Hannover 96 - FC Schalke 04 Preview: Royal Blues battle for three vital points

Match preview as Hannover get set to host Schalke in the Bundesliga today.

Hannover 96 - FC Schalke 04 Preview: Royal Blues battle for three vital points
Image credit: VAVEL (Jonny Walsh)

Two teams in a similar trend of form go head to head in the Bundesliga today as bottom dwellers Hannover 96 welcome European chasers FC Schalke 04 to the HDI-Arena

Form

After a shock 3-2 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen last week, despite being two-nil up and cruising at the break, Schalke will be keen to resurrect the success of last season with a strong ending to this season. André Breitenreiter could see his team leapfrog 1. FSV Mainz 05 in 6th place if they drop points today and Schalke win. The visitors will be determined to win their remaining games as 1. FC Köln could possibly catch up; the Billy Goats currently sit five points behind in 8th. 

With a trip to Sinsheim to take on TSG 1899 Hoffenheim still to come, Breitenreiter will be desperate to secure all three points before taking on Julian Nagelsmann's side who are scrapping for their Bundesliga lives.

The hosts have already been relegated from the Bundesliga, as they sit a huge eight points below Frankfurt in 17th. Following their relegation, goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler has revealed he will leave the club at the end of the season and the likes of Hiroshi Kiyotake and Salif Sané will surely follow. With two 2-2 draws and an impressive 2-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hannover will look to also end their season on a high as they prepare for life outside of the Bundesliga.

Daniel Stendel has also been given the manager's post on a permanent basis, following the recent good showings, giving him time to prepare for life in the second tier. Stendel has signed a two-year deal with the Lower Saxony side.

Does Leroy Sané hold the key for Schalke against a resurgent but relegation Hannover? | Image credit: Getty Images
Does Leroy Sané hold the key for Schalke against a resurgent but relegation Hannover? | Image credit: Getty Images

Team news

The unfortunate fate of Hannover's season has been somewhat decided by injuries. Kenan Karaman is the latest victim of injury, as he looks set to sit out today's game. 

Marco Höger and Atsuto Uchida are the only injury worries for Schalke as they prepare for this game. 

Predicted line-ups

Hannover 96: (4-2-3-1) Zieler; Sakai, Miloslevic, S. Sané, Abornoz; Anton, Schmeidebach; Bazee, Kiyotake, Klaus; Szalai.

FC Schalke 04: (4-2-3-1) Fährmann; Kolasinac, Höwedes, Matip, Caicara; Goretzka, Højbjerg; Choupo-Moting, Meyer, L. Sané; Huntelaar.

Both teams will be on the lookout for three points today, particularly Schalke, who have a real battle on their hands to make the top six.