Sat, Sep 14, 2013 - Page 20 News List

In-form Hannover 96 buoyant for trip to Bayern Munich

AFP, BERLIN

Hannover 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 today.

“It’s a good opportunity for a surprise,” said Slomka, with his side having won three of their opening four league games and third in the table behind Bayern in second.

“Basically, every opponent finds it hard at the Allianz Arena — whether it’s Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Augsburg or Hannover,” he said. “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 Hannover’s last win in Munich and in their last six home games against today’s visitors, Bayern have scored 25 goals — 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 Hannover will be without Senegal striker Mame Diouf who has an ankle injury.

Bayern dropped their first points league under Guardiola when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Freiburg two weeks ago and the Champions League winners face a taxing three weeks with seven games in 22 days.

Having won last season’s Bundesliga title by a record 25 points, Bayern are yet to produce a convincing display under Guardiola and Hannover feel today 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 Hannover’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 soccer as last season,” he said.

Hannover 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.

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