Hoffenheim vs. Bayern Munich: probable line-ups and match stats
Having returned from injury on international duty with Colombia, James Rodriguez could make his Bundesliga debut when Bayern Munich travel to face Hoffenheim on Matchday 3.
The attacking midfielder played 90 minutes as Los Cafeteros were held to a draw by Brazil in Barranquilla, his return to fitness putting him in line for a Bundesliga debut against last season’s fourth-place finishers.
Even if James only makes the bench, Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti has a surfeit of attacking riches from which to choose: Kingsley Coman, Arjen Robben, Thiago and Thomas Müller all caught the eye on international duty, while Franck Ribery is also chomping at the bit to be involved. Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski is fit and firing following his late double against Werder Bremen last time out.
There is a problem at left-back for the champions, however: Juan Bernat is out with a long-term complaint, while David Alaba was withdrawn in the first half of Austria’s draw with Georgia in Vienna due to an ankle injury. Whether the latter will be able to feature remains to be seen.
For their part, Hoffenheim drew 2-2 with Bayer Leverkusen last time out, and Julian Nagelsmann is almost certain to make changes for the visit of Bayern. A starter at the BayArena, Adam Szalai picked up an adductor injury on international duty and is likely to miss out. Serge Gnabry is also unlikely to face his parent club with an ankle injury.
Watch: Bayern overcame Bremen last time out thanks to a Lewandowski double
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) – Bicakcic, Nordtveit, Hübner – Kaderabek, Demirbay, Rupp, Schulz – Uth, Kramaric – Wagner
Injured/unavailable: Vogt, Zuber (both knocks), Gnabry (ankle), Szalai (adductors)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Bayern: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Rafinha – Rudy, Tolisso – Robben, Thiago, Ribery – Lewandowski
Injured/unavailable: Bernat, Alaba (both ankle)
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti
- The 1-0 defeat to Hoffenheim in Sinsheim in April was Bayern’s only Bundesliga defeat of 2017.
- That victory was Hoffenheim’s first-ever win against Bayern.
- Nagelsmann’s side were the only team Bayern failed to beat last season (1-1; 1-0).
- Bayern signed two players from Hoffenheim this summer: Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy.
- Lewandowski has scored 12 times against Oliver Baumann – more than any other player.
- Nagelsmann has made an average of five changes to his starting line-up for every game this season.
- If James features, this game will mark his Bundesliga debut for Bayern.