In just two days’ time, VfL face the ‘Roten’, in the 56th competitive derby clash between the two clubs. On Sunday, January 28th (18:00 CET), the Green-Whites travel to Hannover 96, who have climbed into tenth place in the table following a win over Mainz and a draw at Schalke. The Wolves, on the other hand, will be looking to get back on track, after a disappointing home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. VfL head-coach Martin Schmidt spoke about…
…the personnel situation: Aside from Ignacio Camacho, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Anthony Brooks, now Felix Uduokhai (knee strain) is also to miss out. Divock Origi was forced to discontinue his participation in training yesterday with a slight flu. He probably won’t be able to train today, but will hopefully be back for the final pre-match session. Kaylen Hinds has a hip-flexor injury. To add to those absentees, Josuha Guilavogui and Nany Landry Dimata are both suspended. We will be making the trip with a decimated squad. William will attempt to train for the first time today. We hope he can pass fit for Sunday.
…possible squad additions: When a player cannot participate, other suddenly become alert and know that they could be in with a chance. A scramble for the vacant places ensues from that. Up front, for example, Victor Osimhen or Daniel Didavi could fill the gap. Robin Knoche and Jeffrey Bruma are very close to the starting eleven. If someone is to miss out, they both look confident. All of the players are up for the game and are well prepared.
…the up-coming opponent: Hannover have the mentality of a newly promoted side and they have often bounced back from behind – as they recently did away to Schalke. Even if they don’t start well, they the play a top second-half. They are a good footballing team, they defend solidly and they also have some really pacy players when switching the play in Ihlas Bebou, Felix Klaus and Niclas Füllkrug. That’s the reason why 96 are nestled comfortably in tenth place on 27 point, just four points adrift of second place.
…derby feelings: I haven’t really acknowledged much of the whole derby issue thus far, because we have been completely concentrated on our opponents. We took a major task with us from the Frankfurt game and we know we will have to take a very different approach to this match. At the moment, we are very well focused on the basics and not so much on the derby. It will certainly be a game that demands everything we have to offer.