Bayern Munich - Hannover Preview: Hosts looking to get back to winning ways
The Bavarians have drawn their last two games, but can take heart from their good record against Mirko Slomka's side at the Allianz Arena in recent years
By Enis Koylu
Lahm, Dante, Badstuber, Alaba
Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger
Muller, Kroos, Shaqiri
Cherundolo, Eggimann, Haggui, Rausch
Stind, Schlaudraff, Huszti
The big news from a Bayern Munich perspective is that Mario Gomez is line to start his first match for the club since the Champions League final penalty shoot-out loss to Chelsea in May, having made his comeback from ankle surgery in the midweek draw with Valencia.
Elsewhere, Javi Martinez should keep his place in midfield alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger, thanks in part to an assured performance at Mestalla, but also due to Luiz Gustavo's groin injury.
Meanwhile, Franck Ribery complained of playing through the pain against los Che, and could join Arjen Robben on the sidelines, leaving Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Xherdan Shaqiri to line up behind Gomez for the visit of Mirko Slomka's side. Emre Can remains a long-term absentee with a ligament problem.
On the other side of the park, Hannover can welcome back club captain Steve Cherundolo at the back in the place of Hiroki Sakai, who was poor during last week's 2-1 home loss to Freiburg.
However, Leon Andreasen is a long-term absentee with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, while Felipe is still missing with a hip injury.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Bayern Munich have not lost at home to Hannover in the Bundesliga since matchday 11 of the 2006-07 season. Since then, they have recorded 7-0 and 5-1 victories against them.
- Jupp Heynckes' side have won three of the four games they have played immediately following Champions League exertions, but lost to Leverkusen after a 1-0 win over Lille in France.
- Mario Gomez has a fairly productive record against Hannover, having netted seven career goals against Saturday's opponents.
- Hannover ended Bayern's eight-match streak without conceding a goal last season by recording a 2-1 with over the Bavarians at the AWD Arena.
- Szabolcs Huszti (pictured, right) has registered a total of seven assists in the Bundesliga this season, one more than Franck Ribery.
- Jan Schlaudraff will be returning to his former home on Saturday, having endured a disappointing season at the Allianz Arena in 2007-08.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Bayern München 3-0 Hannover 96
- 22.64 %
FC Bayern München 2-0 Hannover 96
- 11.94 %
FC Bayern München 3-1 Hannover 96
- 11.59 %
|Germany - DFB-Pokal (GERC)||25 Sep 2013||FC Bayern München 4 - Hannover 96 1|
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||14 Sep 2013||FC Bayern München 2 - Hannover 96 0|
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||20 Apr 2013||Hannover 96 1 - FC Bayern München 6|
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||24 Nov 2012||FC Bayern München 5 - Hannover 96 0|
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||24 Mar 2012||FC Bayern München 2 - Hannover 96 1|
|FC Bayern München|
|4 Dec 2013||FC Augsburg 0 - FC Bayern München 2||GERC|
|30 Nov 2013||FC Bayern München 2 - Eintracht Braunschweig 0||BUN|
|27 Nov 2013||CSKA Moscow 1 - FC Bayern München 3||UCL|
|23 Nov 2013||Borussia Dortmund 0 - FC Bayern München 3||BUN|
|9 Nov 2013||FC Bayern München 3 - FC Augsburg 0||BUN|
|7||Sergio da Silva Pinto||Midfielder|
|39||Mame Biram Diouf||Striker|
What Mario Gomez has this season (which the Bavarians were lacking last season) is competition for a starting spot. In the Germany international's lengthy absence, Mario Mandzukic and Claudio Pizarro have performed impeccably, but the 27-year-old will be eager to prove on Saturday that he is still the main man at the Allianz Arena.
It is perhaps no coincidence that Hannover's drop in form has coincided with that of Szabolcs Huszti. The Hungarian played a key role in his side's barnstorming start to the Bundesliga season, and if they are to get anything at the Bavarians' home ground, then the former Zenit man will need to be at his best to orchestrate every counterattack.
Both of these teams made a fantastic start to the Bundesliga season, but while Bayern have gone from strength to strength - blips against Leverkusen and Nurnberg aside - Hannover have trailed off in recent weeks. Boosted by the return of star striker Mario Gomez, the hosts will be in full of confidence. Expect them to ease past the visitors on Saturday.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed