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Bayern host Hamburg looking to learn from City defeat

13 Dec 2013 01:46:58

Bayern host Hamburg looking to learn from City defeat

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich host Hamburg on Saturday with coach Pep Guardiola hoping the champions have learned from their shock midweek defeat at home to Manchester City.

Bayern had their record 10-match Champions League winning streak abruptly halted when City hit back from two goals down to inflict a 3-2 defeat on Guardiola's side, who nonetheless still qualified for the last 16 as group winners.

Bayern can extend their record unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 41 games against Bert van Marwijk's Hamburg.

"A defeat is never good but perhaps this club, the coach and the team needed a defeat to know how hard it is to win games in the Bundesliga and in Europe," said Guardiola.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness said the defeat had merely served to act as a wake-up call and should halt any complacent ideas within the squad.

"All the eternal talk of record after record wasn't good. Now we can concentrate on football again," said Hoeness.

Hamburg, who have risen up from near the relegation places under ex-Netherlands manager Van Marwijk, are hoping lightning strikes twice at the Allianz Arena.

"It's unlikely that Bayern will lose twice in one week, but not impossible," said Hamburg midfielder Tolgay Arslan.

Hamburg were humiliated 9-2 on their last Allianz Arena visit in March and have conceded 20 goals in their last three games against Bayern, but Van Marwijk is in bullish mood.

"Bayern are perhaps the best team in the world, a defeat wouldn't irritate me, but I don't go to any game to lose," said the Dutchman.

"We must be brave and ready to play some football."

Hamburg welcome back captain Rafael van der Vaart, but goalkeeper Rene Adler is out with an ankle injury.

Third-placed Borussia Dortmund go to Hoffenheim looking to close the ten-point gap to Bayern.

Dortmund were three minutes from a Champions League exit before Kevin Grosskreutz netted their winner for a 2-1 victory in Marseille on Wednesday to see them through to the last-16 as group winners.

Borussia have been crippled by recent injuries and coach Jurgen Klopp will field another patched-up team at Hoffenheim after Nuri Sahin played with a torn ankle ligament and 18-year-old centre-back Marian Sarr made his first-team debut in Marseille.

"I haven't heard that there are any new injuries, just the usual knocks and bruises," said Klopp, with both first-choice centre-backs Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic, and midfielders Sven Bender and Ilkay Gundogan injured.

"Nuri Sahin is still in pain, Sven Bender will not be back and Marcel Schmelzer hasn't trained at all and is not on the plan for Hoffenheim.

"With so many injured players, other teams would also have struggled to cope.

"There is only one who can, Bayern Munich, and we aren't them."

Dortmund also have Greece centre-back Sokratis suspended having been sent off in last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to second-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

Sami Hyypia's Leverkusen, four points behind Bayern, are at strugglers Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday having booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 1-0 win at Real Sociedad.

Schalke 04 host third-from-bottom Freiburg, but despite steering his team into the last 16 in Europe, coach Jens Keller is still under pressure with a decision on his future to be made over the winter break.

Keller will be without injured captain Benedikt Hoewedes, who is also suspended for the match, and attacking midfielder Julian Draxler, who has a torn hamstring.

Friday

Hertha Berlin v Werder Bremen

Saturday

Bayern Munich v Hamburg, Hanover 96 v Nuremberg, Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund, Mainz 05 v Borussia Moenchengladbach, Augsburg v Eintracht Braunschweig, VfL Wolfsburg v VfB Stuttgart

Sunday

Schalke v Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt


AFP

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