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Played
November 7, 2010 9:30 AM EST
HDI-Arena — Hannover
Referee:‬ F. Brych‎
Attendance:‬ 49000‎
 
 
 
L. Barrios 72′
 
 

Bundesliga Preview: Hannover – Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund hope to hang onto their narrow lead in the Bundesliga table as they take on Hannover.

By Clark Whitney

Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund – Hannover 96, Patrick Owomoyela, Hanno Balitsch (Bongarts / Getty Images)
Hannover To Focus On Strengths

Just months after narrowly avoiding relegation, Hannover have comfortably exceeded all expectations. With 16 points from their first 10 matches, the 96ers are nearly at half their entire 2009-10 season tally. Though a demotion to the 2. Bundesliga is improbable, last week’s 4-0 loss to Hoffenheim was discouraging at the very least, and revealed that Mirko Slomka’s men still have plenty to do if they are to finish the season in good standing.

“This season we are compact and hard to beat,” captain Steve Cherundolo assessed in a Friday press conference.

Ahead of the match, coach Mirko Slomka praised Dortmund, singling out several individuals including 18-year old phenomenon Mario Goetze.

“Mario is a highly talented player, but there are also Nuri Sahin, (Kevin) Grosskruetz, and Lucas Barrios too,” he said.

“However, we should focus on our strengths.”

Such strengths include, as the American captain expressed, tightness in defense, and clinical efficiency in scoring. Should they earn three points on Sunday, Hannover will be just one shy of halving the magical 40 points mark that would guarantee another season in the German top flight.

Dortmund Face Tough Away Match

Dortmund’s Europa League campaign all but ended following Thursday’s scoreless draw away to Paris St Germain. The Ruhr side played well, but struggled to create and take their chances, and now are three points behind their French rivals with two matches left to play.

Domestically, however, Dortmund have been outstanding. It had been more than eight years since they last sat atop the table, but BvB have returned to the league summit thanks to an energetic, technical, and full throttle attacking style of play.

Their poor performance in Europe has raised questions of whether Dortmund indeed have the mettle required to maintain their form throughout a long and grueling Bundesliga campaign. For now, BvB will have to put their best foot forward to silence the critics.

“Hannover are having a great season,” acknowledged Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp. “Mirko Slomka has changed the team and signed some great lads. It is a tough away game.”

Sunday’s clash is with an unexpectedly strong Hannover side, but is a must-win situation for a club vying for the title.

TEAM NEWS

Hannover


Hannover will have to manage without the suspended Manuel Schmiedebach, as well as long-term casualties Emanuel Pogatetz, Leon Andreasen, and Carlitos. Lars Stindl is expected to stand in as partner to Sergio Pinto in central midfield, with Mirko Slomka retaining the majority of his usual starting line-up.
 
Probable Starting XI: Fromlowitz – Cherundolo, Haggui, Schulz, Djakpa – Stoppelkamp, Stindl, Pinto, Rausch – Ya Konan, Abdellaoue

Borussia Dortmund

Assuming Lukasz Piszczek recovers from a minor thigh strain, Klopp is expected to use the same line-up that featured in the Europa League on Thursday. Should the Pole fail to reach full fitness, Jakub Blasczykowski is a potential replacement, with Kevin Grosskreutz moving to the right fullback position. Patrick Owomoyela, Sebastian Kehl, Tamas Hajnal, Mohamed Zidan, and Florian Kringe  remain sidelined with injuries, but Dortmund will otherwise have a full squad available.

Probable Starting XI: Weidenfeller – Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer – Sahin, Bender – Goetze, Kagawa, Grosskreutz – Barrios

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
35Florian FromlowitzGoalkeeper
15Constant DjakpaDefender
22Mario EggimannDefender
5Karim HagguiDefender
6Steven CherundoloDefender
34Konstantin RauschMidfielder
7Sergio da Silva PintoMidfielder
28Lars StindlMidfielder
17Moritz StoppelkampStriker
25Mohammed AbdellaoueStriker
11Didier Ya Konan Striker
14Markus MillerGoalkeeper
8Altin LalaMidfielder
23Sofian ChahedMidfielder
32Mikael ForssellStriker
20DaMarcus BeasleyMidfielder
23Christopher AvevorDefender
1Roman WeidenfellerGoalkeeper
29Marcel SchmelzerDefender
15Mats HummelsDefender
4Neven SuboticDefender
26Lukasz PiszczekDefender
19Kevin GroßkreutzMidfielder
18Nuri SahinMidfielder
26Shinji KagawaMidfielder
6Sven BenderMidfielder
19Mario GötzeMidfielder
19L. BarriosStriker
20Mitchell LangerakGoalkeeper
-DedeDefender
5Felipe SantanaDefender
7Markus FeulnerMidfielder
16Jakub BlaszczykowskiMidfielder
9Robert LewandowskiStriker
8Antônio da SilvaMidfielder
Probable Lineups
Florian Fromlowitz 35
Constant Djakpa 15
Mario Eggimann 22
Karim Haggui 5
Steven Cherundolo 6
Konstantin Rausch 34
Sergio da Silva Pinto 7
Lars Stindl 28
Moritz Stoppelkamp 17
Mohammed Abdellaoue 25
Didier Ya Konan 11
Roman Weidenfeller 1
Marcel Schmelzer 29
Mats Hummels 15
Neven Subotic 4
Lukasz Piszczek 26
Kevin Großkreutz 19
Nuri Sahin 18
Shinji Kagawa 26
Sven Bender 6
Mario Götze 19
L. Barrios 19
Prediction
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robert Lewandowski Robert Lewandowski
Striker
Borussia Dortmund
18 4
Mario Mandzukic Mario Mandzukic
Striker
FC Bayern München
18 0
Adrian Ramos Adrian Ramos
Striker
Hertha BSC
16 3
Josip Drmic Josip Drmic
Striker
FC Nürnberg
16 2
Marco Reus Marco Reus
Midfielder
Borussia Dortmund
15 5