Bundeliga: Hoffenheim hope to upset odds against Bayern
Hoffenheim have never beaten Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga in 14 attempts but when the champions travel there on Saturday, the hosts will be looking to stage their first major upset against the overwhelming favourites.
Berlin: Hoffenheim have never beaten Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga in 14 attempts but when the champions travel there on Saturday, the hosts will be looking to stage their first major upset against the overwhelming favourites.
Once hailed as they Bundesliga`s new blood after their exciting climb up the divisions and their first top tier season in 2008, Hoffenheim have so far failed to replicate that season when they were ahead of Bayern by the halfway mark.
They improved, however, last season under coach Markus Gisdol and after narrowly missing out on a Europa League spot, the club from the small western German village, backed by SAP software company founder and billionaire Dietmar Hopp, is eager to rebound from last week`s defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.
"We should not pull back into our defence," striker Kevin Volland said. "Because then it is only a matter of time until Bayern score. We have to be courageous, we have to attack and be aggressive. They are not used to that."
Hoffenheim have lost 10 and drawn four of their Bundesliga fixtures against Bayern.
"Obviously, this is a risky strategy but in my view the only way to have a chance against them," the Germany international added.
"What is also clear is that Bayern are so good that they can outclass any opponent if they get into their groove."
The Bavarians have had an explosive start, crushing Hamburg SV 5-0 in their season opener last week with new signing Douglas Costa repeatedly slicing open their opponents` defence with darting runs down the left wing and scoring once as well.
"Bayern are one of the best teams in Europe. Ideally, we want to stage an upset but that is very difficult, as always against Bayern. We need to hit top form," Volland said.
The Bavarians have only victory at Hoffenheim in mind as they look to build on their good start.
"In Hoffenheim, we want to bag the next three points," said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who will still be without injured winger Franck Ribery but has been impressed by the speed and skill of newcomer Costa.
VfL Wolfsburg, runners-up last season, are trying to shift the focus away from the ongoing transfer saga regarding attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne with Manchester City pushing for a move, and concentrate on their first away game of the season, at Cologne.
Coach Dieter Hecking looks set to have Brazilian Luiz Gustavo back in the squad and is hoping to improve on their lacklustre 2-1 opening victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
Ruhr valley clubs Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund, eager to put a disappointing last season behind them, take on promoted clubs Darmstadt 98 and Ingolstadt respectively as they look to make it two wins out of two.