Preview: FC Bayern Munchen vs Hamburger SV

Bundesliga leaders and defending champions Bayern Munich will aim to get back to winning form when they host Hamburg on Saturday.

Date: 25 February 2017
Match Day 22
Kick-off: 16H30 (GMT+2)
Venue: Allianz Arena

Head-to-head summary:

Bayern Munchen 107 65 22 20
Hamburger SV 107 20 22 65

Previous encounter:

Hamburg 0-1 Bayern Munich 24/09/16 (Bundesliga)

Bayern Munich goalscorer: Joshua Kimmich (88′)

Players to watch:

? Full focus on #FCBHSV! #packmas #FCBayern #Lewandowski @_rl9

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Robert Lewandowski has arguably been carrying Bayern with his sheer volume of goals this season. The Pole has hit the back of the net 25 times in only 31 games, while forward Thomas Muller has assisted in nine goals and scored five.

With Hamburg’s top scorer out with an injury, they may look to Michael Gregoritsch, who has netted four so far, and Filip Kostic, who has two goals and three assists to his name, to break the Bayern defence.

Team form and manager quotes:

Bayern Munich have been dominant across all competitions recently, winning 11 of their last 13 games. However, they were held to a 1-1 draw at Hertha in their last league outing, and will be eager to get back to winning ways to consolidate their lead at the top of the standings.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press about his team’s injury problems ahead of the Hamburg tie, saying: “I think he (Franck Ribery) could make his comeback against Hamburg or Schalke.”

While on Jerome Boateng, Ancelotti added: “He is also training with the squad again, but he still has to avoid physical contact. He still needs three weeks or so before his return.”

Hamburg have also enjoyed success over the last few games, winning three in a row before playing out a 2-2 draw at home against Freiburg. Manager Markus Gisdol’s men are only two points clear of the bottom two spots in the league.

“If the question is playing it safe in Munich or stepping on the gas then the answer is we will step on the gas,” said Gisdol.

He added: “Bayern are a top team with huge quality but we will be courageous.”

Team news:

Die Roten are still without winger Franck Ribery in the starting line-up, though he should return to the bench. Defender Jerome Boateng is still out recovering from injury.

The visitors look set to be without influential centre-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos due to injury. He signed for the club in January and has since helped stabilise their defence.