Japanese stars to the fore on celebratory weekend in Berlin

Berlin - Hertha Berlin get the Matchday 11 action under way at home to improving Hannover 96 on Friday night (kick-off 19:30 GMT/ 20:30 CET).

bundesliga.com looks ahead to this weekend's Japanese-flavoured curtain raiser as the German capital prepares to celebrate 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall...

Last week was one to forget for the Old Lady after being of the DFB Cup and losing 3-1 at promoted SC Paderborn 07 in the league. Five points are nevertheless all that separate 13th-placed Hertha and visitors Hannover, who moved into the top six thanks to a 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt last time out.

(right) returned to training on Wednesday following a thigh problem and could start, but Sebastian Langkamp, Johannes van den Bergh, Alexander Baumjohann, Änis Ben-Hatira, Tolga Cigerci and Julian Schieber remain sidelined.

Turkish midfielder Ceyhun Gülselam is available again following suspension. Jimmy Briand is expected to feature despite taking a knock to the head last weekend and could be joined in the matchday squad by captain (left), who has been out with a knee injury since August.

Hajime Hosogai has been a pillar of consistency this season, missing just one of the capital club's ten league fixtures in 2014/15. The Japanese midfielder is renowned for his work rate and will look to give Hannover's dynamic frontline scant room to manoeuvre in the final third.

appears all set to renew acquaintances with his Japanese compatriot Hosogai at the iconic Olympiastadion. Hard to pin down, the 24-year-old tends to cover more ground than his Far Eastern colleague and also poses a major threat from set pieces (exhibit A: his winning goal in Dortmund on Matchday 9).

Salomon Kalou, Hertha striker: "I was impressed with how we played against Hamburg. If we play like that, I've got no reason to worry."

Tayfun Korkut, Hannover head coach: "We have to bear in mind Hertha are really strong at home. It won't be an easy game."

10 of Hertha's 11-point haul have come on home soil, with Jos Luhukay's men currently enjoying a three-match winning run in their own backyard. Hannover followed up their first away win of the season in Dortmund with a hard-earned 1-0 win at home to Frankfurt, but have lost three of their other four league outings on the road.

The Reds have picked up wins on their last two trips to Berlin, including a comfortable 3-0 victory towards the end of 2013/14. Hertha did a similar job in Hanover in January 2010, but haven't beaten the Lower Saxony club at home since August 2009.

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Possible line-ups:

Hertha: Kraft - M. Ndjeng, Heitinga, Lustenberger, Pekarik - Hosogai, Skjelbred - Beerens, Ronny, Stocker - Kalou

Hannover: Zieler - H. Sakai, Marcelo, C. Schulz, Prib - Schmiedebach, Gülselam - Briand, Kiyotake, Bittencourt - Joselu