Hantelaar to share the pitch with Pizarro
DEFENDING champion Dortmund visit last-place Freiburg today, but will have to do without star player Mario Goetze until January, after the 19-year-old tore a thigh muscle last weekend.
Schalke host Werder Bremen, pitting strikers KlaasJan Huntelaar and Claudio Pizarro against each other.
Huntelaar has scored 14 league goals and 25 in all competitions this season for Schalke, while Pizarro’s 12 Bundesliga goals have been instrumental in lifting Bremen to fifth.
Also today, Bayer Leverkusen host Nuremberg, Augsburg visit Hamburger SV, Hoffenheim host Hertha Berlin, and Wolfsburg entertain Stuttgart.
Fourth- place Borussia Munchengladbach are at home to Mainz tomorrow, when Marco Reus could feature despite breaking his little toe on November 25.
“I got a shoe made that supports me and gives the toe a little more free room,” Reus told the dapd news agency.
Moenchengladbach dropped points in both games played without the 22-year-old winger.
Hannover visit Kaiserslautern earlier tomorrow.
“It’s good to be top of the league,” Bayern striker Philipp Lahm said ahead of last night’s top- of- the- table clash. “Now we want to beat Cologne and go through in the cup away to Bochum (on Tuesday). That’ll make it a happy Christmas.”
Lukas Podolski has scored more than half of Cologne’s 27 goals, setting up five of them.
“It’s important we get to grips with him,” Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said before the showdown. “You always have to keep an eye on him. He’s quick, with or without the ball.”
Cologne coach Stale Sol- bakken said the 26-year-old striker was playing “the best football of his career” but Podolski’s international teammate Gomez has been even more prolific for Bayern.
Gomez, also 26, has scored 49 goals in all competitions in 2011, 31 in the Bundesliga.
“I’m not really interested in all the talk. If I don’t score for a couple of weeks, they call it a crisis. When I start scoring again, they say I’m about to break Gerd Mueller’s record (of 40 goals in a Bundesliga season),” Gomez said.
“I’m the centre forward in a very good team, and scoring goals is my job.” – Sapa-ap