Robben set for more R & R as injury jinx strikes again

Allianz Arena - Bayern Munich will look to maintain their lead at the top of the Bundesliga against current 2nd division champions Hertha Berlin.

The record German champions' run of ten consecutive wins in all competitions was halted a fortnight ago with a 0-0 draw at Hoffenheim but, with the chasing pack stumbling (Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach both lost), the point was enough to stretch their lead to three points.

Bayern host Hertha Berlin who have already upset Borussia Dortmund, Cologne and Stuttgart this season and will not be such an easy proposition for the Bavarians.

Arjen Robben's injury jinx has unfortunately struck again with news that the Dutch winger has once again gone under the surgeon's knife in the hope of curing a long-standing pelvis problem.

The injury has once again brought up some bad blood between the Dutch football federation and the Munich hierarchy. Holland national coach Bert Van Marwijk launched a tirade against what he claimed was Bayern's "mistreatment" of Robben and their attempt to blame the Dutch for his injury.

Robben, who has been sidelined for the past month, met up with the Oranje squad last week but was forced to pull out and soon underwent an operation on his pubic bone.

The surgery was carried out under the supervision of Bayern's club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt, who initially claimed that Robben's injury "had developed over the last few days" - while he had been on national team duty.

This prompted a savage reaction from the Dutch coach. "I have had enough of Bayern," Van Marwijk told reporters at a press conference. "I am incensed by them."

"They want to blame Arjen's inguinal hernia on us rather than being grateful that we put him through a thorough examination."

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge responded in a statement on the club's official website, stating: "Bert van Marwijk clearly must have misunderstood something. Bayern have made no accusations against him or the Netherlands national team.

"On the contrary: We find it very accommodating that the Dutch have sent Arjen back to Munich and given him the opportunity to recover from the injury as quickly as possible."

"We hope that Arjen Robben can train and play again as soon as possible."

Franck Ribery on the other hand looks like overcoming the effects of a calf injury which prevented him from joining with the French national team during the international break. Ribery has been in inspired form this season and the Reds will be desperate to have him in their starting line-up.

However, it would be interesting to see how this side would cope without their two main creative sparks.

Last season, when they so often misfired, it was patently obvious that Bayern - without Robben and Ribery in the ranks - were a very average side, often impotent and toothless.

The visitors from the German capital travel to Munich with confidence boosted after some impressive recent results, including a fine away win at champions Borussia Dortmund.

Hertha are trained by ex-Liverpool and Bayern defender Markus Babbel. Goalkeeper Thomas Kraft moved in the close season from Bavaria after being given his chance under Louis van Gaal during the second half of a turbulent campaign.

Hertha can also boast ex-Bayern talents Christian Lell and Andrea Ottl in their ranks. They will have something to prove on their return to the Allianz Arena.

It is 34 years (1977) since the Bavarians last lost at home to Hertha, before most of the current squad were even born.

Bayern's brilliant new goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is chasing new records by the minute. The record German champions have not conceded a Bundesliga goal for 658 minutes. Another clean sheet for Neuer and he will move to third in the all-time Bundesliga list.

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