Hanover - Lower Saxony has not been a happy hunting ground for FC Bayern München this season as they return to the state where they suffered their only defeat of the Bundesliga season so far to face Hannover 96 on Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CET/14:30 GMT).

The record titleholders' last visit to these parts ended in a 4-1 defeat to VfL Wolfsburg and Hannover 96, without a win yet in 2015, will be hoping the whole region can have that effect on the Bavarian dreadnought as they seek a much-needed three points. bundesliga.com has the lowdown on the HDI Arena clash.

With only four points separating them from the bottom three Hannover's focus, now more than ever, is on reaching the 40-point mark, regarded as guaranteed safety. Bayern, meanwhile, cannot rest on their eight-point advantage over Wolfsburg at the top, considering the Wolves are matching them stride for stride.

Hannover will be without one of their most influential players - (r.) - this weekend as he serves a one-game ban. Without a like-for-like replacement, Tayfun Korkut will instead have to shift his players around a little to adjust with perhaps playing a more central role in the attacking midfield.

FC Bayern arrive in Hanover practically at near full-strength now is back in training. A slight rotation may be undertaken, though, in view of next Wednesday's decisive UEFA Champions League tie with FC Shakhtar Donetsk. (l.) is suspended for that game so he should start on Saturday.

In the absence of Stindl, Hannover will be looking to (r.) to pull the strings in midfield, like he used to do to such devastating effect for 1. FC Nürnberg. With a good passing record, the Japanese international will need all of that accuracy if he is to pierce the Bayern rearguard with his trademark defence-splitting passes.

2014/15 has been the season of , and not only his record haul of 17 goals so far vouches for his outstanding form. Capable of turning defences inside out, Robben is deadly with the ball at his feet anywhere inside the final third, while focusing too much on him also frees up more room for his equally potent team-mates.

(r.): "The fact that every single one of us – be it in attack or in defence – has got to push himself to the limit to have any chance against FC Bayern goes without saying. But I'm confident and I've got every faith in the team."

Pep Guardiola (Bayern coach): "This is a very important phase of the season for us and I'm looking forward to it. We've done a good job so far, which is why we are eight points clear. We're just thinking about Hannover and now how many games we've got left."

The last time Hannover left the field triumphant was almost three months ago in a 2-0 win over FC Augsburg. Since then, they have drawn four and lost three, picking up just three points since the turn of the year. Bayern, meanwhile, have won their last five since starting the year with defeat in Wolfsburg and a draw against Schalke.

There have been 51 meetings between these two sides down the years with Bayern ahead considerably with 34 wins compared to only nine for the Reds. Bayern have won their last two games in Hanover 4-0 and 6-1, but they were beaten 2-1 here in October 2011 – Hannover's last win over the record champions.

Possible line-ups:

Hannover: Zieler - Joao Pereira, Marcelo, Schulz, Albornoz - Schmiedebach, Andreasen - Briand, Kiyotake, Prib - Joselu

Bayern: Neuer - Rafinha, Boateng, Badstuber, Juan Bernat - Schweinsteiger, Alonso - Robben, Müller, Ribery - Lewandowski

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