The German Bundesliga was brought to halt at the most interesting moment, unfortunately, just for the friendlies. We will not be discussing how Italy fell from grace neither shall we pitch the humbling of Argentina by Spain into your faces.
I don’t think one of Jorge Sampaoli’s worst moments can draw me away from taking a hint at how the most hated Club in German Football put run-away leaders, Bayern off their timing moment.
How the Bulls moved past a slump that had seen them win only half of their last eight and slip out of the top four to beat Bayern, whose sixth title was just a Schalke or Dortmund loss away is something I can’t explain. Still, I can’t predict what Der Klassiker could bring this weekend, but I am sure it will be a bad ending for either side that takes the flip side.
Do not miss Hannover 96 v RB Leipzig live on Sanyuka TV Ch 222, StarTimes
Hannover 96 v RB Leipzig – Preview: Time – 4:30PM
A slight relief from the fall that was for Die Bullen who take on Hannover 96, a side enduring much more than just a poor run. Anything less than three points could place them within reach for drop-threatened Wolfsburg and Mainz should they win away at Hertha and at home to M’gladbach respectively, save for Freiburg who visit Schalke.
The win at Allianz Arena opened Ralph Hasenhüttl’s eyes and it’s now that he believes it’s time his side starts “controlling away games again.”
“We need to show the same passion, commitment and desire to win against Hannover 96 as we did against Bayern.” He said, knowing a win places his team back in contention for a spot in the top-four.
“There are a lot of good sides fighting for the top spots in the Bundesliga. We need to really push ourselves for the run-in. I’m confident that we can do it.” Hasenhüttl said as he prepares also prepares for next week’s Europa League quarter-final 1st leg tie with Marseille.
Perhaps, this could be the moment to back up his side’s 2-1 win at Allianz Arena for a second straight victory away at the HDI Arena where Hannover have recently lost stand.
Breitenreiter’s men now stand closer to relegation than they were in the first round of Season. One win in the last nine, including four straight. But as he struggles for a breath-catching result, he hasn’t registered a win against Leipzig in six attempts managing only two draws.
While Hannover struggle in the Bundesliga, their opponents have not been that lucky either, especially now that balancing the load between home and international games has presented a challenge bigger than anticipated for the debutants.
Stefan Ilsanker is likely to miss out a with a knee injury, but Naby Keita recovered from a bruised spine and the flu – and Marcel Sabitzer, are available. It looks likely Timo Werner could be rested for the first leg of RBL’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final with Marseille next week.
Hannover have about five players out but the number could further reduce should Martin Harnik and Florian Hübner recover from illness in time. Felipe Trevizan Martins (muscular), Josip Elez (hip), Sebastian Maier (foot) and Edgar Prib(knee ligaments) all remain sidelined.
- Hannover are the only Bundesliga team to have lost the last four matches.
- The 96ers have only ever failed to beat two clubs in their Bundesliga history: Paderborn and Leipzig.
- Hannover coach Breitenreiter played for Unterhaching; Leipzig coach Hasenhüttl was in charge of the Bavarian club.
- Leipzig’s Timo Werner has scored in each of his last three Bundesliga games against Hannover, as well as returning two assists.
- Hasenhüttl’s heaviest defeat as a Bundesliga coach came in Hannover when with Ingolstadt, a 4-0 loss. in November 2015.
- RB are unbeaten in the last five competitive games.
Philipp Tschauner; Oliver Sorg (c) – Salif Sane – Waldemar Anton; Julian Korb – Iver Fossum – Pirmin Schwegler – Matthias Ostrzolek; Felix Klaus – Jonathas de Jesus – Bebou
Coach: Andre Breitenreiter
Peter Gulacsi; Konrad Laimer – Willi Orban – Upamecano – Lukas Klostermann; Kevin Kampl – Naby Keita; Marcel Sabitzer – Emil Forsberg; Jean-Kévin Augustin – Yussuf Poulsen
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Complete list of fixtures
Saturday – March 31
VfB Stuttgart v Hamburger SV
FC Schalke 04 v Sport-Club Freiburg
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Köln
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Augsburg
Hannover 96 v RB Leipzig
Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund
Hertha BSC v VfL Wolfsburg
Sunday – April 1
SV Werder Bremen v Eintracht Frankfurt
- FSV Mainz 05 v Borussia M’gladbach