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Northern derby against old acquaintances Hannover

Matchday Preview

31.08.19

Northern derby against old acquaintances Hannover

Hannover are the visitors to the Volksparkstadion on Sunday, with a packed-out stadium expected for an enthralling Northern derby.

HSV will be hoping to enter the international break on a high, with old friends Hannover 96 the visitors to the Volksparkstadion on Sunday (kick-off 1:30pm CEST). After four wins on the bounce in league and cup, confidence is running high in the Hamburg camp, despite a summer of upheaval that saw 11 new signings and 18 departures. Meanwhile, Hannover will be looking to find form after an indifferent start to a campaign that has thus far yielded five points and a first-round exit from the DFB Pokal.

As well as a long-standing fan friendship, there is a lot that connects the two sides. Dieter Hecking played for Hannover between 1996-99 and was the club’s manager during one of its most stable periods in recent history, from 2006-09. Meanwhile current Hannover coach Mirko Slomka knows what it feels like to sit in the hot seat at the Volksparkstadion, having been HSV coach between February and September 2014. There is no shortage of history between the two teams, facing off 58 times in the Bundesliga. However, Sunday’s match-up shall be the first of its kind in the second division.

Current Hannover manager Mirko Slomka was in the hot seat the Volksparkstadion from February to September 2014, gaining 0.89 points a game during his time in Hamburg.

Focus on the visitors

Hannover 96, one of Germany’s traditional sides, have been a mainstay in the top two divisions of German football for the past half-century. Formed in 1896, hence the name, the club has some 23,000 members, and is the biggest club in terms of members in Lower Saxony, competing alongside bitter rivals Eintracht Braunschweig (3rd division) and VfL Wolfsburg (Bundesliga).  After relegation to the second tier in 2015/16, the Black, White and Greens managed to bounce straight back up, and survived comfortably in the 2017/18 season. However, a disappointing start last season proved fatal for manager André Breitenreiter and, with only eleven points collected by Christmas-time, it was always an uphill battle for former HSV manager Thomas Doll to turn it around. The club’s relegation to the second tier was confirmed with one game to play. 

The club’s disappointing end to its two-year stint in the Bundesliga has carried over into the start of the new campaign. An opening day loss to Stuttgart was followed up by a 1-1 home draw against Jahn Regensburg and then a 3-0 victory away to Wehen Wiesbaden. Just when it was looking like the Hanoverians were picking up a head of steam, they crashed out of the DFB Pokal at the first hurdle in Karlsruhe, and last time out played out a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Greuther Fürth. Mirko Slomka will be looking to arrest the trend and get one over his old employers at the Volksparkstadion on Sunday.

Marvin Ducksch, playing against then-parent club St. Pauli, showed his credentials with 18 goals for Holstein Kiel in 2017/18.

Dangermen

Six goals in the first five games of the season is not the return that Slomka will have been hoping for before the campaign had got underway. However, there is no doubt that the squad has the quality to thrive in the second tier, and, with Marvin Ducksch up front, one of the most dangerous strikers the league has to offer. Ducksch, formerly of St. Pauli, made a name for himself in the second division with Holstein Kiel in the 2017/18 season, providing 18 goals and 11 assists as the Storks only missed out on promotion to the Bundesliga in a play-off against Wolfsburg. A disappointing season with Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Bundesliga followed last time out, before his move to Lower Saxony this summer. As shown in Kiel, there is no doubt that Ducksch knows where the goal is, and, with two goals and three assists already to his name this season, he certainly possesses Hannover’s greatest threat. Ducksch has in fact been involved in all of the last five goals that Slomka’s side have scored.

