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Bayern Munich Could Assist in Hamburger SV's First Relegation

A victory for the Rekordmeister could end Hamburg's fight to stave off a historical downfall

Stuart Franklin

Bayern München and Hamburger SV have exchanged many a strike over their 49 season battle. No two clubs have met in the Bundesliga more times than the Roten and the Rothosen.

Now the German champions have the opportunity to deliver the finishing blow, depriving Hamburg of the necessary points to avoid their first relegation all together.

Bayern may not be in the best form to do so, Real Madrid snuffing out the Stern des Südens with a 4-0 victory in Allianz Arena. Fortunately for the Bavarians, the Hamburgers make nearly anyone's form look optimistic.

Confronting a team in desperation can be an undesirable task, but with Bayern preparing for the DFB-Pokal Final, Hamburg will once again have their hands full.

The Match (108th meeting)

Location: Imtech Arena, Hamburg, Germany

Head: Marco Fritz
FC Bayern München FC Bayern: 4 W, 0 D, 2 L – 12 YC

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The Fixture


FC Bayern München FC Bayern: LWLWW
Hamburger SVHamburg: LLLWL

2013/14 Meetings

FC Bayern München Bayern München (3-1) Hamburger SV Hamburger SV | December 12, 2013 (Bundesliga)
FCB: Mario Mandžukić (42'), Mario Götze (52'), Xherdan Shaqiri (90')
HSV: Pierre-Michel Lasogga (87')

Hamburger SV Hamburger SV (0-5) Bayern München FC Bayern München| February 12, 2014 (DFB-Pokal)
FCB: Mario Mandžukić (21', 74', 76'), Dante (26'), A. Robben (54')


Logo DFL © Foto: Bongarts/GettyImages Bundesliga: 57 W, 21 D, 19 L
Germany DFB-Pokal: 6 W, 1 D, 2 L
Ligapokal: 0 W, 1 L
DFL Super Cup: 1 W, 0 L

Top Scorers

1. Gerhard "Gerd" Müller, FCB – 31
2. Claudio Pizarro, FCB – 14
3. Dieter Brenninger, FCB; Roland Wohlfarth, FCB – 8
5. Giovane Elber, FCB; Horst Hrubesch, HSV; Ulrich "Uli" Hoeneß, FCB; Lothar Matthäus, FCB; Franz Roth, FCB – 7

Biggest Victory: 9-2 (March 30, 2013, Munich, Germany)
Biggest Defeat: 0-5 (April 1, 1977, Hamburg, Germany)

The Squad

With the Champions League trophy now just a pipe dream, Guardiola will focus his efforts on preparing his squad for the German Cup Final against Borussia Dortmund in two weeks. His opponent this week can not keep the ball out of the back of the net, so the side he fields, no matter what it is, will likely run up a good scoreline showing.

"That would not be good if I field eleven players set up for Dortmund. I always decide the lineup on the day of the game."

If the lineup does not include Claudio Pizarro, it should. He has scored 15 goals in his career against Hamburg, including four goals in his last start a year ago.

With the Real Madrid rampage at midweek, this weekend's match could be the one that sees more consistent players rest. For instance, both Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger have each started nine of the last ten matches for Bayern, Ribéry sitting against FC Augsburg and Schwesteiger serving a suspension against Manchester United. David Alaba could see the bench as well, having recording the second most minutes to Manuel Neuer in 2013/14.

After the experiment in defense, Javi Martinez has played each of the last two games in midfield. He has started four consecutive Bundesliga matches, and will likely get a fifth after starting the second leg of the Champions League on the bench.

Scoring in European competition may be a problem, but it is one that does not spill over into the Bundesliga. Bayern's attacking pressure will cause Hamburg's defense to break, and goals could flood in from all angles.

Projected Lineup (4-2-3-1)

Claudio Pizarro

Mario Götze – Thomas Müller – Arjen Robben

Toni Kroos – Javi Martinez

Diego Contento – Dante – Daniel van Buyten – Philipp Lahm

Manuel Neuer

Bench: Lukas Raeder, David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Mitchell Weiser, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribery, Mario Mandzukic

The Opponent

How bad has the Hamburg defense been this year? The 68 goals they have conceded in the Bundesliga is already tied with their worst mark in their previous 50 seasons, and the four managers Hamburg have employed have not found a way to seal the porous sieve.

The return of Michael Mancienne allows current boss Mirko Slomka to shy away from 17-year-old Jonathan Tah. Marcel Jansen's return could not come at a better time either, although like Heiko Westermann, his contributions are more impactful in attack than defense.

Veteran Rafael van der Vaart has fallen completely out of favor, not even named to Slomka's team sheet in the past two matches. Hakan Calhanoglu has carried the side in attack, responsible for either scoring or assisting four of Hamburg's last five goals. Slomka will be without Jacques Zoua, the Cameroonian out with a thigh injury.

Milan Badelj will have to take the place of the suspended Tolgay Arslan. Lasse Sobiech is also questionable with an ankle injury, joining Johan Djourou, Zhi-Gin Lam and Slobodan Rajkovic in the injured defenders club.

HSV sporting director Oliver Kreutzer wants to "annoy" Bayern, but Slomka simply does not have the personnel to do so.

Projected Lineup (4-2-3-1)

Mattia Maggio

Petr Jiracek – Ivo Ilicevic – Hakan Calhanoglu

Milan Badelj – Tomás Rincón

Marcel Jansen – Michael Mancienne – Heiko Westermann – Dennis Diekmeier

René Adler

Bench: Jaroslav Drobny, Jonathan Tah, Robert Tesche, Milan Badelj, Kerem Demirbay, Ouasim Bouy, Rafael van der Vaart, Ola John

The Outcome

The tones of the match will be worth watching. Already at the point of desperation, Hamburg will be pleading for Bayern to show mercy, only for Bayern's big boot to squash Hamburg like a bug. With Bayern struggling to keep clean sheets, a set piece goal could be in the cards for Hamburg, but the timing of the goal could make it a mere flick against an oak tree.

Projected Score: Hamburger SVHamburger SV (1-4) FC Bayern München FC Bayern München

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