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Bundesliga weekend preview

Fear is rising in northern Germany that Hamburg will be on a hiding to nothing this weekend when they travel to face a Bayern Munich side wounded by Manchester City in midweek.

Last Updated: 13/12/13 at 08:45 Post Comment

Thomas Muller: In action for Bayern Munich

Thomas Muller: In action for Bayern Munich

Last time these two sides met in Munich a year ago, the hosts put nine past Hamburg, conceding only two.

In the wake of a 1-0 defeat to Augsburg last weekend, Hamburg president Carl Jarchow warned that they "will concede 12" if they play the same way at the Allianz Arena, and with Bayern reeling after their first defeat of the campaign, those fears could well be justified.

"Maybe this is good for us in view of our next game and the Club World Cup," said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola after Tuesday's 3-2 defeat to City. "All I keep hearing is our next game is no problem for Bayern, we keep winning anyway.

"But no, no no - it's difficult! I think this defeat reminds us that not everything happens all by itself."

The result also gives Hamburg's vice-captain Marcel Jansen belief that his side can become the first to beat Bayern in the Bundesliga in 41 games.

"We've seen that Bayern are beatable after all," he said in the Hamburger Abendblatt. "Then again, our game has nothing to do with the Champions League.

"We're going to have to push ourselves to the limit, regardless of how Bayern react."

A win for Bayern would give them a seven-point cushion at the top of the Bundesliga and ensure their place at the summit going into the winter break, clinching the unofficial 'autumn champions' award.

Any other result would leave Bayer Leverkusen the chance of catching them before the turn of the year.

Sami Hyypia's men are in action on Sunday against Eintracht Frankfurt, and with Bayern's last Bundesliga fixture of the year postponed due to the Club World Cup, they have two games to try to turn their deficit on the Bavarians around.

Borussia Dortmund are out of the running to finish the year at the top, however.

Defeat to Leverkusen last weekend has left them ten points adrift of the summit and keen merely to end the year without losing any more ground, starting with Saturday's trip to Hoffenheim.

At the bottom of the table, winless Nurnberg and Eintracht Braunschweig are battling it out not to end the year looking up at the rest of the league. The Bavarians travel to Hannover while the Lower Saxony side head to Augsburg, who are just four points adrift of the top six.

Freiburg are also in danger near the foot of the table and they will be keen on revenge for a defeat against Schalke on the last day of last season which cost them a place in the Champions League when the two teams meet in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Mainz host high-flying Borussia Monchengladbach, Wolfsburg face Stuttgart and Hertha Berlin take on Werder Bremen in the first game of the weekend on Friday night.

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N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

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