Bayern Munich vs. Hannover: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

Clark Whitney@@Mr_BundesligaFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2016

Munich's players celebrate after  the German Bundesliga soccer match between Hannover 96 and FC Bayern Munich in Hannover, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. Munich defeated Hannover by 1-0. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Bayern Munich will take their victory lap in the Bundesliga on Saturday as they play host to Hannover 96 in their final domestic league match of the season.

The Bavarian giants clinched the title with last week's win over Ingolstadt, reaching 85 points through 33 games and putting them eight points clear of runners-up Borussia Dortmund.

Having beaten Ingolstadt away from home, Bayern will return to the Allianz Arena to celebrate their league triumph in front of their home fans.

Per the official Bundesliga website, the German record champions have been awarded a special badge they will wear on their sleeves during Saturday's match, honoring their 25th title since the Bundesliga was created in 1963.

But before the champagne (and beer) is uncorked, they'll have to get past Hannover in what will serve as a final warm-up match for the DFB-Pokal final a week later.

Bayern's opponents on Saturday will be Hannover, a side condemned to relegation last month. The Lower Saxony team have been in decent form as of late, having won two and lost just one of their last five games.

The damage was done long ago, though, as they went through a spell that included 13 defeats in 14 matches. Their tally of 25 points puts them eight behind even 17th place in the Bundesliga, with their 30 goals a league low.

Hannover have nothing but pride to play for, but it would be a nice consolation if they were able to claim Bayern's scalp on the final matchday.

The Bavarians will unlikely roll over, though, as they have everything to play for next weekend and will want to carry some confidence to that match, especially in front of their home fans.

 

Date: Saturday, 14 May

Time: 2:30 p.m. BST/9:30 a.m. ET/3:30 p.m. local time

Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich

TV Info: Not available (U.S. only), BT Sport 1 (UK only)

Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go (U.S. only), BT Sport Player (UK only)

 

Form Guide

Bayern Munich Hannover
Ingolstadt: Win Hoffenheim: Win
Atletico Madrid: Win Schalke: Loss
Monchengladbach: Draw Ingolstadt: Draw
Atletico Madrid: Loss Monchengladbach: Win
Hertha BSC: Win  Hertha BSC: Draw 

 

Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Team News

Bayern Munich

Xabi Alonso and Arjen Robben have been ruled out of Saturday's action. Although making progress in his recovery from injury, Holger Badstuber should also be unfit for the match at the Allianz Arena.

Possible Bayern starting XI: Neuer; Lahm, Martinez, Boateng, Alaba; Vidal; Coman, Muller, Costa, Ribery; Lewandowski.

 

Hannover

The visitors will be without a lengthy list of injured players on Saturday, including Felipe, Hiroki Sakai, Leon Andreasen, Charlison Benschop, Marius Wolf, Hotaru Yamaguchi, Uffe Bech and Alexander Milosevic.

Possible Hannover starting XI: Zieler; Arkenberg, Anton, Sane, Albornoz; Schmiedebach, Fossum; Sarenren-Bazee, Kiyotake, Klaus; Sobiech.

 

Players to Watch

If Bayern go full-throttle in attack, their front five of Robert Lewandowski, Franck Ribery, Douglas Costa, Thomas Muller and Kingsley Coman could be a real sight to behold. It will put a lot of pressure on Arturo Vidal in midfield.

For Hannover, Noah-Joel Sarenren-Bazee has been in good form as of late, as has striker Artur Sobiech. Ron-Robert Zieler is also one to watch in what is likely to be his final game for the Lower Saxony side.

 

Key Battles

Thomas Muller vs. Ron-Robert Zieler

Lewandowski looks set to be crowned top scorer in the Bundesliga, but Muller might steal a bit of his thunder. The DFB-Pokal final is just a week away, and Euro 2016 fast approaching: The Germany international will want to be in peak form for both, and a few goals against Hannover would provide a healthy boost of confidence.

Saturday's match will be an emotional one for Zieler. Although an FC Cologne man in his youth, the goalkeeper owes a lot to Hannover for helping him revive his career after struggling at Manchester United.

The 27-year-old announced his intention to leave on his Facebook page (via the Bundesliga website), and could be a real bargain for clubs looking for a new goalkeeper.

 

Michael Sohn/Associated Press

David Alaba vs. Noah-Joel Sarenren-Bazee

Alaba will, as usual, have to impose himself in multiple areas of the pitch on Saturday. He'll need to defend well, but if Vidal is the only midfielder, the Austrian will be required to help win the ball back in midfield. And then there's the possibility of making overlapping runs in attack.

Alaba is fully capable of all the aforementioned roles, though, even in the same game. 

One of the few positives for Hannover this spring has been the emergence of Sarenren-Bazee, who has been called up to the senior side to play in the last five games. The 19-year-old has started all five and provided an assist in three of the last four matches.

Deployed primarily on the wing thus far, he looks to have the potential to take on the responsibilities of a central striker in the years to come.

 

Odds (courtesy of Odds Shark)

Bayern: 100/1667

Draw: 47/4

Hannover: 2409/100

 

@Mr_Bundesliga

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