Hamburg and Leverkusen hoping to bounce back

Both Hamburger SV and Bayer 04 Leverkusen will be looking to respond to defeat when they lock horns in Matchday 19’s opener on Friday evening (kick-off 20:30CET/19:30GMT).

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Hamburg are yet to take a point in 2017 following defeats against VfL Wolfsburg and last week’s reverse away at relegation rivals FC Ingolstadt 04. After a strong end to 2016, the feel-good factor in the northern city has dissipated somewhat, although the arrival and imminent debut of Brazil international midfielder Walace will give fans cause for excitement.

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Leverkusen started the year with an impressive victory over Hertha Berlin, but inconsistency continues to undermine them, as evidenced by Matchday 18’s 3-2 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach, which came after Die Werkself led 2-0. Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez will be absent, but the visitors do have a new face to parade this weekend, with highly-rated Jamaican teenager Leon Bailey having arrived from Belgian club KRC Genk.

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