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Bundesliga Vorschau – Preview: Hannover 96 v Borussia Dortmund

Hannover 96 will be targeting their first win of the Bundesliga season when they host a Borussia Dortmund flying high after their league opener on Friday.

Bundesliga

Date: 31 August 2018

Game week 2

Kick-off: 20H30 local time/02H30 HKT (1 September)

Venue: HDI-Arena

Referee: Felix Zwayer

Head-to-head summary

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Hannover 55 14 14 27

Dortmund 55 27 14 14

Previous encounter

Dortmund 1-0 Hannover 18/03/18 (Bundesliga)

Dortmund goalscorers: M. Batshuayi (24′)

Players to watch

Ihlas Bebou scored two goals in the same encounter last season and has the ability to punish Dortmund again if they fail to contain him. The 24-year-old Togo international scored five goals and provided two assists in the Bundesliga last term.

Dortmund captain Marco Reus has already found his form this season. The left winger scored a brace in the league opener against Leipzig and might be whipping in crosses for the BVB’s new loan signing striker Paco Alcacer, who has joined from Barcelona.

🎉 Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, @ paco93alcacer (25)! pic.twitter.com/Q9N6UQPz19

— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) August 30, 2018

Team form and manager quotes

Hannover will be playing in front of their home support for the first time after getting their campaign underway with a 1-1 draw at Werder Bremen in their opening fixture. Hendrik Weydandt found the back of the net for Die Roten late into the game but Theodor Gebre Selassie salvaged a point for Werder in the 85th minute.

The hosts are in their third season back in the German top-flight and will be aiming to build on the 13th and 10th-place finishes they managed over the last two seasons respectively.

Meanwhile, the BVB should be brimming with confidence after kicking off their campaign with a 4-1 drubbing of RB Leipzig last weekend. Marco Reus bagged a brace for the hosts, while Mahmoud Dahoud and Axel Witsel also opened their accounts for the season.

With new manager Lucien Favre at the helm, Dortmund will be aiming for a more consistent league run compared to last term when they sacked Peter Bosz before Christmas and had to battle to sneak into fourth position by the end of the campaign under Peter Stoger.

“They were better than us, especially in the first 35 minutes,” Favre told the press after beating Leipzig. “They were faster and stronger than us in 1v1 battles, they quickly went 1-0 up and continued to create chances that we didn’t defend well against overall.

“Then we reacted well. We regained confidence. The second half was alright at first, but Leipzig started to find themselves again.

“They created a few chances which, although few in numbers, were dangerous. We scored the fourth goal through Dahoud after an excellent cross from Marco Reus. When you make it 4-1, it’s usually all over, but that wasn’t the case this time. There’s still a lot to improve on.

“We should have used the wide areas more when in possession to counter Leipzig’s pressing. I won’t say that we were lucky, but it went well for us.”

The last time these two sides met at the HDI-Arena, Hannover ran out 4-2 winners thanks to a brace from Ihlas Bebou, a penalty from Jonathas, and a Felix Klaus strike.

Team news

Hannover are expected to be missing Timo Hubers and Edgar Prib due to injury.

Dortmund could give new loan signing Paco Alcacer his first start, while Omer Toprak is out injured.