First Team

Hoping for the first win of 2016

On Sunday, the Reds will face Augsburg at the HDI Arena at 17:30 CET, and a win against the Bavarians would bring the first points since the winter break.

Match facts

  • Hannover have lost their last seven matches and are yet to pick up a point in the second half of the season.

  • Augsburg won the reverse fixture 2-0 – FCA’s first win of the season.

  • Hannover have won their last three home games against Augsburg.

  • Thomas Schaaf is yet to beat FCA as a Bundesliga coach. With Bremen and Frankfurt, he drew three and lost three.

  • Hannover have not scored in three games. Only once have the Reds gone on a longer goal drought (five consecutive games without scoring in 2002/03).

  • 96 have scored just one goal in the second half of the season – the fewest in the league. Augsburg have found the back of the net just twice.

  • The Bavarians have picked up just two points in four games since the winter break, which is their worst start to the second half of a season in their Bundesliga history.

  • Augsburg’s form in the first half of the season following midweek European fixtures was consistent (2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats).

  • Hannover 96 will be without: Andreasen (compressed ankle), Benschop (knee operation), Szalai (muscle tear).

  • Augsburg will be without: Callsen-Bracker (fibula fracture and ankle injury), Baier (hairline fracture of ankle), Bobadilla (injured left thigh muscle).

Battle of the day
The match between 14th and bottom will predominantly be decided in midfield. With Andre Hoffmann, 96 have a player in their ranks who has started the second half of the season very strongly in defensive midfield following his year-and-a-half injury layoff. His Augsburg counterpart will be Dominik Kohr. Much like Hoffmann, he has been convincing through his willingness to run as well as his aggressiveness, and has become a regular player at FCA since his loan move from Leverkusen in January 2014.

Recent form
Although Hannover suffered their seventh defeat in a row last week when they lost 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund, the manner of the defeat in comparison to the sobering home defeat to Mainz two weeks ago has given some hope that the first points of 2016 are close. These points could finally come on Sunday against Augsburg. After a wonderful run of form at the end of 2015, when they won four and drew one, the Bavarians have now picked up just two points in their first four games since the winter break and have definitely played better. Now on 21 points, they are in direct competition with the Reds to avoid relegation.

Will Hugo Almeida be celebrating again on Sunday?

Hope from previous home games
Although Augsburg comfortably won the reverse fixture at the WWK-Arena 2-0, Hannover can look back on a run of three consecutive home wins against the Bavarians. In the last meeting at the HDI Arena, the Reds held the upper hand and left with a 2-0 victory. Amongst the goal scorers that day was Salif Sané, who has already proved his goal-scoring potential in the first half of the season with important strikes against Hamburg and Werder Bremen. Winter signing Hugo Almeida, so far the scorer of 96’s only goal of 2016, will also be looking to pose a threat in front of goal on Sunday.

Potential line-ups:

Hannover 96: Zieler - H. Sakai, Milosevic, C. Schulz, Prib - Hoffmann - S. Sané, Bech - Kiyotake - Hugo Almeida, A. Sobiech

FC Augsburg: Hitz - Verhaegh, Hong, Klavan, Max - Kohr - Feulner - Esswein, Koo, Caiuby - Ji