Things could not be going much better for Bayern Munich. Carlo Ancelotti is doing his best Jupp Heynckes impression by winning his first seven games, and the German champions have only given up one goal in all competition.
Hamburg are one of the clubs in the Bundesliga where the exact opposite is happening. Though they triumphed in the German Cup, the Dinos have just one point in the Bundesliga. After the €30.8 million net spending spree in the transfer window, Hamburg are far from where they want to be, and their coach, former Bayern forward Bruno Labbadia, may take the fall for it.
The Hamburg coach's seat is blistering hot after losing for the third consecutive time during the week, suffering a 1-0 defeat to recently promoted Freiburg. Though Labbadia was positive after the match, Hamburg's chairman Dietmar Beiersdorfer did not share his coach's optimism. "We were bad, really bad, especially in the second half," the coach told Sky Germany after the game.
Hamburg are probably not expecting their first win will come against the defending Bundesliga Champions. They have not beaten Bayern in almost seven years, Labbadia's team losing both games of the Bundesliga fixture last year by a combined score of 7-1. However, with their caoch facing the ax, Ancelotti half expects Hamburg to put in a big performance.
Even the greatest of efforts have not stopped Bayern's impressive run. The squad that Ancelotti can rotate is getting bigger and bigger, and he said the players who didn't play in midweek - Kimmich, Sanches, Coman - have a greater chance to start. It does not seem to matter who plays for Bayern at the moment based on their results, but with one eye on a big Champions League match against Atletico Madrid, Ancelotti could be more cautious with the players he puts on the field.
Bayern have already helped convince one northern club to move on from their coach - Werder Bremen sacked Viktor Skripnik two matches after Bayern hammered them 6-0. Perhaps another overwhelming performance will cause another coach to lose his job.
Prediction: 3-1 Bayern win. The Bavarians have smashed Hamburg at home in the last few years, but their trips to Imtech Arena have not always been as successful. Ancelotti already hinted that he will make a lot of changes to the squad, and their play may show it. That said, Bayern overwhelmed Hertha for 90 minutes in midweek, and as long as Robert Lewandowski is on the field, a multiple-goal advantage is always in the cards.
Bayern Munich injuries and suspensions: Holger Badstuber, Douglas Costa (thigh)
Hamburg injuries and suspensions: Dennis Diekmeier (calf)
Television and Streaming:
US: Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports GO, Fox Soccer 2Go
Canada: Sportsnet World Now
Germany: Sky Bundesliga 1&2, Sky Go, TeleClub Sport Live