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Ambitious Bayern Munich aim for the top

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 29 Oct 2008

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After climbing up from 11th to 5th in the Bundesliga last weekend, defending champions Bayern Munich aim to break into the top three when they travel to face struggling Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.

Jurgen Klinsmann-coached Bayern fought back from 2-0 down against Wolfsburg in Munich on Saturday to claim a 4-2 win which dramatically altered their league standing after a poor run of results last month.

The win over Wolfsburg was their third consecutive win and Wednesday night's trip to injury-ravaged Frankfurt is a chance for them to pick up three more points as the German giants look to be top of the table by Christmas.

“It's vital we keep it going now,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the Bayern website.

“We're not over the mountain yet, but our aim is to reach the summit.

“Our target, and I'll make no secret of this, is to be top of the table by Christmas, and we have to continue with that in mind.”

Frankfurt have nine players on the injury list, the biggest name being Greek striker Ioannis Amanatidis, while Bayern are without striker Luca Toni (rib injury) and defender Philipp Lahm (ankle).

With all 18 teams in action either Tuesday or Wednesday night, league leaders Hoffenheim travel to strugglers Bochum on Wednesday looking to build on their impressive 3-0 win over title-rivals Hamburg at home last Sunday.

Boasting the league's top-scorer in striker Vedad Ibisevic, who scored his tenth goal at the weekend, coach Ralf Rangnick has virtually a full-strength squad to choose from against Bochum who are just above the relegation zone.

It promises to be a tough battle when third-placed Hamburg host fourth-placed VfB Stuttgart.

Martin Jol's Hamburg are licking their wounds from the Hoffenheim defeat, while Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez scored twice in the last ten minutes against Bochum on Sunday.

“Those were big points we took against Bochum. Especially considering the up-coming games, that was an important win,” said VfB midfielder Roberto Hilbert.

On Tuesday night, Werder Bremen can welcome back Germany defender Per Mertesacker when they host Bayer Leverkusen.

Bremen drew 1-1 with Hanover at the weekend, but were without injured goalkeeper Tim Wiese, suspended Mertesacker plus injured midfielder Diego and forward Claudio Pizarro.

Question marks hang over Diego and Pizarro who may be fit to face Leverkusen.

In the next week Bremen face three successive home games against Bayer, Hertha Berlin and Panathinaikos (in the Champions League), but Bremen are well aware they need wins after four draws in nine Bundesliga games.

“We are not careless,” said general manager Klaus Allofs. “We are not happy about the fact that we have taken so few points.”

Tuesday

Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen

VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia M'gladbach

Karlsruhe v Schalke 04

Arminia Bielefeld v Energie Cottbus

Wednesday

Hamburg v VfB Stuttgart

Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern Munich

Hertha Berlin v Hanover 96

VfL Bochum v Hoffenheim

Cologne v Borussia Dortmund

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