Preview: Bayern Munich out to strengthen iron grip on Hoffenheim

AFP , Friday 21 Aug 2015

Hoffenheim Vs Bayern Munich
Thomas Mueller of Bayern Munich assists for his team's second goal against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim during their German first division Bundesliga soccer match in Sinsheim, April 18, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Bayern Munich head to Hoffenheim on Saturday to face opponents they have never lost against in 14 meetings.

Pep Guardiola's Bayern opened the new league season with a 5-0 rout of Hamburg last Friday as the Bavarian giants began their bid to become the first team to win four straight Bundesliga titles.

Hoffenheim have never beaten Bayern and the Munich maestros want to go 15 matches undefeated against the club from Sinsheim, having won three of their four visits to the Rhein-Neckar Arena.

"We’re going there to win and defend our position at the top of the table," said Bayern's Moroccan centre-back Medhi Benatia, who scored their opening goal against Hamburg.

"If we concentrate, I’m sure we’ll come away with the win."

Hoffenheim will need to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen last Saturday, when they threw away a first-half lead.

Their Germany Under-21 striker Kevin Volland admits his side will need to be 'perfect' to enjoy the club's first win over Bayern, having come closest in a 3-3 draw in March 2014.

"We have to attack and be brave," said the 23-year-old Volland.

"That’ll make it uncomfortable for them, because they’re not used to that.

"That’s definitely one of our strengths, but it’s also risky. They’re so good they can take apart almost every other team in the world.

"We want to spring a surprise, but that’s always really hard to do against Bayern. We need a perfect day."

- Costa impact -Bayern's Brazil winger Douglas Costa is already carving out a name after marking his Bundesliga debut with their fifth goal against Hamburg having been signed as cover for injury-prone wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

"We needed his qualities because we found out last season that we didn't have any alternatives to Franck or Arjen whenever one of them was missing," said Benatia.

"With his pace and high tempo, he can decide a game on his own."

Wolfsburg are at Cologne on Saturday hoping to have Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne in their ranks.

British media reported that Manchester City have improved their offer to £50 million (69.9m euros, $78.1m) for the 24-year-old Belgium international.

But Wolves want there attacking midfielder in Cologne as they look to build on last Sunday's opening 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

"Of course he'll be there," said Wolfsburg's director of sport Klaus Allofs when asked if De Bruyne will face Cologne.

"We will make every effort so that Kevin stays with Wolfsburg for another year."

After their impressive 4-0 thrashing of Moechengladbach under new coach Thomas Tuchel, Borussia Dortmund are at Ingolstadt on Sunday hunting another win.

Their Bavarian opponents celebrated their first appearance in Germany's top flight with a 1-0 win at Mainz last Saturday.

Under Tuchel, Dortmund look to have rediscovered the form which swept them to the 2013 Champions League final with Japan Shinji Kagawa back to his best as attacking midfielder while Henrikh Mkhitaryan revelled on the right wing with two goals.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: