Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hannover - Werder Bremen northern derby preview

After a lackluster 2-2 draw in Athens against Panathinaikos in the Champions League the Green-Whites scoot down the road to face Hannover 96. Hannover is a perfect stop in the Bundesliga road-warriors guide packed with a sick club scene that will hold you over for an extra night.

Given it's Football we're chit-chatting about, it hasn't been the best of starts for Dieter Hecking's club as their offense has generated a paltry nine goals in eight matches while allowing sixteen into their own net. Before Die Roten inflicted cruel and unusual punishment on Borussia Mönchengladbach defeating them 5-1 they were held scoreless in their first three matches including an opening weekend 3-0 blowout by Schalke 04. Following the Mönchengladbach
they were mauled by Bayer Leverkusen mauled them 4-0 but went out the following week upset der Kaiser with a 1-0 over Bayern. After a relatively normal 1-1 draw to Borussia Dortmund, they were handed a 5-2 drubbing by TSG Hoffenheim last week. For Hannover fan's it's been a good year to reach for a Hasseroeder as you have no idea who is showing up each weekend.

The big story of this derby is injuries as both clubs rosters are dilapidated. For Hannover, Eggimann is out and of their regulars in the back-line, only Vinicius will start but even that is questionable. Jan Rosenthal, Robert Enke, Michael Tarnat and Arnold Bruggink are all out. Dieter Hecking has urged his club to "play aggressively" with particular focus on the "unsettled" Bremen defenders.

The Green-Whites will miss Per Mertesacker, out on suspension as well as missing Diego, Claudio Pizarro, Daniel Jensen and Tim Wiese to injury. This is obviously an enormous drain on the club. They come into the match allowing the Reds to win only one of the last ten however last years derby in Hannover ended in a 4-3 victory for the home squad. Probable lineups are posted are as follows:

Werder-Bremen lineup:
Vander – Mielitz, Boenisch, Pasanen, Naldo, Tosic, Baumann, Vranjes, Fritz, Rosenberg, Özil, Hunt, Prödl, Husejinovic, Sanogo, Frings, Almeida.

Hannover 96 lineup:
Fromlowitz – Cherundolo, Vinicius, Fahrenhorst, Rausch – Balitsch, C. Schulz, Stajner, Schlaudraff (Pinto), Huszti – Forssell