Bayern target Hamburg rout

2015-02-13 10:45
Bayern Munich (AFP)

Berlin - Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich host Hamburg on Saturday in their final warm-up before Tuesday's Champions League clash away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Despite their eight-point lead, Bayern have struggled to impress in their first three league games of 2015, but have a habit of hammering Hamburg.

Their shock 4-1 thrashing at second-placed Wolfsburg was followed by a 1-1 draw at home to Schalke 04, albeit with only 10 men for 70 minutes, before last weekend's 2-0 win at strugglers Stuttgart in a below-par display.

Coach Pep Guardiola admitted his side's display "was not our best" and added "we need to find our rhythm", while Germany star Thomas Muller said the team need to raise their game.

"You can't just get up in the morning, say: 'today, I'm going to play outstandingly well' and it will happen. You have to make it happen," he said.

Arjen Robben is one of the few Bayern stars currently in form with the Dutchman having claimed 12 league goals in 16 matches.

But Bayern have posted some big wins over Hamburg in recent years including a 9-2 drubbing in March 2013, but will be without suspended centre-back Jerome Boateng, who will be available to face Donetsk, though.

Hamburg captain Rafael van der Vaart is fighting for his midfield place having been hauled off at half-time of their 2-1 home win over Hanover 96 following a poor display.

His side has climbed to 12th in the table after back-to-back wins, but Munich's Allianz Arena has not been a happy hunting ground for Hamburg recently.

They have also lost 3-1, 5-0 and 6-0, on their last four visits to the Bavarian capital, but coach Joe Zinnbauer will be buoyed by their goalless draw in Hamburg in September,  his first game in charge.


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