Bundesliga: Hoffenheim Striker Confident
Posted November 8, 2008on:
Nigerian striker Chinedu Obasi.
BERLIN: Having taken the Bundesliga by storm so far this season, league leaders Hoffenheim travel to Hertha Berlin tomorrow with Nigeria striker Chinedu Obasi claiming they can beat anyone.
Ralf Rangnick’s side have now scored 31 goals in 11 games with Obasi and fellow striker Vedad Ibisevic — the league’s top-scorer with 13 — both hitting two goals in the 4-1 rout of Karlsruhe last Saturday.
With defending champions Bayern Munich third, Hoffenheim lead second-placed Bayer Leverkusen by a point at the top of the table.
“With the confidence in the dressing room, I think we can beat anyone,” said Obasi.
Hoffenheim’s success is down to the backing of multi-millionaire Dietmar Hopp who has bankrolled the tiny village team of just 3,000 inhabitants who have enjoyed two promotions in the last two seasons to reach the Bundesliga.
Hertha Berlin were in UEFA Cup action on Thursday against Ukrainian side FC Metalist Kharkiv, so Hoffenheim will have fresher legs — though they are waiting on defender Isaac Vorsah, who may play with a mask after breaking his nose.
Munich are also in action tomorrow when they travel to Gelsenkirchen to face Schalke 04 with Germany striker Lukas Podolski again questioning how long he will stay at Bayern.
Podolski was dropped to the bench for last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Bielefeld, despite injury to first-choice striker Luca Toni.
“Normally, I will think over my situation during the winter break,” said Podolski, who has hinted at a return to former club Cologne.
Having been hammered 3-0 in midweek by Panathinaikos in the Champions League, Werder Bremen will be without Germany midfielder Clemens Fritz for the trip to Bochum today.
Hamburg have dropped to fifth in the table and are at Borussia Dortmund without Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong but welcome back defender Marcell Jansen after a break for a thigh injury.
With four straight wins under their belts without conceding a goal, second-placed Bayer Leverkusen are at struggling Karlsruhe.
TODAY — Hamburg v Borussia Dortmund, VfL Wolfsburg v Energie Cottbus, Karlsruhe v Bayer Leverkusen, VfL Bochum v Werder Bremen, Arminia Bielefeld v Borussia M’gladbach; TOMORROW — Schalke 04 v Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt v VfB Stuttgart, Hertha Berlin v Hoffenheim.
New Straits Times