Beckenbauer demands Bayern winning streak

BERLIN - Club bosses at Bayern Munich, plagued by injuries and weeks of in-fighting, hope a victory over Hannover 96 on Sunday can spark a winning streak ahead of the winter break to ignite their Bundesliga title bid.

Bayern are seventh in the Bundesliga after 13 matches, six points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen, ahead of the visit to tenth placed Hannover.

"It does not look as bad at the moment," club president Franz Beckenbauer said after his team won 1-0 against Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League on Wednesday.

"A win against Hannover 96 and we are back in the running. A winning streak until the end of the year and we are where we want to be," he said.

Bayern manager Uli Hoeness said there was also no discussion on the future of coach Louis van Gaal, who has had an unspectacular start to his first season in charge.

"I hope that now there will not be any discussions on the coach any more, at least for a few weeks," Hoeness said after his team's win over Haifa.

"This win will help us concentrate on our work and in turn get the results," he said.


Dutchman Arjen Robben could be fit to return against Hanover after almost a month out of action, while playmaker Franck Ribery has also started training following a knee injury that has kept him out for much of the season.

"I think Robben could play as early as Sunday," Hoeness said.

"Ribery has also started training this week and things look good."

Striker Luca Toni could also soon return to the squad after he was dropped by van Gaal for the match against Haifa, following an interview to Italian media where he criticised the coach.

"I am trying to negotiate with both sides and we think we will create a connection again," said Hoeness.

"Luca was orderded to pay a fine of 25,000 euros and for us that is it. Let us start over again."

Leaders Leverkusen play on Sunday against VfB Stuttgart, who languish in 16th place, two off the bottom, but who have kept faith in coach Markus Babbel.

Stuttgart will be no pushover though following their confidence-boosting 2-0 away win against Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Second-placed Werder Bremen, on 26 points, can claim the lead on Saturday when they host champions VfL Wolfsburg, who have only one win in their last four league matches.