Nuremberg - Sunday’s Bundesliga action begins in Bavaria as 1. FC Nuremberg take on Hannover 96 at the newly-renamed Grundig Stadion (kick-off 15.30 CET).
Having lost just twice in front of their own fans all season, the hosts will be counting on home advantage as they seek to build on a solid run of recent results and distance themselves from the bottom three.
To that end, head coach Michael Weisinger is pinning his hopes on Japanese playmaker to make a difference. The livewire midfielder has been sensational for der Club so far this term, netting three goals and providing six assists to help keep the team's head above water. “Kiyo is really strong going forward," said Wiesinger. "He occupies those small pockets of space and is extremely difficult to pick up.”
Nuremberg's recent results - five points from their four league outings this year - have contributed to an improved vibe at the club. "We have a week of solid and intensive training behind us," continued Wiesinger. "You can just feel that the team has more confidence."
For their part , Hannover will be determined to put things to rights after a disappointing midweek showing against FC Anji Makhachkala in the UEFA Europa League. The Reds' away form has left a lot to be desired his term - two wins and eight losses on the road is the second-worst record in the top flight.
"On paper the result looks a formality, but it’s time we started picking up points outside the AWD-Arena," said the 44-year-old tactician. “We have a great opportunity to play some attacking football away from home.”
Nuremberg Schäfer - Chandler, Nilsson, Klose, Pinola - Simons, Balitsch- Feulner, Kiyotake, Frantz - Pekhart
Hannover Zieler - Chahed, Eggimann, Djourou, Rausch - Schlaudraff, Pinto, Stindl, Huszti - Abdellaoue, Diouf