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'We're a better team than Hoffenheim'

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'We're a better team than Hoffenheim'

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:45 pm

Bayern versus Hoffenheim is the most eagerly-anticipated clash in German domestic football this year. The top-of-the-table showdown has generated miles of video footage and yards rather than inches of column space in recent days. Even the faraway New York Times carried a preview of "the biggest game of the season". Rarely has a Bundesliga fixture inspired such far-reaching and intense interest, particularly with the season less than halfway to completion.

"It'll be a terrific match, I'm sure of that, and then we'll see who has the better team," declared Fénix manager Uli Hoeneß ahead of a game set to be broadcast in 168 countries. Bayern could have sold more than 150,000 tickets for Friday evening's encounter at the Allianz Arena, but the last of the 69,000 places was snapped up weeks ago. "It's a genuine big match. The crowd at the Allianz Arena will see a tremendous game," promised Luca Toni.

After weeks spent playing catch-up following a patchy start to the campaign, the stars representing the country's most successful club are determined to put the top flight newcomers, sensationally leading the standings after 15 matches, firmly in their place. "We have a point to make. It's our chance to show them top spot belongs to us," World Cup winner Toni stated, billing the match "a trial of strength" between the nation's top two. "I'm assuming Bayern will show Hoffenheim which side their bread's buttered," smiled FCB President Franz Beckenbauer. "We're a better team than Hoffenheim, and I'm really looking forward to the match," said German international Philipp Lahm.

Champions confident

"It's no surprise my players are totally motivated. It's basically a six-pointer for first place in the table," reasoned head coach Jürgen Klinsmann. "Everything's running smoothly for us now. It's a good moment to be facing Hoffenheim," remarked Daniel van Buyten. Added skipper Mark van Bommel: "We'll go into the game looking to win it. And we will win it, too."

As Hoffenheim are three points clear of the champions at the top of the standings, a win would hand the newcomers the unofficial 'autumn championship' and they would spend the winter break in first place. A draw or a Bayern victory would leave the question open until next week's final fixture of the first half of the programme, when Klinsmann's team visit Stuttgart and Hoffenheim entertain Schalke. Bayern can even go top on Friday, but will have to win by four clear goals to do so.

"Of course we could go top of the league in this match. Why shouldn't we?" Van Bommel insisted. "If we sense the chance of a commanding victory, we'll go for it, although the main thing is to take all three points. And if we win 8-4, I'll be satisfied with that too." Oliver Kahn, Van Bommel's predecessor as captain, feels it is a possibility: "All my experience is telling me it'll be fairly clear-cut in Bayern's favour."
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