Niko Kovac urges Bayern Munich to keep momentum going

Bayern Munich will hope to cut the gap to Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund as their season resumes at Hoffenheim on Friday.

Niko Kovac’s side will have a chance to move back within three points of the summit – for a day at least – as they travel to the Rhein Neckar Arena for the competition’s first game after the winter break.

Dortmund are in action at Leipzig in one of six Bundesliga games on Saturday.

Bayern won five in succession before the break.

Kovac told the club’s website, fcbayern.com: “We want to build on our final five games of 2018 and try to take that positive experience with us so we can keep winning games and build up the necessary confidence.

“We’re six points off the lead and we want to, and have to, make that up. The game against Hoffenheim is very, very important and we’re looking forward to it.”

Bayern remain without Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. The veteran wing duo have been troubled by thigh injuries and, while they are close returning, this game comes too soon.

Bayern's Franck Ribery is also sidelined
Bayern’s Franck Ribery is also sidelined (Nick Potts/PA)

Hoffenheim, who have beaten Bayern at home in each of the past two seasons, are seventh in the table after drawing six consecutive games before the break.

Manager Julian Nagelsmann has warned his side about the importance of maintaining their concentration.

“It is important not to surrender when playing against Bayern,” Nagelsmann told the club’s website, achtzehn99.de. “It will be a tough fight. We will try to attack them and keep the points.”

Nagelsmann, who is joining Leipzig next season, felt his side’s performance levels had been improving towards the latter end of the first half of the season, despite a failure to secure more wins.

He said: “The momentum was on our side in only a few games of the first half of the season. We scored too little for the way we played. We have to act as we did in the second half of the first leg.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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