only consistent defender on the team for van Marwijk, while Michael Mancienne will carry the load for Westermann the rest of the way.
As bad as Hamburg at the back, it is a very good attacking side. After helping Hertha Berlin in promotion, Pierre-Michel Lasogga is tied for fifth in the Bundesliga in goals with eight. Hakan Çalhanoğlu has returned from his loan spell with Karlsruher SC to contribute with four goals and two assists, getting a majority of the time in attacking midfield.
With limited options, van Marwijk will not have many options to toy around with.
Projected Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Çalhanoğlu – Arslan – van der Vaart
Rincon – Badelj
Jansen – Tah – Djourou – Mancienne
Bench: Neuhaus, Lam, Sobiech, Jiráček, Tesche, Rudņevs, Zoua
This match is one where the odds are somewhat intriguing. Bet 365 has 6/1 odds on a 3-0 victory, and 7/1 odds on a 4-0 victory. Without the big plugs in the Hamburg defense, the Bayern attack will come poring in. The Allianz crowd may just get to see a Bremen-esque result right in its own back yard.
Projected Score: FC Bayern München 4-0 Hamburger SV