Hamburg SV are desperately searching for a spark that will ignite
their Bundesliga campaign after three straight defeats and with
champions Borussia Dortmund coming to town on Saturday, the northerners
have their work cut out.
Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink,
whose team flirted with relegation for much of last season, has yet to
see his players kickstart their campaign after failing to win a point in
"We need the initial spark," Fink said this week. "Then we will start gaining in self-confidence."
His team has so far showed some
character coming from two goals down to level against Eintracht
Frankfurt last week but eventually losing 3-2.
"Against Dortmund we are the huge outsiders so we have nothing to lose and that could set our minds free," Fink said.
Fink will be counting on the
talents of crowd favourite Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart, who returned
to the club he played from 2005 to 2008.
The former Tottenham Hotspur
midfielder is expected to lead the charge to move Hamburg off the bottom
spot. His first game back was against Frankfurt.
Hamburg, who are preparing
celebrations for their 125th birthday, are the only ever present team in
the Bundesliga since it was founded half a century ago.
"We have to do this together,"
said Van der Vaart. "The guys are doing a good job and they showed
[against Frankfurt] that they want to fight."
"Hopefully the stadium will be
hot against Dortmund and we can go out and beat them. They are a good
team but we should not fear them," said the German club's 13
Reigning champions Dortmund,
trailing leaders Bayern Munich by two points, have lost none of their
sharpness that won them the domestic double last season. They confirmed
their good form with a 1-0 win over Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions
League on Tuesday.
Bayern, top of the table with
maximum points from three matches and fresh from their opening 2-1
Champions League win over Valencia on Wednesday, travel to fellow
Champions League competitors Schalke 04.
Schalke, level on seven points
with Dortmund, are also on a high after kicking off their Champions
League campaign with a 2-1 win at Olympiakos on Tuesday.
Promoted Frankfurt, the only other team with maximum points, take on Nuremberg on Friday.
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