Hanover - It has been an up-and-down first half of the season for Hannover 96. A crushing derby win at VfL Wolfsburg and a 4-2 triumph at VfB Stuttgart, the Reds unbeaten league run at home, stretching back thirteen months, was ended by Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The first half of the season may have ended on a disappointing note with the 5-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, but the Reds are still in one knock-out competition - the UEFA Europa League - and coping well. Their challenge will be to better last year's European performance, when they reached the quarter-finals, as well as finishing in the European spots in the league. With Mirko Slomka in charge, though, that seems likely.