A win or a draw at Hoffenheim on Saturday, and Bayern Munich, the unstoppable German force, will have equaled Hamburg's unbeaten record in the Bundesliga set way back in the 1980s.
Bayern have not lost in the league since late October last year and if they avoid a loss against Hoffenheim, it will be their 36th straight game unbeaten, and thus equaling the record set by Hamburg in the 1982-83 season. "It's a great thing for the club, something extraordinary, but for the team all that matters is winning and playing well," Bayern manager Pep Guardiola said.
Mario Mandzukic and Franck Ribery celebrate a goal against Hertha Berlin in their Bundesliga game, October 26
Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm concurred with their coach. "Records aren't as important as titles," Robben said. "We have the opportunity to equal a record, which is great, but Bayern's goal is always winning," added Lahm. "It's a very difficult fixture. We've always had a tough time in Hoffenheim in the past few years."
Bayern, actually , find themselves second in the Bundesliga table at the moment after Borussia Dortmund went above them with a 6-1 thrashing of VFB Stuttgart on Friday night. Bayern trail Dortmund by two points, but can go back to the summit with a victory over Hoffenheim.
"Our target and ambition is to take all three points in Hoffenheim," Bayern left-back David Alaba, who spent a season on loan at Hoffenheim in 2011, told the club's official website. "We'll do everything we can. But obviously, we know Hoffenheim will make it as hard as they can for us in front of their home crowd. Hoffenheim are much stronger compared to last season and they're playing well as a team."
There is a lot at stake for Hoffenheim as well, with Markus Gisdol's men having the opportunity to go as high as fourth in the table with a win and if other results at the weekend go their way.
Team News: Fabian Johnson (ankle) and Jeremy Toljan (thigh) are doubts for Hoffenheim, while Bayern Munich have several injury worries of their own.
Arjen Robben and Toni Kroos were taken off early in last weekend's game against Hertha Berlin, but have returned to training. Their availability for the Hoffenheim encounter, though, remains doubtful. "Toni is a bit further along than Arjen," Guardiola said. "They both trained yesterday [Thursday].
"Perhaps they are not fit tomorrow [Saturday], but next Tuesday or next Saturday they will be fit."
The game comes too soon for Dante as well, while Claudio Pizarro, Xherdan Shaqiri and Thiago Alcantara are also sidelined.
Key men: Hoffenheim: Mame Biram Diouf will be the man that the home side look to for goals against a stubborn Bayern defence.
Bayern Munich: Franck Ribery, one of the favourites for the Ballon d'Or will want to show the world exactly why he is being touted as the next winner of the prestigious award.
Where to watch
The game is scheduled for an 8 pm IST start with live coverage on Neo Prime.
Expected lineups: Hoffenheim: Zieler, Sakai, Pocognoli, Schulz, Filho, Andreasen, Sane, Huszti, Stindl, Sobiech, Diouf.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Rafinha, Van Buyten, Boateng, Alaba, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Gotze, Ribery, Mandzukic.
Prediction: 3-0 to Bayern Munich
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