Unbeaten runs clash as Hannover host Bayern
Hannover 96 are desperate to defend their own unbeaten record at home in the German league on Sunday when they host leaders Bayern Munich with the Bavarians having last tasted defeat in August. Bayern started the weekend five-points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and are on a 13-match unbeaten run.
Both teams had tough midweek matches: Bayern were held 1-1 at Napoli in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday while Hanover drew 2-2 with Copenhagen in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. "We want to maintain our run in the Bundesliga and remain unbeaten at home," said coach Mirko Slomka with Bayern's home defeat to Borussia Moenchengladbach on 7 August the only blot on their copy book this season.
Hannover left-back Christian Schulz reckoned Sunday's match is something special for both the club and city. "It's the easiest game of the lot (for motivation)," said the defender. "The whole city is up for it when Bayern come here. We'll be fresh enough."
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said his team will be able to cope with the trip to Lower Saxony with Hanover starting the weekend seventh in the table. "Hanover are very difficult to play against, but we're in good shape and we'll give it 100 per cent again on Sunday. We're confident of victory," said the Bayern boss.
Heynckes said he saw defensive mistakes from his team in Napoli which need to be ironed out. "I pinpointed our positional mistakes in the back four, and the way our midfield made errors in covering the zones," the coach said. While Bayern have had two extra days to prepare for Hanover, Heynckes said both teams will be ready to give their all. "It's all in the head. Hanover are at home, theyre physically fit, and theyll shift up a gear against us as usual," Heynckes inisted.
Heynckes will be able to field something close to a first-choice side with no fresh injuries from Naples. Only Dutch winger Arjen Robben and Brazil defender Breno are out. Belgium defender Daniel van Buyten trained on Friday, despite feeling unwell in Naples. "There's no fever, so I reckon he'll be back to normal by Sunday and available for selection," said Heynckes.