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Bayern-Hertha match preview

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Bayern-Hertha match preview

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:50 pm


To date there have been 23 Bundesliga contests between Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin in Munich. However the encounter on Saturday in the sold-out Allianz Arena has something special about it -the team from the capital has never made the trip to Bavaria leading the Bundesliga. "At the moment they are top. But we want to change that on Sunday“, said Bastian Schweinsteiger ahead of the weekend’s top fixture against their rivals from Berlin, who have the same number of points.

Berlin finds itself ahead of the double-winners in the table only thanks to their superior goal difference. In a very tight start to the season, three other teams (Nuremberg, Bremen, Schalke) have amassed ten points in the league. “We’re making things exciting at the moment”, admitted Bastian Schweinsteiger at Thursday’s press conference, although he would rather things got slightly more dull again. “For us it is the best feeling when we have the top spot and we are running away with the championship.”

<b>Bayern’s marathon schedule</b>

A win is important on Saturday from a psychological point of view too, as Roy Makaay explained, "We want to be back on top on Saturday. That will give our self-confidence a boost before the tough few weeks ahead.” Bayern has a veritable marathon schedule looming with 9 matches in a span of 29 days. A win against Hertha will lay the foundations for a 'Golden Autumn'. “At the moment we are under a bit of pressure. It is important for our frame of mind and confidence that we win on Saturday”, stressed captain Oliver Kahn.

The statistics point towards Bayern taking all three points against their northern rivals. The Reds have won the last thirteen home encounters against Hertha, whose last victory in Munich dates back to 29 October 1977. And it is 345 minutes since Hertha last scored a goal against Bayern. Last but not least, in his two years as head coach, Felix Magath’s team has never lost two games in a row.

<b>Hertha still unbeaten</b>

Felix Magath sees it as an advantage for his team that the current Bundesliga leader is coming to the Allianz Arena after the break in international games. “This is an exceptional situation. It will help us get back into the hustle and bustle of daily life. It is always exciting playing against the leaders.” Recently the Bayern players have been having a few problems with the hurly-burly of the Bundesliga, as chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes (reported in <b></b>).

Whilst Bayern’s performance in the Bundesliga has left something to be desired, the Berlin outfit is more than happy with its start to the season. They are one of only three teams left with an unbeaten record and for only the second time in club history have made it to the sixth game of the season without being defeated. Falko Götz’s team is looking solid in defence too, having conceded only four goals so far - another club record.

<b>Götz wants to enjoy himself</b>

It is therefore no surprise that Hertha travel to Munich full of confidence. “We want to enjoy ourselves”, said Götz. “It is time for us to start scoring points in Munich again. We want at least one point, if not three”, declared Hertha Manager Dieter Hoeneß.

The brother of Bayern manager Uli does consider his side to be the underdogs but therein lies their big chance for an upset. “The pressure is on Bayern, without a doubt. They <i>have</i> to win but we <i>want</i> to win.”

<b>Probable team line-ups:</b>

<b>FC Bayern:</b> Kahn - Sagnol, Lucio, Van Buyten, Lahm - Van Bommel, Ottl, Santa Cruz, Schweinsteiger - Makaay, Pizarro
<b>Also availabe in squad:</b> Rensing, Demichelis, Scholl, Salihamidzic, Podolski, Dos Santos, Karimi

<b>Hertha BSC:</b> Fiedler - Friedrich, van Burik, Simunic, Fathi - Boateng, Chahed, Neuendorf, Dardai - Pantelic, Gimenez

<b>Referee:</b> Babak Rafati (Hannover)

<b>Home record:</b> 17-4-2, 60:20 goals

<i>Reporting for <b></b>: Dirk Hauser</i>
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