Hanover - After inspiring Hannover 96 to their first away points of the season on Matchday 18, wants to ensure the Reds start 2014 with the same kind of home form which characterised the first half of the season.
The German under-21 international can say he has finally arrived in the Bundesliga following his brace against VfL Wolfsburg, but ahead of Hannover's clash with Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday (kick-off 18:30 CET), he hopes to be able to show off his butterfly celebration more frequently.
"I was able to do my butterfly celebration twice, and it doesn't get any better than that," said the 20-year-old, who joined the Reds from Borussia Dortmund, and celebrated an achievement his father Franklin, formerly of FC Energie Cottbus, never achieved during his Bundesliga career – scoring twice in a single game. Bittencourt had coach Tayfun Korkut to thank for giving him a chance in the starting XI.
"He placed his faith in me and I hope I was able to pay him back with my goals," Bittencourt said. "The goals were incredibly important for the team. It doesn't matter who scores them, just as long as we get the three points." That will be the attitude on Sunday too, when Artjom Rudnevs will make his home debut having scored on his first appearance for the club a week ago.
There could be another new face in the Hannover side too with Korkut saying new arrival Frantisek Rajtoral, who arrived on loan until the end of the season from Viktoria Plzen, is "up to speed" and ready to take his bow at right full-back. Hiroki Sakai could miss out in the continued absence of club captain Steven Cherundolo.
Tony Jantschke will return to the Gladbach defence, but precisely where remains a mystery. He could replace either Alvaro Dominguez in the centre or Julian Korb on the right. "Tony will play," announced Foals' coach Lucien Favre. "He's ready and is not afraid of tackling after his injury." Gladbach are not afraid of Hannover either, although they do respect their hosts.
As good as Bayern
"They have only lost once at home," Favre said. "I believe it's just as hard to win in Hanover as it is against Bayern." Gladbach lost to Bayern 2-0 last Friday after conceding "two stupid and unnecessary goals," according to Favre. To help the Foals get back to winning ways after two draws and a defeat, they can count on the support of 5,000 fans among a sell-out crowd at the HDI-Arena.
They won't be able to count on Luuk de Jong, who joined Newcastle United FC this week, but that just opens up the door to one of the Foals' up-and-coming talents, should first-choice Juan Arango, Raffael, Max Kruse or Patrick Herrmann need replacing at any time. "We're happy with our squad," said the club's sporting director Max Eberl to the Rheinische Post. "Peniel Mlapa, Branimir Hrgota and Amin Younes can now prove themselves." Potentially just like Bittencourt did for Hannover last week.
Hannover: Zieler - Andreasen, Marcelo, Hoffmann, Schulz - Schmiedebach, Stindl - Huszti, Bittencourt - Rudnevs, Diouf
Gladbach: ter Stegen - Korb, Jantschke, Stranzl, Wendt - Kramer, Xhaka - Herrmann, Arango - Raffael - Kruse