MX23RW : Saturday, February 16 16:19:37
Sep 28, 2018 at 7.30pm UK at ​Olympiastadion Berlin (Berlin)
Attendance: 76,669
Hertha Berlin
2-0
Bayern Munich
Ibisevic (23' pen.), Duda (44')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Result: Boss Niko Kovac returns to Berlin roots as Bayern Munich look to bounce back

The Bundesliga champions dropped their first points of the season against Augsburg on Tuesday.

Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac returns to his Berlin roots on Friday determined to show their midweek draw was no more than a blip.

The Bundesliga champions dropped their first points of the season on Tuesday as Augsburg held them 1-1 in Munich.

Hertha Berlin were beaten 3-1 at Werder Bremen on the same night, and Kovac aims to inflict more misery on his hometown club where he made more than 200 league appearances in two different spells.

“We want to succeed in Berlin where we failed on Tuesday,” Kovac told the official Bayern website.

“It’s always nice to go home. We’re staying overnight and I have a few relatives and friends there who I’ll meet after the game.”

Bayern seek to return to winning ways after the Augsburg draw interrupted a run of seven victories to start the season in all competitions.

But they must do so without Germany defender Leon Goretzka, who was forced off with an ankle injury against Augsburg.

Goretzka has joined Kingsley Coman, Rafinha and Corentin Tolisso on the casualty list, while 18-year-old left-back Jonathan Meier has been promoted from the reserves squad.

“It would be worse if we weren’t creating any chances at all,” Kovac said of Bayern’s failure to beat Augsburg.

The league leaders were frustrated by Augsburg’s man marking all over the pitch on Tuesday, but Kovac added: “I’m not expecting Hertha to do that.

“They’ve played some very good football, I’ve been very impressed. They’re a technically adept, disciplined team who try to win their home games, so it will be a real test tomorrow.

“We need to be at 100 per cent again.”

Hertha were unbeaten before coming undone in Bremen, having won three and drawn one of their opening four games.

Pal Dardai’s side are three points behind Bayern in fourth spot and the sold-out signs have gone up at the Olympiastadion.

“As a professional athlete, you go into every game with the desire to win, even if it’s against all odds,” Dardai said at his pre-match press conference.

“It’s important to keep things tight against them. The team have to work together and stay focused, but we still want to get forward and give our fans something to shout about.

“We have a lot of respect for Bayern, but we will give them all we’ve got.

“It’s my job to put a team together that can get a result out of this game and we’ll try to enjoy the moment.”

Hertha’s first-choice goalkeeper Rune Jarstein has been ruled out with a thigh injury and will be replaced by former Bayern man Thomas Kraft.

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