Hyypia hopes to see Bayer spirit

Sami Hyypia 1

Bayer Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia is keen to see how his team cope with their first rough patch of the season.

Defeat to Braunschweig in the Bundesliga last weekend was followed by a Champions League draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek, leaving Leverkusen with work to do both at home and abroad.

They host Hamburg on Saturday with a gap of four points to reduce on league leaders Bayern Munich, but boasting a cushion of six points over fourth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach.

Standing third in the table is a decent enough start but Hyypia wants his team to build on their early form rather than sink into a sustained lull.

"There are phases in which things don't go so well, but you've got to keep your cool, concentrate, carry on working and not lose belief in your own strengths," he said.

"We don't need to lose faith in ourselves. We just need to relax a little and be more convinced in what we do."

Hamburg coach Bert van Marwijk says that a glance at the league standings, which show his team in 14th place, is enough to illustrate the size of the task facing the visitors to the BayArena.

"The table says it all," Van Marwijk said. "Leverkusen are the only team still close to Dortmund and Bayern.

"It's going to be a difficult game, but I've never gone anywhere saying that we can't win, and I'm optimistic this weekend too."

Hamburg will be without Artjoms Rudnevs in Leverkusen after he took a knock to the knee in training on Thursday.

Johan Djourou is also missing, "but otherwise, everybody is fit" according to Van Marwijk.

Stefan Reinartz is Leverkusen's only absentee, with Lars Bender back after missing the Braunschweig game through suspension. The three-pronged attack of Stefan Kiessling, Heung-Min Son and Sidney Sam, all rested a week ago, should be restored.

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