Back to Bundesliga for Bayern, Dortmund, Schalke


BERLIN (AP) -- After qualifying in the Champions League with one game to spare, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke and Bayern Munich turn their attention to the Bundesliga on Saturday.

League leader Bayern hosts Hannover amid grumbles after two straight 1-1 draws -- last weekend at Nuremberg and then again Tuesday at Valencia.

"We need to get into gear and hit the gas again," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, whose team was held to the draw against a 10-man Valencia side.

Bayern is eight points clear of Schalke but Rummenigge was eager to stamp out any creeping complacency.

"We have to wake up, to step it up a notch. We have to rediscover the form that made us so strong, that took us so far up in the Bundesliga table," Rummenigge said.

Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt are level on 23 points before meeting in Gelsenkirchen.

"A lot of other teams have already found Frankfurt a tough nut to crack this season. So we're warned," Schalke general manager Horst Heldt said.

Schalke was inefficient in front of goal in Wednesday's 1-0 over Olympiakos and produced arguably its worst performance of the season in last weekend's 2-0 loss at Bayer Leverkusen.

Dortmund, which won its Champions League group ahead of Real Madrid, Ajax and Manchester City with some sparkling football, cannot afford a letdown at Mainz. The defending champions are nine points off the pace after 12 rounds.

Sven Bender went off against Ajax with blood streaming form his nose and is a doubt for the game following his third major facial injury.

"It's probably 'only' a broken nose. It has to be X-rayed again. But it could be tight for Mainz," Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said Thursday. "Otherwise everyone who was with us in Amsterdam is fit. We don't know exactly yet about (Sebastian) Kehl."

Kehl has been struggling with a knee cap problem.

Also Saturday, Wolfsburg general manager Klaus Allofs comes face-to-face with former side Werder Bremen, 10 days after leaving the city where he spent 13 years to take up the same position at his new club.

"It's a mean trick of the calendar," Allofs said.

Wolfsburg players Naldo and Diego will also meet their former side.

"I'll always have Werder in my heart, but sorry for Saturday. We want to win that," Diego said.

In Saturday's other game, Greuther Fuerth hosts neighboring Nuremberg in the 255th Franconian derby, and the first to be played in the Bundesliga. Promoted Fuerth is still looking for its first ever win at home in Germany's top division.

"Every run ends sometime. Why not against Nuremberg?" Fuerth coach Mike Bueskens asked.

Security is tight for the game after trouble flared when the local rivals met in the German Cup last year.

On Sunday, Freiburg hosts Stuttgart, in-form Leverkusen visits struggling Hoffenheim and Augsburg visits Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Hamburger SV gets the 13th round started at Fortuna Duesseldorf on Friday.