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Page last updated at 18:02 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

New home for German giant-killers

Rhein-Neckar Arena
The new stadium was opened to great fanfare on 24 January

Village club 1899 Hoffenheim, whose fairytale success has stunned German football, are set to play their first match at a new 30,000-seat stadium.

The giant-killing club stormed to the top of the Bundesliga this season - though Bayern Munich have now found top gear and threaten to oust them.

Hoffenheim is a village of just 3,300 people in southern Germany.

The village team's fortunes changed in 1989 when Dietmar Hopp, a software millionaire, started investing in them.

On Saturday they will host Energie Cottbus at the new Rhein-Neckar Arena, in the southern town of Sinsheim.

The new stadium cost 60m euros (£53m; $77m).

Hoffenheim are half-way through the season and their luck might be running out. Their star striker, Bosnian Vedad Ibisevic, has suffered a ruptured ligament and will be on the benches for the rest of the season.

Ibisevic was the top scorer in Germany last year, with 18 goals.

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