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Bundesliga Preview: Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim will hope to take advantage of any title celebration hangovers when they visit Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Pep Guardiola’s men completed their title defence on Tuesday with a 3-1 win over Hertha Berlin as goals from Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Franck Ribery saw them over the line in record time.

Bayern wrapped up a 24th league championship with seven games to spare and will now attempt to avoid defeat in the run-in to become the first side in Bundesliga history to enjoy an unbeaten campaign – while a host of other landmarks are also now in their sights.

Their quest continues with the visit of mid-table Hoffenheim on Saturday and defender Jerome Boateng is eager for Bayern to maintain the incredibly high standards they have set.

“We’ve put a lot of hard work in to get to this point. We’ve never stopped trying to produce the performances we know we’re capable of in every single game,” he told the Bundesliga’s official website.

“I have no doubt that we’ll continue performing at this level in our remaining fixtures this season.

“I don’t think there’s any danger. We’ll only make things difficult for ourselves if we become complacent, but we’re adamant that we’re not going to let it come to that.”

Bayern need 14 points to match the Bundesliga’s record points total, which they set last season, and will be heavy favourites to add to their tally this weekend.

And eyeing a 20th successive league win, Guardiola’s side face a Hoffenheim outfit left with little to play for.

Back-to-back wins – the latest coming against Hannover in midweek – have countered two previous losses and given them a lift, but their outside hopes of a top-six finish still look to have faded.

And if they are to register an unlikely victory against Guardiola’s men they will likely need a superhuman defensive effort, having shipped 15 goals in their last six games – keeping just one clean sheet in the league this term.

Bayern, meanwhile, are one goal away from 80 in the top flight this season and are close to setting a new record for the fewest conceded in a Bundesliga campaign.

The current record, set by Bayern, stands at 18, with Manuel Neuer and back-up Tom Starke – with a single appearance against Hannover in February – conceding just 13 this term.

Neuer is also five clean sheets away from matching last season’s record of 21, again set by the champions.

Thu 27 March, 2014
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