The first match after the total collapse in Cologne is an interesting one. Despite the guests playing only their third Bundesliga season, those two clubs already have some kind of history together.
Two years ago, it was Week 16 of the 08-09 Bundesliga campaign, they met for the first time. To say that it was a highly anticipated match would be an understatement. The newcomers surprisingly were at the top of the standings with Bayern being only 3 points behind. A thrilling but scoreless first half was nothing compared to what happened in the second half. Hoffenheim’s Vedad Ibisevic scored the first goal, 10 minutes later Philipp Lahm tied the game that was broadcasted in almost 170 countries. Countless Bayern attacks didn’t lead to another goal but just when everybody was accepting a share of the points (what could be considered a success for Hoffenheim) it was the Italian goal-getter Luca Toni who netted the ball with only seconds remaining and shocked the boys in blue. The FCB won the league title that year while Hoffenheim couldn’t even qualify for the Europa League because of a very disappointing second half.
Their first meeting of this season again saw Bayern winning the match in the 90th minute. Ibisevic’s goal after just 36 seconds was equalized by Thomas Müller and this time it was Daniel van Buyten who scored late. Franck Ribery got injured in that match, let’s hope that it’s not a bad omen.
This winter break, Bayern paid Hoffenheim €17m for Luiz Gustavo. In return, David Alaba joined 1899 on loan and, maybe as a consolation prize, also got Edson Braafheid (who is suspended for this match because of a red card after playing 6 minutes for his new club). Many criticized this behaviour, tauntingly calling Hoffenheim Bayern’s new feeder team.
Both teams need a victory, the hosts to keep pace with Leverkusen and the other teams who fight for CL qualification and the guests to keep their dream of the first ever Europa League qualification alive. A Hoffenheim win would mean that they’re only one point behind Bayern.
Will there be another goal in the 90th minute? We’ll find out this Saturday.