Hannover 96 - Borussia Mönchengladbach Preview: Gladbach face a must win against bottom of the league

The race for the Champions League places heats up as Andre Schubert's men travel to Hannover.

Hannover 96 - Borussia Mönchengladbach Preview: Gladbach face a must win against bottom of the league
Image credit: VAVEL

Currently in fifth place, Borussia Mönchengladbach face a must win match on Friday as they travel to bottom side Hannover, who need a win of their own to have any hope of staying in the Bundesliga.

Hannover will need a lot to go in their favour from now until the end of the season while Gladbach can climb back into fourth with a win on Friday night.

Team news

Hannover: It's been a long season for Hannover and with five games left in the season, they are doomed for relegation, bar a miracle. Any sort of great escape will have to start on Friday when they welcome a team fighting for Champions League football.

They'll be boosted by the return of Charlison Benschop and Christian Schulz, who returned to training this week. Felipe and Uffe Bech are still sidelined for an unknown amount of time while Manuel Schmiedebach and Hugo Almeida may be set for a return in the coming days. 

Hannover will need to contain an explosive Gladbach attack that will likely welcome back their top scorer.

Projected XI: Zieler; Prib, Sane, Milosevic, Sakai; Anton, Schmiedebach; Bech, Kiyotake, Gulselam; Sobiech.

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Schubert's men find themselves in a five-horse race for the final two Champions League places. Currently three points out of fourth place, a win on Friday will seem them move into fourth with four games remaining.

The club's captain, Granit Xhaka, is suspended for Friday's match after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season, earning him a one game suspension. Raffael, the team's top scorer this season, will likely be involved after returning to training from his hamstring strain. Nico Schulz, Joel Mero and Alvaro Dominguez are out for the season.

Projected XI: Sommer; Elvedi, Christensen, Jantschke, Wendt; Dahoud, Nordtveit; Hazard, Stindl, Hahn; Raffael.

Gladbach will be hoping their are similar scenes on Friday night. | Photo: kicker
Gladbach will be hoping their are similar scenes on Friday night. | Photo: kicker

Background

Mönchengladbach won the first meeting this season thanks to goals from Ibrahima Traore and Raffael in a 2-1 win back in November.

Hannover have managed just two wins in their last ten encounters with Gladbach, their last victory over Gladbach came in a 3-1 win back in 2014.

A loss for Hannover, with wins for Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen elsewhere, will all but confirm relegation for the club.

Gladbach will be a point behind third place with a win on Friday but Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz will play on Saturday.

Players to watch

Hannover - Artur Sobiech: In a season where Hannover have scored just 24 goals this season, Sobiech has four, leading the team. Sobiech will be looked to in order to kickstart a miracle to save Hannover from relegation and add to his tally of four goals.

Borussia Mönchengladbach - Thorgan Hazard: The winger has been in superb form as of late and while Raffael is likely to be back in action, Hazard is arguably the biggest threat in the side. He is hitting form and proving to be the talent we all know he can be at just the right time as his side make the push for European football.