In the Bundesliga Hannover 96 are bereft of confidence away from home, having lost nine of their last ten fixtures. In the UEFA Europa League however they have faired far better and, sitting at the top of Group L, the Reds will be looking to cement that position when they face Helsingborgs IF on Thursday evening (kick-off 19:00 CET).

Their Swedish hosts have only picked up a point in the competition so far, although they did come very close to taking all three against FC Twente, a side Hannover struggled to get a point against in their opening fixture.

Misfiring Reds


Helsingborg are somewhat of an unknown proposition for Mirko Slomka, who is desperate for his side to rediscover their scoring boots after seeing them net just twice in the last three matches. "Good strikers distinguish themselves by scoring goals. They've got to show that [type of form] again," said the Hannover 96 head coach. A victory against the Swedes, who have not won any of their last four European encounters, would be a big step forward in terms of the 96ers reaching the next round of the tournament. In the run-up to the match however, Slomka was keeping his cards close to his chest as to precisely which forwards he would select for the task.

FC Bayern were the last German outfit to travel to Helsingborg and Jan Schlaudraff, formerly on the books in Munich, is the only guaranteed starter up front, with Mame Diouf, Didier Ya Konan, Artur Sobiech and Mohammed Abdellaoue all in contention to play alongside him. Mario Eggimann is set to replace the injured Felipe in central defence and should partner Christian Schulz with Karim Haggui out suspended. Regardless of who plays though, Hannover will be raring to go. "We're going to need courage and a cool head against Helsingborg," sporting director Jörg Schmadtke said on Hannover's official website.

Response needed


While Helsingborg are ten points adrift in the race to retain their own domestic title, the 96ers are looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt and go into the encounter with the confidence of a side who have lost only lost two of their last ten Europa League matches. "We want to get a win at Helsingborg on Thursday, for sure," said team captain Steven Cherundolo. "We'll have to be fully committed man-on-man, and put in a real team effort ."

Possible line-ups:

Helsingborg: Hansson - Atta, Christoffer Andersson, Larsson, Uronen - Mahlangu, Lindström, Gashi, Bouaouzan - Sörum, Djurdic

Hannover: Zieler - Cherundolo, Eggimann, Schulz, Rausch - Stindl, da Silva Pinto, Huszti, Pander - Schlaudraff, Diouf (Abdellaoue)

James Thorogood