Bundesliga Preview: Bayern Munich v Hannover
By Football News
Bayern Munich will be looking to build on securing the first silverware of Pep Guardiola's reign on Saturday, when they host Hannover.
A penalty-shootout victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup prior to the international break was the first of what Bayern fans hope will be many, having lost 4-2 in the DFL Supercup to Borussia Dortmund before the season got under way.
Guardiola's men were far from convincing in their last league game, slipping to a 1-1 draw at Freiburg, who levelled through Nicolas Hofler after Xherdan Shaqiri had given Bayern the lead.
Midfield stalwart Bastian Schweinsteiger is unlikely to feature for Bayern at the Allianz Arena, despite returning to training after an ankle injury, while Thiago Alcantara and Holger Badstuber (both knee) are unavailable.
Bayern will still be heavy favourites for the contest, having scored 11 goals in their two victories over Hannover last season.
However, Franck Ribery, who scored in both of those encounters, is still expecting a difficult encounter against Mirko Slomka's men.
"Whatever we did last year against Hannover, we have to forget it, it will be totally different this time, it is a new game," Ribery told FCB.tv. "And it will difficult again, for sure."
Ribery's sentiments were echoed by Arjen Robben, who is eager to maintain Bayern's unbeaten run and keep pace with Borussia Dortmund, who boast the division's only 100 per cent record.
"Hannover is always strong team, if we have a great day and they a worse one, obviously you can have a great score then," Robben said.
"It will be difficult and it is important for us to have quick turnovers.
"There are plenty of games to go, we have to be careful of Dortmund and win our games. When you are playing good you are always very confident."
Hannover approach the game having tasted defeat just once this term, and they will be out to spring a surprise following their 4-1 victory over Mainz two weeks' ago.
The Lower Saxony club will be without midfielder Szabolcs Huszti through suspension, while defender Christian Pander (ankle) is unavailable.
Slomka's real concern will be filling the void left by talisman Mame Biram Diouf. The Senegal international picked up an ankle injury in his country's 1-0 win over Uganda and could miss out.