First Team

Take the momentum

On Tuesday, Hannover 96 welcome VfL Wolfsburg to the HDI Arena (kick-off 20:00 CET). A good performance from the Reds could see them reduce the gap to safety. 

Match facts

  • Hannover’s 2-1 win at Stuttgart ended a run of eight consecutive defeats. That game also saw them win their first points under Thomas Schaaf.

  • Wolfsburg have won just one of their last ten matches.

  • Hannover have the worst home record in the division (6 points). Wolfsburg have picked up the fewest points on the road (7).
  • Nine of 96’s 21 goals this season have come from set pieces.

  • Dieter Hecking has taken charge of twelve matches between Hannover and Wolfsburg (6 for either side), but has won only twice (one each with 96 and the Wolves).
  • Hannover will be without: Andreasen (compressed ankle), Bech (torn muscle), Benschop (knee operation and pubic bone issues), Almeida (suspended).
  • Wolfsburg will be without: Benaglio (rib injury), Ascues (not match fit), Horn (suspended), S. Jung (cruciate ligament), Naldo (shoulder injury), Seguin (ankle operation), Bendtner (illness), Bruno Henrique (bronchitis), Dost (broken metatarsal). 

Battle of the day 
Hiroshi Kiyotake and Dante will be the focus of the match. Our playmaker set up two goals in last week’s win at Stuttgart with his dangerous free kicks. Kiyotake will also be a decisive factor in the game against the Wolves. The Japan international scored to make it 1-1 in the reverse fixture. Wolfsburg’s central defender Dante will do everything possible to lessen the danger posed by our number 10. 

Recent form
This match sees the worst side of 2016 host the third-worst side. Wolfsburg have picked up just five points from six games since the winter break. Hannover, on the other hand, have had just one victory since the turn of the year. However, the Reds picked up their first three points of 2016 last time out and so have the wind in their sails heading into the game against the Wolves. 

Build on the last match at this time 
The last midweek meeting between these two sides saw a 2-0 win for the Reds. In 2011/12, Mame Diouf and Didier Ya Konan saw to a one-sided victory. The reverse fixture earlier this season was much closer. Hiroshi Kiyotake equalised to make it 1-1 before Bas Dost restored the Wolves’ lead. Can 96 finally win some points in Hannover again?

Predicted line-ups:

Hannover 96: Zieler - H. Sakai, Sané (Milosevic), C. Schulz, Sorg - Fossum, Hoffmann, Yamaguchi (Sané) - Kiyotake - Karaman, M. Wolf (Klaus)

VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels - Träsch, Knoche, Dante, R. Rodriguez - Arnold, Luiz Gustavo - Vieirinha, Draxler, M. Schäfer - M. Kruse