Ambitions high and confidence budding, Hamburger SV players are gearing up to spoil Bayern Munich's restart a bit further, but could Bayern enjoy some spoils as well?
Taking two points away from Bayern would be a esteem-forging result, something they have not done in six and a half years. Even forcing a contest would be an accomplishment, for Bayern has outscored Hamburg 25-3 in the Rothosen's last five visits to Allianz Arena. Bayern could deliver the soul-crushing blow though, one that could halt the momentum Hamburg has built and knock them straight back towards the relegation zone.
Thus, Pep Guardiola and Josef Zinnbauer will try to prove who is more astute, Zinnbauer trying to squeeze out another result as Guardiola swats and swarms his stars into the attacking third. Zinnbauer probably has a good look at Guardiola's bald head from his vantage point, but it could be the Spaniard who stands tall on the sideline as he oversees another victory in front of the Allianz crowd.
The Match (112th Meeting)
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Head: Michael Weiner
FC Bayern: 28 W, 6 D, 4 L – 71 YC, 1 Y/R, 1 RC
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Television and Streaming:
US: GOLTV, MyGermanTV +, Fubo TV
Germany: Sky Bundesliga 3 | HD, Sky Go
FC Bayern: WDLWW
Hamburger SV (0-0) Bayern Munich | Bundesliga (Imtech Arena)
Hamburger SV (1-3) Bayern Munich | DFB-Pokal (Imtech Arena)
FCB: Lewandowski (7'), Alaba (44'), Franck Ribéry (55')
HSV: Pierre-Michel Lasogga (85')
Against Hamburg This Season
Hamburger SV This Season
Bundesliga: 58 W, 22 D, 19 L
DFB Pokal: 7 W, 1 D, 2 L
DFL Supercup: 1 W, 0 L
Ligapokal: 1 W, 0 L
Largest Victory: 9-2 (Bundesliga: March 30, 2013, Munich)
Largest Defeat: 0-5 (Bundesliga: April 1, 1977, Hamburg)
Collecting half the points they were probably looking for in their first three Rückrunde matches, a midweek break came at a perfect time for Bayern.
If nothing else, Rafinha and Franck Ribéry participated to training after missing the last two weeks with injuries. The return of the two of them could re-kilter Bayern's setup, Guardiola unable to reconcile a major absence on the right flank. The two might not be ready for action right away though, especially since Holger Badstuber – out for four months with a thigh injury – has yet to feature.
Guardiola will likely have to rely on a three-back system once again, but the tactic might be the solution for breaking down Hamburg. Bastian Schweinsteiger has motored all over the pitch since his return, and his presence in midfield and in the air could benefit Bayern in a big way once or twice. Him and Xabi Alonso have not been able to hold down the midfield by themselves, but with Alaba stepping up to help out, the Hamburg attackers will continue to have a tough time scoring.
This is Bayern's final tuneup before the Champions League recommences, so a big performance like some in recent years could be a nice result to pack for their trip to Ukraine.
Projected Lineup (4-3-3):
Thomas Müller – Robert Lewandowski – Arjen Robben
Juan Bernat – Xabi Alonso – Bastian Schweingsteiger – Mitchell Weiser
David Alaba – Dante – Medhi Benatia
Bench: Pepe Reina, Holger Badstuber, Rafinha, Sebastian Rode, Franck Ribéry, Mario Götze, Claudio Pizarro
Out/Suspended: Jérôme Boateng (red card), Philipp Lahm (ankle), Javi Martínez (knee), Thiago Alcântara (knee)
Hamburger SV remains the cockroach of the Bundesliga. Six points in their last two matches have pulled them to safety, even if the results came in an ugly way.
Zinnbauer has remained as conservative as he can with a thin defense, although he has opened things up against opponents he believes he can snatch some points from. Bayern is not one of those opponents, and while he dabbled with a single-pivot system, he will likely return to the double-barreled approach he used in his first encounter with Bayern.
Former Bayern striker Ivica Olić has come full circle, signing with Hamburg in the January transfer window with André Schürrle on his way to Wolfsburg. However, the real wild card will be Chilean international Marcelo Díaz, who arrived from FC Basel in the window as well. He is a versatile midfielder, the type of player Hamburg has required for years, and could finally link the defense with attack.
With slight personnel changes, Hamburg have remained pretty much the same. Their defense can be easily overwhelmed, and they are inefficient at finishing chances. They will need to buck the trend if they want any chance of a road point against Bayern.
Projected Lineup (4-2-3-1):
Marcel Jansen – Zoltan Stieber – Nicolai Müller
Marcelo Díaz – Petr Jiraček
Matthias Ostrzolek – Slobodan Rajković – Johan Djourou – Heiko Westermann
Bench: René Adler, Ronny Marcos, Maximillian Beister, Ashton Götz, Gojko Kačar, Rafael van der Vaart, Artjoms Rudnevs
Out/Suspended: Valon Behrami (knee), Cleber Reis (muscle tear), Dennis Diekmeier (knee), Lewis Holtby (clavicle), Gideon Jung (ligament damage), Pierre-Michel Lasogga (muscle tear)
This is a match we have seen several times over the past two seasons. Sure, Hamburg can manufacture the occasional surprise, but they are a frail team who does not belong in the Bundesliga. Bayern have yet to find their form coming off the winter break, but this will be the perfect tuneup match for their European responsibilities. The Rekordmeister are heavy favorites to win this match, and it would be foolish to bet against them.
Projected Score: Bayern Munich (3-0) Hamburger SV
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TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs. VfB Stuttgart (Saturday, 9:30 AM ET)
SV Werder Bremen vs. FC Augsburg (Saturday, 9:30 AM ET)
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Schalke 04 (Saturday, 12:30 PM ET)
Hertha Berliner SC vs. SC Freiburg (Sunday, 9:30 AM ET)
Hannover 96 vs. SC Paderborn 07 (Sunday, 11:30 AM ET)
VfL Bochum vs. Eintracht Braunschweig (Friday, 12:30 ET)
|FC Schalke 04||10||4||6||31||22||+9||34|
|Bayer 04 Leverkusen||8||8||4||30||22||+8||32|
|TSG 1899 Hoffenheim||7||5||8||31||33||-2||26|
|SV Werder Bremen||7||5||8||32||41||-9||26|
|1. FC Köln||6||6||8||19||23||-4||24|
|1. FSV Mainz 05||4||10||6||25||26||-1||22|
|Hertha Berliner SC||6||3||11||26||38||-12||21|
|SC Paderborn 07||4||8||8||21||34||-13||20|