Franck Ribery and Rafinha look set to provide Bayern with a timely boost by returning for Saturday's visit of Hamburg.
David Alaba is glad that Franck Ribery and Rafinha are back in the first-team picture at Bayern Munich as the club prepares for Saturday's Bundesliga match against Hamburg.
The players were back in training Monday to boost a Bayern side that has faltered since the midseason break, with three games yielding just four points.
Ribery and Rafinha have missed all of those matches, the midfielder having suffered a thigh injury and the fullback having damaged ankle ligaments. But with those injuries behind them and a week of training under their belts, the two look set to feature as Bayern seeks to reassert its authority in the league.
"We want to move on up. We'll prepare well this week and then hopefully give our fans at the Allianz Arena something to shout about," Alaba told the club's official website ahead of the 100th meeting between Bayern and Hamburg. "It's good to have Franck and Rafa back. We need them as they're both very important players."
Bayern will not need any reminding of the difficulties that Hamburg can pose, with September's Bundesliga meeting ending scoreless. Pep Guardiola's side did have more joy the following month in a DFB-Pokal clash that Bayern won 3-1 at the Imtech Arena.
Ribery was on the score sheet in that match, as was Alaba, and Bayern is generally used to beating Hamburg. Last season Bayern did it three times, scoring 12 goals in the process — the same number it racked up in just two games the season before. Hamburg has to go back to 2009 for its most recent win over Bayern, with the club's last win at the Allianz coming two years earlier.
But Josef Zinnbauer might prefer to reflect on more recent history, as his first game at the Hamburg helm was the stalemate against Bayern. He has also guided his side to back-to-back victories, lifting Hamburg four points clear of the bottom three, and only three points shy of seventh-place Hoffenheim."I think we can cause an upset," Hamburg forward Ivica Olic told Sport Bild. "But even a draw would be quite special."
Bayern's lead at the Bundesliga summit is eight points. The defending champion has won 9 of its 10 home league matches this campaign, conceding just three goals.