24 January 2013 19:21

Hamburg’s Rafael van der Vaart is feeling much more confident about his healed hamstring heading into the ‘nordderby’ against Werder Bremen.

Sunday’s grudge match will be held in Hamburg, with Werder Bremen making the 115-kilometre trip north-east to take on their regional rivals.

Van der Vaart returned last week in Hamburg’s 1-1 draw away to Nuremberg but stated on Thursday he is much more confident about playing this week against Werder Bremen having already tested the previously injured hamstring.

“I feel more confident (heading into the second game after his injury), because in the first game you are always afraid it can happen again,” Van der Vaart said.

“But the training today was good.

“I feel physically well and hopefully I can play for a long time.”

Hamburg sit three places and three points ahead of Bremen but having lost the reverse fixture in in September, Van der Vaart and his team-mates are keen for revenge.

Van der Vaart, in his second stint with Hamburg, knows how important it is for the club to get one over Werder Bremen.

“Absolutely the Nordderby is something special,” the 29-year-old Dutch midfielder said.

“I played a lot of important matches here but against Bremen is always special.

“It’s very important for the club and for the whole town so we are looking forward (to it).”

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