In-form Hanover buoyant for trip to Bayern
13 September 2013, 21:00
Berlin - Hanover 96 head to European champions Bayern Munich in buoyant mood following their best start to a Bundesliga season with coach Mirko Slomka anticipating an upset on Saturday.
"It's a good opportunity for a surprise," said Slomka, whose side have won three of their opening four league games and lie joint-third in the table with Bayer Leverkusen, one point behind second-placed Bayern.
"Basically, every opponent finds it hard at the Allianz Arena -- whether it's Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Augsburg or Hanover.
"The key for us is to tick off the past and to develop a conviction as a team to get better and even more successful."
It has been nearly seven years since Hanover's last win in Munich. Since then, Bayern have recorded six straight wins in this fixture, scoring 25 goals in the process -- an average of more than four per game.
Slomka's side take on a Bayern team in transition since Pep Guardiola took charge in June, but Hanover will be without Senegal striker Mame Diouf, who has an ankle injury.
Bayern dropped their first points in the league under Guardiola when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Freiburg a fortnight ago and the Champions League holders face a taxing three weeks with seven games in 22 days.
However, Bayern expect to have Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger back as the defensive midfielder returned to training this week after straining ankle ligaments at Freiburg.
"He can play, he's much better, but I don't know if he will manage the full 90 minutes," said Guardiola, after Schweinsteiger missed Bayern's UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea and Germany's World Cup qualifiers against Austria and the Faroe Islands.
Having won last season's Bundesliga title by a record 25 points, Bayern are yet to produce an entirely convincing display under Guardiola and Hanover feel Saturday is as good a chance as any to bring home a result from Munich.
"We can get a good result, if we take the same wave of euphoria to Munich which carries us at home," said Hanover's Germany goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.
"Bayern are of course a force to be reckoned with at home but they aren't playing the same football as last season."
Hanover president Martin Kind was in equally bullish mood.
"There must be an end to the mindset that we go to Munich and believe we have no chance against Bayern," he said.
As well as Diouf, Hanover are also without suspended Hungary midfielder Szabolcs Huszti, who scored the club's only goal in their last win over Bayern in Munich on November 8, 2006.
The 30-year-old is still suspended having been sent off in the 2-1 win over Schalke 04 three weeks ago.
Join in the conversation on our Facebook page. Also get the latest news by following us on Twitter.