Munich - Hannover 96 can become the seventh Bundesliga side to clinch their place in the group stages of a major European competition as they look to defend a 5-3 first-leg advantage in their UEFA Europa League play-off at home to Slask Wroclaw on Thursday evening (kick-off 20:45 CET).

Mirko Slomka's side had to stave off a second-half comeback from the reigning Polish champions in the first encounter, but finished strongly in the eight-goal thriller to put themselves in a strong position ahead of the clash at the AWD Arena.

One foot through the door


However, despite the knowing that Slask have to score at least three goals to stand any chance of reaching the next round, 96 aren't taking the encounter for granted. "We have to remain fully focused and continue to play at the same level as where we left off last time," said midfielder Lars Stindl, scorer of Hannover's third goal in the first leg. "For us it's all about giving everything we've got in this match. Furthermore it's also a home match in a European competition, which is always something special."

Adrian Nikci's late equaliser against FC Schalke 04 on Sunday maintained Hannover's 19-game unbeaten streak at home in the Bundesliga and Slomka will no doubt be demanding a similar performance from his side come Thursday. "Our team has a really strong character about them. We also want to win this match to give the fans something to cheer about," said the 44-year-old.

Slomka: "We've been warned"


Slomka will be without Felipe and Christian Pander, but is able to welcome back Mohammed Abdellaoue and Konstantin Rausch into his matchday squad. "We'll have to guard against complacency. Wroclaw are very dangerous and we've definitely been warned," added the 44-year-old coach.


Possible line-ups:

Hannover 96: Zieler - Cherundolo, Haggui, Eggimann, Rausch - Stindl, Andreasen, da Silva Pinto, Huszti (Schmiedebach) - Schlaudraff, Abdellaoue

Slask Wroclaw: R. Gikiewicz - Pawelec, Kowalczyk, Jodlowiec, Mraz - Patejuk, Kazsmierczak, Cetnarski, Stevanovic, L. Gikiewicz - Mila


James Thorogood