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Bundesliga champions Bayern train sights on Bavarian derby


Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich turn their focus from their five-star Champions League opener to domestic duty and their bid to keep their perfect start to the season in a derby home to Ingolstadt on Saturday.

The reigning Bundesliga champions hammered Russian side Rostov 5-0 in Munich in their Group D opener to continue Carlo Ancelotti’s impressive start to life in Germany with five wins from five matches, 20 goals scored and none conceded.

Fellow Bavarian outfit Ingolstadt are 16th after two games, with one point, and rank outsiders to spring an upset.

Coach Markus Kauczinski insists his side won’t be overawed in the Allianz Arena, where they will be without French defender Romain Bregerie, who has been hit by a calf injury.

“We have nothing to lose,” he said.

“We know that everything has to be perfect on Saturday to bring something back. But we’re not going to hide and we’re going to remain true to our style of play.”

The match is the first of two at home for Bayern, who could be alone on top of the table by the end of September — after Ingolstadt they host Hertha Berlin, the only other unbeaten team after two rounds.

Rising Bayern star Joshua Kimmich will be looking to continue his incredible run, having scored four goals in three matches.

The 21-year-old, who can play either midfield or defence, has scored his first goals for Germany, in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League, where he got a brace, in just 10 days.

“People always said to me that as soon as I get the first one, the rest will follow,” said Kimmich. 

“When you score you gain in confidence, more so because before I wasn’t really a scorer.”

Ancelotti’s decision to give the youngster a start paid off and he praised Kimmich as a key member of the team.

“Joshua can fill every position, he’s very focused and he’s in great shape. It’s good for the whole team,” said the Italian.

Teammate Thomas Mueller, who also scored against Rostov, added: “I’ll have to stay hot on his heels until Saturday and make sure he keeps his feet on the ground. 

“If we manage that, he’s going to continue to play an important role for us in our forthcoming matches.”

French international striker Kingsley Coman is set to make his return for Bayern with Arjen Robben and Jerome Boateng expected to be fit in the coming days.

The gifted 20-year-old Coman injured an ankle when kicked by teammate Javi Martinez three weeks ago.

Hertha Berlin — also on a maximum six points — host Schalke 04 looking to keep in touch with the champions before their trip to their rivals.

Schalke have lost both of their matches and want to show that their courageous display against Bayern last week, where they fell to two late goals, is a sign of a fighting spirit.

Borussia Dortmund, Bayern’s big rival in recent seasons, were shocked last week at Leipzig, but are coming off a 6-0 Champions League thrashing of Legia Warsaw.

Fixtures (1330 GMT unless stated)

Friday

Cologne v Freiburg (1830)

Saturday

Bayern Munich v Ingolstadt

Borussia Dortmund v Darmstadt

Hamburg v Leipzig

Hoffenheim v Wolfsburg

Frankfurt v Bayer Leverkusen

Borussia Moenchengladbach v Werder Bremen (1630)

Sunday

Augsburg v Mainz

Hertha Berlin v Schalke 04 (1530)

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