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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 1, 2007

Bundesliga: New coaches prepare for debuts

There will be a distinctively different look about the Bundesliga this weekend with no fewer than three clubs having made coaching changes since the last round of games.

On Friday night, the action commences with the 175th Bavarian derby with Bayern Munich, once again led by Ottmar Hitzfeld, travelling to high-flying Nurnberg.

Bayern are now eight points adrift of the Bundesliga leaders, but by turning to Hitzfeld after sacking Felix Magath on Wednesday, they hope to still have a chance at winning the title this season.

'I am not one to give up,' said general manager Uli Hoeness.

'Our minimum aim is third, but we still have the dream target of the title.'

The weekend ends with an even bigger game as joint-leaders Werder Bremen and Schalke lock horns at the Weser Stadium for what is already being touted a title-decider.

And Bremen feel the rest of the Bundesliga is quivering at the thought of playing them.

'This has sent out a signal,' said director of sport Klaus Allofs after Wednesday's 2-0 win in Leverkusen.

'Schalke, Bayern and Stuttgart would certainly have hoped we would drop points here.'

Magath looks like finding work straight away by taking over from Thomas Doll at Hamburg.

He has asked for time to consider the job offer but could still be in charge in time for Saturday's trip to Hertha Berlin.

If he does take the post he will be in unfamiliar territory right at the bottom of the Bundesliga, rather than at the top.

Meanwhile, Borussia Monchengladbach begin life after Jupp Heynckes with a trip to Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.

Heynckes' assistant Jos Luhukay has been placed in temporary command of the Foals, receiving the backing of his former mentor.

'The fact I am sat here is down to him (Heynckes) and obviously I want to help Borussia,' he said.

Mainz have the chance of moving out of the bottom three for the first time since the opening day of the season by extending their winning streak to three games at Frankfurt on Saturday.

Candidates to take their place are Bochum, who despite a positive point picked up in Munich in midweek, know they cannot afford to let anything slip in Cottbus.

Meanwhile, there is a return to Aachen for former coach Dieter Hecking.

Hecking, who led Aachen into the Bundesliga last season, left them to join Hannover in August and takes his side back to the Tivoli on Saturday where he is likely to receive a hostile reception.

Another coach facing his past is Wolfsburg's Klaus Augenthaler. Bayer Leverkusen are the visitors to the VW-Arena on Saturday.

Finally, Sunday's other fixture sees Borussia Dortmund entertain third-placed VfB Stuttgart at the Westfalen Stadium.

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