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Bundesliga Preview: Olic calls for reaction ahead of Wolfsburg reunion

As Ivica Olic prepares to line up against Wolfsburg for the first time since joining Hamburg, the Croatian says his team-mates need to start producing results.

After appointing Peter Knaber as interim replacement for Josef Zinnbauer last month, fortunes have not improved for the Bundesliga strugglers who have taken just two points from their last possible 21.

Therefore, Hamburg are in the midst of a relegation battle for a second season running with Saturday’s visit from second-placed Wolfsburg likely to prove a daunting task.

Olic swapped Wolfsburg for Hamburg in January, having scored the opener in November’s reverse fixture as his former employers ran out 2-0 winners.

The veteran forward told Bild: “Against Wolfsburg we must show a positive reaction as a team.

“Peter Knabel puts on good training but we have to to take that into the games.

“We can win against Wolfsburg. Against strong teams we have often looked good at home.

“Wolfsburg will be the second power in Germany in the coming years but I am happy, despite the situation, to be here in Hamburg.”

Like Hamburg, fellow strugglers Stuttgart and Paderborn also enjoy home advantage as they continue their survival fight against Werder Bremen and Augsburg respectively.

If Wolfsburg fail to dispatch Hamburg at the Imtech Arena, leaders Bayern Munich could extend their cushion at the top to 13 points with a home win against Eintracht Frankfurt having ensured their DFB-Pokal semi-final place with a penalty shootout victory over Bayer Leverkusen in midweek.

Pep Guardiola’s injury-hit side progressed 5-3 on spot-kicks following a 0-0 draw as Leverkusen were left to focus on Bundesliga matters, starting with their trip to Mainz.

Borussia Dortmund await Bayern in the semis after they progressed past Hoffenheim, with Jurgen Klopp’s men facing Borussia Monchengladbach, who were on the wrong end up a cup upset against second-tier Arminia Bielefeld.

Schalke could welcome back Julian Draxler for the visit of Freiburg, with the forward back in training after a lengthy lay-off following a torn tendon.

He could prove key to bolster Schalke’s fading hopes of ensuring a continental qualification berth, having not featured since October. 

Hannover and Hertha Berlin get the weekend’s action under way on Friday while a win for Cologne over Hoffenheim at the RheinEnergieStadion on Sunday would solidify the hosts’ survival chances.

Thu 9 Apr, 2015
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