By 90Min
March 17, 2018

Borussia Dortmund will hope to put their disappointing Europa League exit behind them when they host Hannover in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Dortmund's dismal European campaign ended with a 0-0 draw against Red Bull Salzburg on Thursday, resulting in a 2-1 aggregate defeat. Peter Stoger's side must now rely on their league position to get them into next season's Champions League.

BVB are currently 3rd in the Bundesliga but are only three points ahead of 5th-placed Eintracht Frankfurt in what promises to be a compelling scrap for the top four.

Hannover are currently sitting in mid-table and should be safe, although three consecutive defeats have got the nerves jangling in Saxony.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of this one.


Classic Encounter

Joern Pollex/GettyImages

Hannover 4-4 Dortmund (14 March 2009, Bundesliga)


Hannover's 4-2 win over Dortmund at the Niedersachsenstadion was one of the best games of this Bundesliga season, but if you go a bit further back you can find an even better encounter between the two.

It was Jurgen Klopp's first season in charge at Dortmund, but they were not yet the force that he would turn them into in the years to follow. Nonetheless, it looked like it would be a routine win for the visitors when Alex Frei and Florian Kringe put them 2-0 up.

Jiri Stajner reduced the deficit before half time and Arnold Bruggink scored directly from a corner to level the scores, but Dortmund restored their two-goal lead thanks to the same two players as before.

But Hannover didn't die. Mike Hanke headed in from a free-kick before former Birmingham and Finland striker Mikael Forssell converted a late penalty to rescue a miraculous 4-4 draw. 


Key Battle

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Christian Pulisic vs Matthias Ostrzolek


Matthias Ostrzolek suffered a knock in Hannover's defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt two weeks ago, but he should be fit to return to the left-back position here. When you're just recovering from an injury, however minor, you probably don't want to be facing Christian Pulisic.

One of the most talented players not to be going to the World Cup this summer, Pulisic provided two assists last weekend as Dortmund won 3-2 in a crucial game against Frankfurt. 

The American has three goals and five assists so far this season, which is impressive when you consider that he's still only 19. At 27, Ostrzolek is hardly old, but he may find he has a tough afternoon against the sprightly Pulisic.


Team News

Lars Baron/GettyImages

After coming off the bench to score two last week, it's pretty clear that Michy Batshuayi should be in from the start for Dortmund. The Belgian has scored five goals in six Bundesliga games since joining on loan from Chelsea.

Pulisic has had the flu but should be clear to start, while Marco Reus and Omer Toprak have both suffered muscular injuries. Reus picked up a groin strain against Salzburg so is likely to miss this one, while Toprak was absent for Thursday's game and Dan-Axel Zagadou may deputise again.

For Hannover, Ihlas Bebou is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season, but there are no other fresh concerns for Andre Breitenreiter.


Possible Dortmund Starting Lineup: Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Zagadou, Schmelzer; Castro, Dahoud; Pulisic, Gotze, Schurrle; Batshuayi


Possible Hannover Starting Lineup: Tschauner; Sorge, Sane, Felipe, Ostrzolek; Fossum, Anton, Klaus; Jonathas, Fullkrug, Harnik


Prediction

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Dortmund know that they must win if they are to delay Bayern Munich's title procession when they face RB Leipzig later in the day.

For Hannover, a fourth consecutive defeat will heighten their relegation fears. They are presently seven points clear of Mainz in the relegation play-off spot.

Dortmund's improved domestic form makes them big favourites for this one.

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Hannover

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