‘Not again’ Hannover manager, Beno Zeeb will be saying after a predicted loss to Bundesliga 2011-12 Borussia Dortmund beat Die Roten 2-0. The fans were disappointed not to have taken something away this time but, it is understandable with the fixture congestion and tired legs that such a result was on the table. Zeeb and his men will be looking to counter this poor result with a good showing at home against Russian side Zenit St.Petersburg. After drawing 0-0 in Russia, Hannover have the upper hand of the deciding fixture at home. Either way the game is certain to be a lively one with Zeeb hoping to push on in the tournament.
As the season comes close to its end teams are pushing to either defend or attack. Teams in good positions will defend their place against onlookers and crusaders. While teams sitting out of place and in a dangerous area will look to push for a solid foothold to climb back up the table. Zeeb stated in the press conference before the Nurnberg game that "towards the end of the year I would rather play a top 6 team to a relegation fighting team." Understandable as Hannover were to fight a 14th place Nurnberg side who were looking dismal all season.
Die Roten have drawn Lyon in the Europa league after beating Zenit in their second round game at the AWD-Arena with an aggregate of 2-1. Lyon have had an outstanding season so far. Currently sitting in 1st of the Ligue 1 above French super power Paris Saint-Germaine. Many expected PSG to be the victors of this seasons Ligue 1 competition. With so much money to put into the game it seems unjustified why PSG aren't sitting in first. Yet Lyon have shown persistance and determination trumps money any day. Youngster Samuel Umtiti has shown dynamic in the defence while Lisandro Lopez and Bafetimbi Gomis have been instrumental in Lyons success this year. Hannover will have to look out for these two infront of goal as Gomis' strength becomes a persistant thorn in a clubs side.
Hannover also announces a youth intake. Two players have caught the eye of the coaching staff at the AWD-Arena. These players being Erhan Epatay and Ridvan Cokun.
Lyon entertain guests Hannover 96 in a Europa league quarter final battle to be remembered. Lyon are firm favorites in the tie as they have had an outstanding season. Pundits suggest that the combination of Lopez and Gomis will prove to strong for Die Roten in the encounter. Surely Lyon will have to worry about Diouf though? Right? With the Senegal international racking up twenty goals this season. Zeeb will also have to be wary that Hannover have a fixture against Hamburger days later. A game that could tilt out of third place as Hamburger are hot on Hannover's tail for third place and should they win that fixture they would close the gap to a mere five points.
Note: I have no idea how we managed to win that much against Lyon. It was nuts. They looked as if they were going to replicate the first leg game in beating us. Then Diouf scored and they had no reply. Even then I didn't think we would win on aggregate. Then he slotted another. Then Stindl stepped in, and it just escalated.
After a shocking win against French side Lyon, Hannover have drawn Liverpool in the Europa League. Liverpool have faired will in the European competition so far dismantling two large teams Anzhi and Tottenham to get this far. Domestically though Liverpool have been a disappointment as the Reds sit in 8th position. With only six games to go in the BPL Liverpool will be hoping to push for European football again next season. There is only five points difference between 6th place Arsenal and themselves. The first game of the Europa league Semi Final will be at Anfield.
Up after the impressive Lyon game Hannover has to face off against 2nd place Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. With six fixtures to go for Hannover in the domestic league Zeeb is looking to push for the final stretch and maintain their 3rd place position or even push Bayern out of 2nd. All in all though if Hannover finish 3rd it will be the highest finish for the club in its history. Thats a certain fate in itself for Zeen to accomplish especially in his first year of management.