At the other end of the pitch, Waldemar Anton is certainly one to look out for, and made headlines last season when made the club’s youngest ever captain. Having joined the club in 2008, the 23-year-old is Hannover born-and-bred and rose up through the ranks at the Green, White and Blacks to make his debut in February 2016 against VfB Stuttgart as a 19-year-old. Becoming a mainstay in the team during their promotion back to the Bundesliga in the 2016/17 season, Anton has only gone from strength-to-strength since, commanding at the back and strong in the tackle. What perhaps sets Anton out from his peers is, despite his size, a turn of pace that means he is able to nullify many a threat from an opposing attacker. Lukas Hinterseer will certainly have his work cut out against Anton on Sunday. 

Lukas Hinterseer and Sonny Kittel will be looking to carry on their blossoming on-field partnership, which yielded three goals in Karlsuhe.

Hunt to return as HSV eye fourth win in a row

Dieter Hecking was able to confirm to the waiting journalists at Friday’s press conference that Aaron Hunt had recovered from his adductor problems and would be available for selection on Sunday. Timo Letschert is making good progress and was able to take part in training with the rest of the team on Friday, with Hecking and the rest of his coaching staff planning to give the Dutch international a half of football next Thursday against Wolfsburg. Ewerton and Christoph Moritz remain long-term injury concerns with no set return date at this moment in time. For Hannover, young star Linton Maina has adductor muscle problems of his own and misses out, whilst long-term candidates Sebastian Jung, Niklas Tarnat and Timo Hübers won’t be travelling to the Volksparkstadion.

Former Hannover manager Hecking will be looking for a complete performance from his charges, something that, despite the more than positive start to the season, has up to this point been lacking. Last time out in Baden-Württemberg the Rothosen produced a stellar effort for 70 minutes, only to see a lack of concentration let Karlsruhe back into the game, eventually running out 4-2 winners. The last game at the Volksparkstadion saw a lethargic first-half showing go unpunished by Bochum, only for the pressure to be cranked up in the second half and Lukas Hinterseer’s 60th-minute winner to be enough to see off the Ruhr valley club. Hinterseer, involved in all of the last four goals scored by the Hamburg club, will be looking to carry his strong personal form into the international week, capping a successful week personally for the Austrian, who has been called up to his national squad for the first time in almost three years. 

Manager Hecking’s thoughts on Sunday’s clash: “We came out of pre-season strongly and I'm pleased with the first four league games. Karlsruhe pressed strongly for an equaliser on Sunday but that the team hit back with a fourth shows their mental strength and cohesion. We’re going to need that on Sunday as Hannover have a lot of Bundesliga experience. Things haven't quite fallen into place for them just yet, but I'm certain that they will improve week-on-week, because of the quality that they have.”

Dieter Hecking will be looking to get one over his old side, who he both played for and managed.

Fun facts

This is the first ever meeting between the two teams in the second division. In the previous 58 meetings between the two in the Bundesliga, results have been quite tight, with HSV gaining the win on 23 occasions and Hannover 19 times, with 16 draws. However, of the last 12 games at the Volksparkstadion, the visiting Hanoverians have only been able to emerge victorious on one occasion, with six draws and five losses. 

Hannover’s 3-0 win against Wehen Wiesbaden during their last game away from the HDI Arena was their first win on the road for 30 games, after nine draws and 21 losses. 

Important information

With 53,000 tickets already sold for Sunday’s game, a special derby atmosphere is guaranteed. HSV fan groups are looking to make the day even more special with a display encompassing the whole stadium. We ask that you be in your seats 15 minutes before the start of the game and read the flyer on your seat to make sure that you can take part in the display. Donations to help towards the cost of the display can be given at any of the entrance points to the stadium on Sunday, as well as at the information stand behind Block 28B. 

Where can I watch the game from?

USA - Fox Soccer Match Pass

UK and Ireland – BT Sport 1

Netherlands – Fox Sports 4

Faroe Islands/Norway/Denmark/Sweden/Finland – Viaplay

Germany – Sky Bundesliga 3

Poland – Eleven Sports 4

Czech Republic/Slovakia – Digi Sport 1

Hungary – Sport 1

Greece – Cosmote Sport 8

Turkey – S Sport 2

Israel - Charlton

Hong Kong – on.cc