Monday, January 23, 2017

Bundesliga preview: Hannover to give leaders a tough test

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 31 Mar 2011

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Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund have a tough test ahead to get back to winning form, when they face third side Hannover 96 on Saturday.

Despite holding a seven-point buffer on second side Bayer Leverkusen and being 12 ahead of Hannover, Jurgen Klopp’s men are without a win in two matches and a victory at the Signal Iduna Park over their top-four rivals would be a significant leap closer to winning the German top flight.

The league leaders will still be without injured Japanese striker Shinji Kagawa and Daniel Ginczek while Hannover is missing young defender Christopher Avevor.

Bayern Munich will be hoping Dortmund earn at least a draw against Hannover – with a win for Louis van Gaal’s men over cellar dwellers Borussia Monchengladbach then set to propel them into the top three.

Freiburg have lost four straight games to drop out of the European places and face a tough task when they travel to fifth-placed Mainz 05’s Stadion am Bruchweg.

Thirteenth-placed Kaiserslautern have a huge challenge ahead to extend their unbeaten run to five games when they host second side Bayer Leverkusen.

Werder Bremen will do battle with Stuttgart at the Weserstadion, with the home side only four points from the drop zone, and Stuttgart just one point out of the bottom three.

Hoffenheim (ninth) and Hamburg (seventh) will face off at the Rhein Neckar Arena, with a European place still up for grabs for both clubs.

In Sunday’s action, Nurnburg can bounce back from their first loss in eight when they travel to Cologne’s Rhein Energie Stadion.

Second-bottom Wolfsburg can escape the drop zone, results pending, with a victory over fellow relegation candidate Eintracht Frankfurt at the Volkswagen Arena.

On Friday, St Pauli can break a run of five losses and eight games without a win when they host Schalke 04 at Millerntor Stadion.

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