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    F Düsseldorf





Rhein-Neckar Arena

Attendance: 30150

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Bayern Munich

  • Mario Gomez 38'

TSG Hoffenheim v Bayern Munich: Preview

Given their precarious situation the last thing Hoffenheim need is an encounter with runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

A 2-1 defeat to Augsburg last weekend saw the club slump to second from the bottom of the table, a position which if they don't improve, would see their five-year spell in the Bundesliga come to an end in May.

Bayern, meanwhile, have opened up a 17-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga, and a midweek win over Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal confirmed their dominance of German football this season.

Yet in spite of a 44-point difference between the two sides, Hoffenheim will be aiming for victory tomorrow.

``Maybe it helps that there is no pressure on the team to win this game,'' boss Marco Kurz said. ``I expect a team who may not be able to play technically as well as Bayern, but who have the will and determination against these overwhelming opponents.''

Bayern could well play with a weakened side in view of the Dortmund game, and an approaching Champions League tie with Arsenal.

Nevertheless, even their reserve players have shown often enough this season that they would fit into any other starting XI in the league.

``We cannot tell who is going to play, but Bayern have such a strong squad that it practically makes no difference,'' added Kurz at a press conference.

Claudio Pizarro and Rafinha are unlikely to be involved for Bayern due to the flu, but former Hoffenheim goalkeeper Tom Starke could start.

``We don't have a B-team at Bayern,'' said Heynckes. ``We had nine internationals on the field against Bremen and I'm sure other clubs would bite your hand off to have that.

``I make no difference because I find that disrespectful.''

It would also be disrespectful to write off Hoffenheim's chances, according to Heynckes.

``They are playing for their jobs, even the players. It's crucial to them for survival to win the game,'' he said.

``We must not expect it to be a walk in the park. It's going to be a difficult atmosphere and we have got to make it clear from the start that we want to win.''

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