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Bayern travels to Hamburg with injury worries in the Bundesliga

Bayern travels to Hamburg with injury worries in the Bundesliga

The last trip Bayern Munich took to the north of Germany was a resounding success.
The next expedition across the nation could be a much more problematic outing.
"The first thing I do every day now is go to our medical department to find out which players can practice," Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said ahead of Sunday's game at Hamburger SV.
Bayern has several high-profile injuries before the match, including top striker Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose.
Toni has three goals in the first three games and the Italian is back in training after pulling a thigh muscle.
But he remains doubtful, along with Klose, who has a painful knee.
Hamburg, with a 2-1 record, has kept its midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, who was the target of a transfer attempt by Valencia.
Van der Vaart is Hamburg's key player, with coach Huub Stevens basing his game plan on the fellow Dutchman, and Hamburg made every effort to retain the player. Van der Vaart seems to have put the episode behind him.
"If I've started a season in one club, I want to finish it there as well," he said.
Three games into the season, Bayern is the only team with three wins. It has scored 10 goals and conceded none and has looked in a class of its own. One of its wins was a 4-0 drubbing of Werder Bremen, like Hamburg a team based in the north.
But Bayern's injury list also includes Willy Sagnol and Lukas Podolski, among others.
Sagnol is back in training but his comeback is still a while off, while Podolski could be on the bench Sunday.
"We'll have to get through the winter break with the roster we have, but after that I expect we'll have more possibilities as players come back from injuries," Hitzfeld said.
Another player with a problem is Franck Ribery, who is nursing a bruised calf.
The Frenchman has emerged as Bayern's top star and has impressed the league with his ball control, clever passing and leadership qualities. He was voted player of the month in a poll by Kicker magazine.
But Ribery has had to take a lot of hits from rugged defenders, prompting Bayern's general manager Uli Hoeness to go into a rage during Bayern's 3-0 win at home over Hannover 96 and demand better protection from referees for his stars. Hannover 96 had a player sent off for rough play against Ribery.
"He had to take a lot of hits, he's got bruises all over," Hitzfeld said.
Ribery has said he would not change his style that involves much dribbling.
Bremen has bounced back since its opening loss and has won its last two games, including a 3-2 win at Dinamo Zagreb to secure a place in the Champions League group stage.
Werder is at home Saturday against unbeaten Eintracht Frankfurt.
Defending champion Stuttgart travels to promoted Karlsruhe on Sunday, while runner-up Schalke kicks off the round at home Friday against neighboring Bayer Leverkusen, a team it lost to twice last season.
Schalke has two draws and one win and would fall further behind if it loses again.
"We know exactly what we need to do to beat them," Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling said.
In other games Saturday, Hertha Berlin hosts Wolfsburg, Hannover 96 plays Bochum, Energie Cottbus meets Nuremberg, Borussia Dortmund travels to Hansa Rostock and Arminia Bielefeld visits Duisburg.


Updated : 2021-07-30 10:28 GMT+08:00