First Team

Eight missing against Dortmund

The Reds face a trip to Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park tomorrow, with kick-off at 15:30 CET. Coach Thomas Schaaf will be without eight players against heavily-fancied Dortmund because of either injury or illness.

Match facts

  • Dortmund dropped their first points of 2016 in their 0-0 draw at Hertha, but they are still the best ever second-placed side in Bundesliga history after 20 matches.

  • Hannover have lost six Bundesliga games in a row for the first time in six years.

  • Thomas Tuchel’s team are unbeaten in 13 home games (12 wins, 1 draw).

  • Thomas Schaaf’s side have managed just one goal since the winter break – fewer than any other team.

  • Dortmund have won five of their last six games against 96. The only exception in this period was the 1-0 home defeat last season.

  • Hannover 96 will be without: Andreasen (compressed ankle), Benschop (knee operation), Kiyotake (not match fit), Klaus (torn MCL), Sorg (twisted knee), Almeida (infection), Schulz (stomach virus), Szalai (muscle tear).

  • Borussia Dortmund will be without: Bender (not match fit), Sahin (not match fit).

Battle of the day
The match between second and bottom will predominantly be decided by one battle. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a brace against 96 in the reverse fixture, and avoiding a repeat of this scenario will depend a lot on Ron-Robert Zieler. The Hannover keeper has shown in recent matches that he can always be relied on.

"Everyone has to believe in themselves more and demand more of themselves.”
Thomas Schaaf in the press conference ahead of the Dortmund game

Recent form
Hanover have lost six Bundesliga games in a row for the first time in six years. The Black-Yellows, on the other hand, have won three of their last six league outings. There was also a 3-1 win over Stuttgart for Thomas Tuchel’s side on Tuesday as they progressed to the semi-final of the DFB Cup.

Will there be a reason to celebrate again on Saturday?

Remembering the winning free kick
Borussia Dortmund have won five of the last six matches against the Reds, but Hannover have been impressive in the last two meetings. The team became one of six Bundesliga sides to score twice against BVB in the 4-2 loss earlier this season, but the Reds had real reason to celebrate in the last encounter in Dortmund as they left with all three points. Hiroshi Kiyotake saw to the 1-0 win with his set piece, and although he will not be available for tomorrow’s game, Manuel Schmiedebach has shown during the week in training that he can whip in a free kick too.

Potential line-ups:

Hannover 96: Zieler - H. Sakai, Milosevic, Felipe, Prib - Gülselam, Schmiedebach, S. Sané - Karaman, Bech - A. Sobiech

Borussia Dortmund: Bürki - Piszczek, Sokratis, Hummels, Schmelzer - Weigl - Gündogan, Castro - H. Mkhitaryan, Reus - Aubameyang