Hannover to handover points

Treble hopes still alive : Photo FC Bayern MunichBayern Munich can reduce the deficit on Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund to just two points by beating Hannover 96 on Saturday, whilst champions Borussia face a potentially tricky trip to relegation-haunted Cologne on Sunday evening.

Bayern have won their last eight competitive games at the Allianz Arena, firing in a mammoth thirty goals in the process.

The Reds reached the German Cup (DFB) final after a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out win over Borussia Monchengladbach in midweek.

And the record German champions have pulled another seemingly plumb draw in Europe's premier competition. On Wednesday, Bayern travel to the French Riviera to take on struggling Olympique Marseille in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.

Mirko Slomka's charges will approach the trip to the Bavarian capital with some trepidation - having lost on their previous four visits - shipping 18 goals in the process. In fact, on only 5 occasions in 22 visits to Munich has Hannover conceded fewer than 3 goals. The visitors from Lower Saxony might themselves have an eye on European exploits. Hannover face former winners Atlético Madrid in the quarter finals of the Europa League on Thursday. One to watch for the 7th placed side is in-form Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf (24), signed in the transfer window from English champions Manchester United, whilst German international Jan Schlaudraff will also have plenty to prove on his return to Bavaria after failing to hit the heights in 2007/8 under Ottmar Hitzfeld.

FCB currently appear to be riding the crest of a wave, so anything other than a routine home win would be a surprise as the Reds fight to keep their hopes of a Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League treble alive. Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is unlikely to be risked after his recent troublesome ankle injury flared up again in training.

"We have the problem under control," assured Director of Football Christian Nerlinger.
"However it hasn't cleared up as quickly as we had all hoped. But he's heading in the right direction and it won't keep him out for weeks."

Prediction : Bayern 2 Hannover 0

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