Sat, Sep 15, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Twins to put aside brotherly love for 90 minutes today

AFP , BERLIN

There will be no love lost between twin brothers Halil and Hamit Altintop when the Turkish internationals go head-to-head as Bayern Munich face Schalke 04 today.

The Altintop boys talk each day and were room-mates in Istanbul before Turkey beat Hungary 3-0 on Wednesday night in a Euro 2008 qualifier, but their relationship will be on ice for the 90 minutes of today's Bundesliga battle.

The twins, 24, have spent a total of 15 years playing together at German minnows SG Wattenscheid, TuS Rotthausen and Schwarz-Wei Gelsenkirchen-Sued, before they were re-united at Schalke last season.

But Hamit switched to league-leaders Bayern in the summer which saw the Altintop's lock horns in the German giant's 1-0 League Cup final win last month.

This will be the eighth time they have played against each other and striker Halil has some ground to make up having lost six of the seven meetings.

"We talk on the phone everyday about soccer and our private lives, but although we are brothers, we are also total professionals," Hamit said.

"Our families aren't really Schalke or Bayern fans, they just support us, although I think most of them are tipping Bayern for this one," Halil said.

Bayern are waiting on the fitness of Italian striker Luca Toni who has a thigh injury while defender Philipp Lahm is definitely out until early next month after damaging knee ligaments training with the national side.

And for Schalke, defender Christian Pander faces a race against time to be ready for kick-off after shaking off a thigh injury.

Also today, Bundesliga leaders VfB Stuttgart take on Energie Cottbus and wait on striker Mario Gomez, who sat out both of Germany's recent wins with a bout of flu.

Second-placed Vfl Bochum are away to Bayer Leverkusen and are looking to bounce back from their 3-2 defeat at Hanover a fortnight ago.

Arminia Bielefeld must get something from bottom-side Hansa Rostock if they are to maintain their third-place in the league having been humbled 3-0 at Duisburg a fortnight ago.

Fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt have the chance to prove their early season form is no fluke at home to fifth-placed Hamburg.

And tomorrow, struggling Duisburg take on Hertha Berlin and VfL Wolfsburg host Karlsruhe.

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