Obasi says Hoffenheim can crush any opponent

Having taken the Bundesliga by storm so far this season, league leader Hoffenheim travels to Hertha Berlin on Sunday with Nigeria striker Chinedu Obasi claiming his side can beat anyone.

Obasi says Hoffenheim can crush any opponent

Ralf Rangnick’s side have now scored 31 goals in 11 games with Obasi and

fellow striker Vedad Ibisevic — the league’s top-scorer with 13 — both scoring

two goals in the 4-1 rout of Karlsruhe last Saturday.

With defending champions Bayern Munich third, Hoffenheim lead second-placed Bayer Leverkusen by a point at the top of the table.

“With the confidence in the dressing room, I think we can beat anyone,” said Obasi. “We don’t look at the calibre of opposition, but just play our game because we are a hungry team.”

Hoffenheim’s success is down to the backing of multi-millionaire Dietmar Hopp who has bankrolled the tiny village team of just 3,000 inhabitants which has enjoyed two romotions in the last two seasons to reach the Bundesliga.

Bosnia midfielder Sejad Salihovic renewed his contract until 2012 recently and Ibisevic’s prolific form has sparked interest from German giants Bayern Munich and Manchester United, but Hopp insists he won’t sell.

“I have not invested so much in my club to allow others to come along and

start picking off our best players,” Hopp said. “All the players are under contract and are part of an exciting project. We don’t need the money and we won’t be selling anyone.”

Munich will also see action on Sunday when they travel to Gelsenkirchen to

face Schalke 04 with Germany striker Lukas Podolski again questioning how long he will stay at Bayern.

Podolski was benched for last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Bielefeld, despite an injury sustained by first-choice striker Luca Toni. “Normally, I would think over my situation during the winter break,” said Podolski, who has hinted at a return to former club Cologne.

But Bayern manager Uli Hoeness is unimpressed with the 23-year-old. “For him it is only about Cologne, Cologne, Cologne, he dreams about Cologne day and night,” mocked Hoeness.

Having been hammered 3-0 in midweek by Panathinaikos in the Champions League, Werder Bremen will be without Germany midfielder Clemens Fritz for the trip to Bochum on Saturday.

Hamburg have dropped to fifth in the table and are at Borussia Dortmund without Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong but welcome back defender Marcell Jansen after a break for a thigh injury.

Bottom side Energie Cottbus have relegated Igor Mitreski to the reserve team and fined the Macedonia midfielder after he gave an interview saying how bad the atmosphere was in the squad. But with just one from their 11 games so far, Cottbus have lost their last five games.

With four straight wins under their belts without conceding a goal, second-placed Bayer Leverkusen are at struggling Karlsruhe.

In other games over the weekend, Arminia Bielefeld host Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday and Eintracht Frankfurt play at home against Stuttgart on Sunday.


Hamburg v Borussia Dortmund

VfL Wolfsburg v Energie Cottbus

Karlsruhe v Bayer Leverkusen

VfL Bochum v Werder Bremen

Arminia Bielefeld v Borussia M’gladbach


Schalke 04 v Bayern Munich

Eintracht Frankfurt v VfB Stuttgart

Hertha Berlin v Hoffenheim