Munich host Bremen in Bundesliga showdown

3rd March 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 March 2005, HAMBURG - Werder Bremen return to the site where they clinched the 2004 Bundesliga title for a showdown with Bayern Munich which takes place under different circumstances on Saturday. This time around Munich aim for victory to hold on to their Bundesliga lead on goal difference over Schalke. Bremen, by contrast, trail the leading duo by four points in third place with 43 points and need a victory to remain in the title race. As a result, Bremen would more than welcome a 3-1 victory like in Ma


4 March 2005

HAMBURG - Werder Bremen return to the site where they clinched the 2004 Bundesliga title for a showdown with Bayern Munich which takes place under different circumstances on Saturday.

This time around Munich aim for victory to hold on to their Bundesliga lead on goal difference over Schalke.

Bremen, by contrast, trail the leading duo by four points in third place with 43 points and need a victory to remain in the title race.

As a result, Bremen would more than welcome a 3-1 victory like in May 2004, with which they assured themselves of the title and humiliated Munich.

The omens are good for the northern Germans as they are unbeaten in Munich in the last four games of they won three and drew one.

"We are as strong as last year. We are not afraid of Munich," said Bremen's French defender Valerien Ismail.

Bremen rehearsed with a 3-0 win at Munich's amateur team in the cup quarter-finals, but Munich also advanced into the final four of the cup with an even more impressive 7-0 demolition of SC Freiburg.

Munich defender Robert Kovac said the match was not about revenge for 2004 as Munich already won 2-1 in Bremen earlier this season.

"We want to win to increase our lead over a title rival," said Kovac.

Munich have Michael Ballack back in the team while Bremen fear for their Croatian striker Ivan Klasnic, who is nursing a calf muscle injury.

Schalke, meanwhile, visit lowly VfL Bochum where they have won three of the last four matches.

In other action, SV Hamburg host Bayer Leverkusen in a game both teams need to win to keep their UEFA Cup ambitions intact for which fifth place is required.

Like number four Hertha Berlin and sixth-ranked VfB Stuttgart, Leverkusen have 39 points for fifth place. Hamburg are seventh with 37 points in seventh place coming off a 4-1 drubbing in Berlin.

Hamburg coach Thomas Doll will bench number 1 goalkeeper Martin Pieckenhagen after several blunders and replace him with Stefan Waechter between the posts.

"I know how to deal with the pressure," said the confident Waechter.

Leverkusen sports director Rudi Voeller said that he still hopes for a place in the Champions League for which third place is needed. In order to do so victory in Hamburg is a must.

"The duels against our rivals are the most important games. We must get a breather and keep close to third place," said Voeller.

Contrary to Leverkusen, Hertha and Stuttgart play at home on the weekend. Stuttgart meet mid-table Bielefeld on Saturday while Hertha take on improving Kaiserslautern on Sunday.

The other weekend games are Mainz 05 vs. Freiburg, Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. VfL Wolfsburg, Hanover 96 vs. VfL Wolfsburg (all Saturday) and Nuremberg vs. Borussia Dortmund (Sunday). 

DPA

Subject: German news 

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