Matchday 3 presents Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich with a delicious dilemma: will it be Germany’s Thomas Müller or Colombian James Rodriguez who starts Saturday’s big test against Hoffenheim (kick-off 18:30CEST/16:30GMT)?
Müller was outstanding in both of Germany’s recent FIFA World Cup winning encounters against the Czech Republic and Norway, featuring for 45 minutes in the latter 6-0 triumph. However, the Bayern living legend faces a strong challenge to his position from the man returning to fitness and keen on making his Bundesliga bow: namely, James.
The reigning Bundesliga title holders were effusive in their praise for James on their website in the immediate aftermath of the attacking midfielder’s return to action for Colombia following injury. Prior to leading his side out in their 1-1 draw against Brazil, the 26-year-old spent five weeks recovering from a thigh injury sustained in a pre-season friendly against Liverpool.
The South American - top goalscorer at the 2014 FIFA World Cup - showed last Tuesday in Barranquilla that he is back to his best, meaning that a starting berth for Müller against Julian Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim is in no way guaranteed. The race for a place in Anceotti’s starting XI is wide open.
Watch: James Rodriguez uncut!
In Müller’s favour - an earlier return to training this week, with James’s longer transatlantic journey back to Germany meaning a later arrival at Säbener Strasse. Fans the world over will thus be waiting with great interest to see who Ancelotti opts for when his team to face Hoffenheim is announced in the run-up to kick-off. Will it be a Bundesliga debut for James from the start, or will the schemer need to bide his time on the bench before tasting the action? The answer is not far away!
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