Bayern Munich will attempt to extend their perfect streak to start the season to seven when surging Hoffenheim visit the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
After beginning the season with eight victories in all competitions, Bayern traveled to Minsk midweek for a Champions League match against BATE Borisov. It was expected to be an easy victory for Bayern, but the Belarusian champions took it to the Bavarians from the beginning before winning 3-1. The inability to create many quality chances against Borisov is concerning with a plucky side like Hoffenheim up next.
Hoffenheim are coming off of a three match stretch where they picked up seven points and played their best football of the season. They were flying on full confidence heading into last weekend's match against Augsburg before receiving the news on Friday that Boris Vukcevic was in critical condition following a car accident. At the request of Vukcevic's family, they played the match against Augsburg and earned a hard fought draw.
If Bayern do manage to win their seventh straight, they will become just the fourth Bundesliga side to accomplish this feat. With Arjen Robben definitely missing the match and Franck Ribery doubtful, Bayern will be relying on Xherdan Shaqiri and Thomas Müller to provide width in the attack. Expect Bastian Schweinsteiger back in middle of the park anchoring the midfield. His fearlessness and risk taking was clearly missing from the position midweek and will be a welcome addition back in the fold.
A positive result from Hoffenheim would see them put a little bit of space between themselves and the rest of the middle pack of teams in the table. Markus Babbel has put more trust in Takashi Usami in recent weeks deploying the Japanese midfielder out wide left. Since Usami has become a starter, they've scored nine goals in four matches after managing just one in three. A lot of offense is being generated on the left wing. Fabian Johnson has notched two goals and an assist already this season playing behind Usami.
Bayern Munich injuries and suspensions
Out: David Alaba (foot), Mario Gomez (ankle), Arjen Robben (hamstring). In doubt: Franck Ribery (calf).
Hoffenheim injuries and suspensions
Out: Chris (thigh), Matthias Jaissle (achilles), Sejad Salihovic (suspended), Boris Vukcevic (car accident), Tim Wiese (groin).
Match Date/Time: 3:30 p.m. local, 9:30 a.m. ET
Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
TV: Sky (Germany), Gol TV(U.S. & Canada)