Less than 48 hours after their Europa League clash against Anzhi, Hannover will be in Bundesliga action as they play in-form Hamburger SV. This should give the visitors the upper hand here, especially seeing they had a full week to prepare for the match at AWD Arena.
Europa League exit
German Football Association is clearly making life difficult for teams playing in the Europa League, forcing them to play league matches some 40 hours after their European exploits. That happened with Borussia M’gladbach last weekend and is now the same with Hannover. The 96ers were in action late on Thursday evening as they battled Anzhi for a place in the Europa League last 16 stage, and they will certainly be feeling the ill-effects of the draining match against the strong Russian side. With a number of important players unavailable through injury, boss Mirko Slomka has no choice but to field a very similar line-up to that which started on Thursday night, which should make the job a lot easier for fresh Hamburg players. On top of that, the hosts appear to be going through a very rough patch at the moment, having won just one of their last five games.
Youngster Andre Hoffmann returns after he was ineligible to face Anzhi, but Steven Cherundolo, Mario Eggimann, Lars Stindl, Leon Andreasen, Christian Schulz and Felipe all miss out through injury.
Hamburg back to Champions League race
For the first time after quite a while, the club officials did a very good job in the summer transfer window, with the likes of Adler, Rudnevs, Van der Vaart, Badelj and Jiracek seriously reinforcing the squad at Imtech Arena. As a result, HSV had been showing a lot of potential in the opening exchanges, but they couldn’t find consistency as the team were yet to gel. The winter break did the team a world of good as things finally fell into place, and the results have improved a great deal over the last few weeks. Hamburger picked up 10 points from 5 league games in January and February, with back to back wins over the two Borussias proving they are on top of their game at the moment. Given that their opponents are out of form and lacking freshness, HSV look a good bet to continue the rich vein of form and get even closer to a top 4 finish.
Rene Adler returns to the side, but Jeffrey Bruma, Michael Mancienne and Ivo Ilicevic continue to miss out.
It will be very difficult for out-of-sorts Hannover to produce a decent performance less than two days after the Anzhi match, which is something HSV can definitely exploit. The Red Shorts are playing great football at the moment and they will fancy their chances of winning at AWD Arena.
Top pick: Hamburg Draw no bet 2.10 (11/10) @ 888sport
Alternative pick 1: Draw at half-time 2.30 (13/10) @ Ladbrokes
Alternative pick 2: Under 2.5 goals 2.15 (23/20) @ BetVictor
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