Munich - FC Bayern München host Hamburger SV in their final Bundesliga game of 2013 on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 15.30 CET).
Pep wants Bayern reaction
Victory for Pep Guardiola's team at the Allianz Arena would see them crowned Herbstmeister, an achievement that has proved to be a good omen for Bayern in recent years - the record champions have only failed to go on and lift the Bundesliga trophy on three of the previous 18 occasions they have topped the division at the halfway point of the season. A Bayern win would also set a new record for the best Hinrunde of all time.
However, with Bayern set to face either in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013 on Tuesday, Guardiola has multiple matters on his mind. "The season doesn't end in November or December," he said. "Tomorrow is our last home game and we have to get the three points for our domestic ambitions and for our preparations for Morocco."
The former FC Barcelona coach also wants to see a reaction from his players following Tuesday's 3-2 defeat to Manchester City FC in the UEFA Champions League. "We started well, but dropped off a bit in the final 20 minutes," he said. "Sometimes, it's easier to maintain your concentration following a defeat. I'm curious to see our reaction after the City game, but I'm hoping for the best."
Guardiola has no fresh injury concerns going into the match. Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Holger Badstuber all remain on the club's treatment table, while Jerome Boateng, who signed a three-year contract extension on Wednesday, is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the campaign against Bremen. Daniel van Buyten is likely to deputise in central defence.
Hamburg, meanwhile, welcome back Rafael van der Vaart after the Dutch international missed last weekend's defeat to FC Augsburg due to personal reasons. HSV will have to cope without first-choice keeper Rene Adler, however, after the 28-year-old picked up an ankle injury against the Fuggerstädter. Veteran stopper Jaroslav Drobny will take Adler's place, while Zhi Gin Lam has recovered from calf injury and could make the bench.
HSV coach wary of backlash
Hamburg fans could be forgiven for heading to the Allianz Arena in some trepidation: Bayern have won more matches (55) and scored more goals (200) against die Rothosen than against any other Bundesliga side. On HSV's last visit to the Bavarian capital, they were on the receiving end of a 9-2 drubbing - the heaviest defeat in the club's history.
Van Marwijk doesn't believe the defeat to City will have significantly damaged Bayern's confidence in the build-up to Saturday's clash . "I think they'll react in a professional manner," said the Dutchman. "They are one of the best teams - perhaps the best - in the world at the moment. They won't allow one defeat to knock them off their stride. Midfielder Tolgay Arslan agreed with his coach: "The likelihood of Bayern losing twice in a row is very small, but we have nothing to lose."
Bayern München: Neuer - Lahm, van Buyten, Dante, Alaba - Javi Martinez - Müller, Thiago, Kroos, Ribery - Götze
Hamburg: Drobny - Mancienne, Tah, Djourou, Jansen - Rincon, Badelj, Arslan, Calhanoglu - van der Vaart - Lasogga