Borussia Dortmund vs Hannover Preview
The top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash between Borussia Dortmund and Hannover will go ahead despite a potential terrorist attack on the Westfalen Stadion being foiled.
A 25-year-old German citizen has been taken into custody and explosives discovered both in his residence and close to the Westfalen Stadion, with information indicating a plan to carry out an attack at the match.
Nobody was allowed close to the stadium yesterday as police performed a search, but over 80,000 are expected to descend upon Germany’s largest club arena, and their safety has been guaranteed.
“In order to ensure a safe visit to Saturday’s game for all fans, Borussia Dortmund will strengthen its security checks around the Westfalen Stadion, in concordance with the police,” said Dortmund’s general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke.
The show must go on, therefore, for Dortmund, who will hope to take another step towards their first Bundesliga title since 2002.
They currently have a seven-point cushion over second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, while opponents Hannover are a further five points behind.
Victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men would therefore turn it into a two-horse race for the title, although Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc does not expect the title to arrive so soon.
“I have won the title three times in my career – twice as a player and once as director of sport,” he said.
“Twice, we won it in the second half of the final game of the season and the other time was in the penultimate game of the season.
“We have never said that we are going to win the title with a 20-point advantage.”
Hannover have never said that they expect to play in the Champions League next season, but their belief is rising with every game and they must now be considering their chances, although the title looks beyond them.
“We are under pressure from Bayern, who will want to overtake us, so we have got to try to win,” said coach Mirko Slomka.
“We have a position to defend and we will try to do that in Dortmund.
“We are not looking at the title and I would not begrudge Dortmund winning it given the way they play with a young team.
“For us to be able to play them as third-best team in the league is fantastic for us.
“We would be happy to make the league exciting by taking three points off them, but we are aiming just to play our game.”
Hannover will be without their current number one goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, who has a shoulder injury, giving Florian Fromlowitz the chance to return to the side.