Manuel Veth –
Bayern Munich vs Hoffenheim – Saturday, October 5, 14:30BST/15:30CEST – Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Where do Bayern stand? On Tuesday, the Rekordmeister celebrated football in their 7-2 victory over Tottenham in the Champions League.
The question, however, is whether that was the standard. After all, Bayern managed just a 3-2 victory over Paderborn a few days earlier.
“We have to keep our feet on the ground after Tuesday,” Bayern head coach Niko Kovač said. “That was just a game, three points. We want to remain objective, humble, and continue to work.”
One of the big challenges for Kovač will be his selection as several players are out with injuries. “Lucas Hernández will not be available on Saturday, [Alaba] got a really hard knock to the rib, nothing worse has happened, but he has breathing problems,” Kovač said. Meanwhile, Jérôme Boateng was back in training and should be able to play on Saturday.
For Kovač, the most important aspect on Saturday will be control. The head coach admitted this week that his side struggled for about 25 to 30 minutes before dominating the game. “We have to show the same against Hoffenheim,” Kovač said.
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Hoffenheim, in the meantime, will be without Ishak Belfodil on Saturday. But Alfred Schreuder is not just worried about the absence of his striker.
Die Kreichgauer had a poor start to the season with just five points from the first six games. Hoffenheim sold players with an overall transfer profit of €120 million. The cash has been great but also meant that the club had lost substance.
On top of that, the club lost head coach Julian Nagelsmann. As a result, Hoffenheim have been a shadow of their former self and will not represent as much of a danger as in previous years.
Bayern Munich vs Hoffenheim – Players to look out for:
Serge Gnabry #22 – Bayern Munich
“He’s feeling great, as you can imagine,” Kovač said about Gnabry. The forward had scored four goals against Tottenham on the weekend. “He’s got a slightly different training agenda than most of his teammates today. Goals aside, I was more pleased with how hard he worked tracking back in the second half,” Kovač added. The forward will want to confirm his performance against a Hoffenheim side that he called his home two years ago.
Jürgen Locadia #37 – Hoffenheim
With Ishak Belfodil out, Jürgen Locadia will be the focal point in Hoffenheim’s attack. On loan from Brighton, the Dutch forward has had three appearances for Hoffenheim this season, but in his 94 minutes overall on the pitch failed to score a goal or assists. Against Bayern, his physical presence and pace could be a difference-maker.
Bayern Munich vs Hoffenheim – Match Stats
- Bayern Munich have never lost a home game against Hoffenheim, winning nine of their 11 matches at the Allianz Arena.
- Hoffenheim have taken the lead in four of their 11 Bundesliga visits to the Allianz Arena but are yet to convert that into three points.
- Hoffenheim’s total of four goals from six games is the lowest in the league (together with 1.FC Köln) and the fewest in their Bundesliga history.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Bayern Munich vs Hoffenheim – 2-0
Bayern Munich vs Hoffenheim – Lineups
Neuer – Kimmich, Süle, Boateng, Pavard – Tolisso, Thiago – Gnabry, Coutinho, Perišić – Lewandowski
Head Coach: Niko Kovač
Baumann – Posch, Vogt, Hübner – Rudy – Kaderabek, Grillitsch, Geiger, Stafylidis – Locadia, Bebou
Head Coach: Alfred Schreuder
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.