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Bayern boss demands return to winning ways
Published : 06 Oct 2012 02:48:47
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is demanding Bayern Munich bounce back from their midweek Champions League defeat at BATE Borisov and return to winning ways on Saturday at home to Hoffenheim.
Bundesliga leaders Bayern are back in domestic action at Munich's Allianz Arena having suffered a shock 3-1 loss at Belarus champions BATE on Tuesday which dented their Champions League aspirations.
It was Bayern's first defeat in 10 competitive matches since losing the Champions League final to Chelsea in Munich on penalties in May and Rummenigge said his team must not be thrown off track by the setback in Minsk.
"It is important that we react straight away against Hoffenheim on Saturday and go flat out, so that our Bundesliga rivals see again that Bayern lost a game, but aren't beaten," said Rummenigge.
"I think it's also important we don't let this defeat throw us off course."
Having won all six of their opening league games, leaders Bayern are seven points clear of defending champions Dortmund, who are in third place.
Bayern certainly need to produce an impressive display and show a united front with obvious disharmony between coach Jupp Heynckes and director of sport Matthias Sammer over comments the latter made after last weekend's win at Werder Bremen.
"He put his finger in the wound for the first time, I have been doing that for 30 years," said Bayern president Uli Hoeness, implying disagreement between the coach and director may not be an unhealthy thing.
Having started on the bench in Belarus, Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is expected to start alongside Javier Martinez while winger Arjen Robben may be involved after a thigh strain.
Buoyed by Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Premier League champions Manchester City in Europe, Dortmund are looking to build on their 5-0 domestic thumping of Borussia Moenchengladbach last weekend when they travel to Hanover.
Dortmund were only denied a rare away win by a 90th-minute penalty from Italy striker Mario Balotelli after Marco Reus gave them the lead with an hour gone in Manchester.
"We don't have much time to dwell on what happened (in Manchester)," said Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek.
"Hanover are a strong team, that we know, but we'll be well prepared for them, and do everything we can to take all three points back to Dortmund."
Dortmund are waiting on the fitness of defender Mats Hummels und midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
"Nothing is broken or torn, perhaps a nerve is trapped. I can't give a prognosis," said Hummels, who is labouring with a hip injury, while Gundagan is nursing a back injury.
This season's dark horses Eintracht Frankfurt are looking to pick up their sixth win in seven games having taken the Bundesliga by storm since their promotion in May.
In contrast, Moenchengladbach are struggling to match last season's impressive displays which saw them finish fourth and are 13th with just one win -- their season opener against Hoffenheim -- this term.
Hamburg, unbeaten in their last three games, are at Bavarian side Greuther Fuerth on Saturday with midfielder Rafael van der Vaart boosting their attack since his arrival from Tottenham Hotspur at the end of August.
In Friday's only fixture, Augsburg defeated Werder Bremen, 3-1.
Bayern Munich v 1899 Hoffenheim, Schalke 04 v VfL Wolfsburg, Freiburg v Nuremberg, Mainz v Fortuna Duesseldorf, Greuther Fuerth v Hamburg
Borussia M'gladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt, VfB Stuttgart v Bayer Leverkusen, Hanover 96 v Borussia Dortmund