Lahm to miss Hoffenheim clash

The Bavarian club’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has announced that the Allianz Arena, which they built together with city rivals 1860 Munich in 2005 at a cost of 345 million euros, now belongs to them – entirely.

Having already bought out 1860’s share in the venue to help their neighbours out of financial trouble, Bayern have now paid back the loan they took on the property 16 years ahead of schedule.

“Now, we’ve paid it all off after only nine and a half years, and that without a single Euro coming from the state, from Bavaria or from Munich.”

For practically the first time in those nine years, they will stage a home game without Philipp Lahm being involved.

He went under the knife on Thursday after breaking his ankle in training and will be out until February, meaning he will miss at least seven Bundesliga fixtures and probably more.

There was better news for coach Pep Guardiola with both Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng back in training, on the other hand, after picking up knocks while on international duty.

Thomas Muller could not train due to the injury he picked up playing for Germany, but he is hopeful of a return.

The kind of return Hoffenheim are hoping for is one with as little damage done as possible.

Their coach Markus Gisdol, without admitting defeat before even arriving in Munich, is aware of what his side must expect.

“If you lose by four, five or six goals in Munich, it’s normal, or do you think we’re better than Roma?” he said at a press conference.

“We know what we can do, but we also respect what Bayern can do. We just take the challenge as it comes and we’re looking forward to it.

“Sooner or later, Bayern will lose a game at home again, but I don’t know if that will happen against us.”

Gisdol will be hopeful Kevin Volland and Roberto Firmino will have both received boosts from their international appearances for Germany and Brazil in midweek.

Comments