Hannover's 21 match home unbeaten streak is at serious risk Sunday afternoon when Borussia Dortmund visit the AWD Arena. Before their midweek win against Levante in the Europa League, Hannover had lost two of three in the league including a floundering loss in Hamburg. The champions are coming off a 5-0 pounding of Borussia Mönchengladbach and a draw that felt like a loss in England against Manchester City in the Champions League.
The hosts will be without Leon Andreasen who tore his ACL against Nürnbergin Matchday 5. The Danish midfielder was off to a great start to the season before the injury bug stung again. Christian Pander continues to miss time, and Adrian Nikci was diagnosed this past week with viral meningitis. He won't return until after the international break.
Dortmund will definitely be without İlkay Gündoğan after the midfielder suffered a back injury against Manchester City midweek. While Gündoğan has been fantastic as of late, Sven Bender and Sebastian Kehl can step in and replace him. The big question will be if Mats Hummels Is healthy enough to play. He picked up a hip injury midweek, but he did make the trip to Hannover. If Hummels cannot go, Felipe Santana will likely be partnered with Neven Subotic.
While Robert Lewandowski has been misfiring to start the season, Marco Reus has not. The former Gladbach man has four goals and an assist so far this season in the league. Mario Eggimann and Karim Haggui will have their hands full and must work hard to not allow Reus to split them. If he's able to get between them, they won't be able to catch him, and he'll be one on one with Ron-Robert Zieler.
It's tough to argue that anyone has performed better than Hannover's Szabolcs Huszti this season. The Hungarian has directly contributed to ten (three goals and seven assists) of the club's fourteen goals. When he goes, Hannover goes. The one match he missed this season they lost 3-1 to Hoffenheim. If Bender and Kehl can keep heavy pressure on Huszti, they can limit Hannover's effectiveness.
Hannover 96 injuries and suspensions
Out: Leon Andreasen (knee), Adrian Nikci (meningitis), Christian Pander (muscular problems).
Borussia Dortmund injuries and suspensions
Out: İlkay Gündoğan (back). In Doubt: Mats Hummels (hip).
Match Date/Time: 5:30 p.m. local, 11:30 a.m. ET
Venue: AWD Arena, Hannover, Germany
TV: Sky Sports (Germany), Gol TV (USA & Canada)