Allofs: Bremen hunting points, not Bayern
Werder Bremen boss Klaus Allofs insists his side are hunting points rather than German league leaders Bayern Munich as they prepare to take on Nuremberg on Saturday.
Bremen are second in the Bundesliga behind Bayern as both sides have won four of their first five games this season, but Bayern already have a massive goal difference of 15 after last Saturday's 7-0 hammering of Freiburg.
Werder flirted with relegation at the end of last season and managing director Allofs said the club is more interested in getting back into the UEFA Champions League for next year, rather than chasing Bayern. "We have always said we aren't Bayern hunters, we are points hunters," said Allofs. "In the medium term, it is our goal to get back into international competition."
Bremen have injury concerns in midfielders Tim Borowski and Marko Marin who are both carrying leg injuries and Bremen's ex-Nuremberg midfielder Mehmet Ekici is expected to come into the starting line-up. With leaders Bayern at Schalke on Sunday, victory would send Bremen top for at least 24 hours.
Bayern are waiting on the fitness of striker Mario Gomez, who has scored seven goals in his last two league games, and defender Daniel van Buyten. Gomez, who scored four goals against Freiburg after also netting a hat-trick at Kaiserslautern, has complained of a sore groin, while van Buyten has pain in his Achilles tendon.
"We hope they can both train on Saturday," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. "Of course, there are question marks over both of them."
Gladbach eye summit
Third-place Moenchengladbach can also go top of the table this weekend if other results go their way and they manage to beat bottom side Hamburg, who have yet to claim a win this season after four defeats and a draw. "We absolutely must keep the opposition down to zero," said Hamburg coach Michael Oenning.
Striker Paolo Guerrero will miss the 'Gladbach game with a knee injury, while Korea Republic teenager Heung-Min Son is back in the squad and the 19-year-old striker may start.
'Gladbach are waiting on goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who broke two teeth in training on Thursday. "It was a tough collision, such things can happen in football, but I am optimistic that Marc-Andre can still play on Saturday," said Borussia coach Lucien Favre.
League leaders Dortmund are at Hannover on Sunday and will again be without suspended midfielder Mario Goetze. Dortmund will have to do without defensive midfield international Sven Bender after he picked up a hip injury against Arsenal in the Champions League draw on Tuesday.
The club doctor said it was hoped Bender would be back for the following week's match against Mainz. Defending champions Dortmund are only in midtable after last weekend's shock 2-1 defeat at home to Hertha Berlin.