Although the German side head into Thursday’s fixture with a 2-1 advantage over their Belgain opponents, and odds against favourites with Ladbrokes, Hannover 96 would be foolish to think their Europa League progression is sealed before they take on Club Brugge tonight.
The Bundesliga outfit went 1-0 down in the reverse fixture last week but eventually ran out as 2-1 victors at the AWD-Arena.
Brugge managed to qualify at the top of group H in this season’s Europa League while Hannover were left to settle for second placed progression from Group B behind Standard Liege.
Blauw-Zwart are currently second in the Jupiler League behind division leaders Anderlecht who are on course to grasp the title from the Belgian top flight.
Apart from their loss against Hannover 96, Club Brugge are enjoying a five-match winning streak domestically, and will be hoping to carry that form into European competition this week.
However, their German opposition are on a high of their own and are yet to lose a match since November.
That being said, Die Roten have failed to capitalise on too many of their leads and will undoubtedly look upon recent results as recording too many draws.
With their lead, that would be satisfactory for their European run as it would mean cup progress into the Round of 16.
Mirko Slomka’s side will be without striker Deniz Aycicek and leading scorer Mohammed Abdellaoue for their midweek encounter when they travel Club Brugge on Thursday, as coach Christoph Daum indicated that keeping a clean sheet and stopping the all important away goal will be vitally important if the Belgian side are to progress to the next round.