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Bundesliga ready for derby delights

25 January 2013-PA Sport

Hamburg Werder Bremen Thorsten Fink

Bremen test ... Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink (Getty Images)

Derby matches in the north and south of Germany are the highlights of the 19th round of Bundesliga matches, while Borussia Dortmund gets an early chance to make a move on second spot.

Hamburg hosts Werder Bremen for the 98th northern Germany derby match, having lost the last three meetings with Thomas Schaaf's men.

According to the form guide, that run should end with Bremen arriving at the HSV-Arena off the back of a 5-0 humiliation at home to Dortmund while Hamburg is within striking distance of the top five.

"I would say that we have caught up with them," said Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink to the Kreiszeitung Syke.

"We are not better than them yet, but we can still win on Sunday. We are at home, have a 12th man behind us, but that's only a slight advantage.

"I have a good feeling."

Another derby takes place at the bottom end of the country, but the top end of the table as Stuttgart hosts Bayern Munich, which started 2013 with a 2-0 win over Greuther Furth last weekend to maintain its nine-point advantage at the top of the table.

Its cushion over Stuttgart is 20 points, but that does not put off Stuttgart midfielder Christian Gentner.

"Bayern are undoubtedly the strongest side in the league, but if we give it all we've got then we can get something even against the record champions," said Gentner on his club's website.

Dortmund is first up on Friday evening (Saturday morning AEDT) when it hosts Nurnberg, knowing that a win would take it second, still nine points behind Bayern.

"The fans should wrap up warm, and we'll do the rest," he said at a press conference.

Elsewhere this weekend, Hannover and Wolfsburg meet in another northern Germany derby match with both sides needing a win to get in the frame for a place in Europe next season.

Augsburg looks to build on its win at Fortuna Dusseldorf last weekend when it hosts Schalke with three points possibly enough to take it out of the bottom two for the first time this season.

That is dependent on Hoffenheim failing to get the better of Eintracht Frankfurt while bottom-placed Greuther Furth takes on Mainz.

Borussia Monchengladbach hosts Fortuna Dusseldorf in a North-Rhein Westphalia derby while, finally, high-flying Freiburg puts second-placed Bayer Leverkusen to the test.

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