bundesliga.com has all the essential pre-match information ahead of the clash at the RheinEnergieStadion...
With both teams struggling for form, lacking firepower in attack and sitting awkwardly just above the drop zone, Saturday's meeting could have potentially huge consequences for either side: win and the top half of the table no longer looks as distant; lose and have an unwanted relegation battle on your hands.
The hosts have a largely injury-free squad to choose from this week, with Patrick Helmes (hip) and Yannick Gerhardt (tonsillitis) the only first team members expected to miss out. Dominic Maroh is, however, expected to replace Mergim Mavraj at the heart of defense in the only change to the side that lost 1-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The visitors will have to reshuffle their defence slightly as Christian Schulz (pictured) is suspended after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season last week. Didier Ya Konan misses out due to a lack of fitness, Andre Hoffmann is continuing his rehabilitation following a knee injury, and reserve keepers Markus Miller (knee) and Robert Almer (muscular) are also sidelined.
The Billy Goats have the league's second-worst scoring record this season with just 19 so far. They need to find the net again soon, and their best chance of doing so is through club top scorer , who has struck six times in 2014/15.
The visitors haven't been in free-scoring mood themselves in 2015 and could likewise do with a positive result to boost their confidence. To that end, Spanish striker , whose strength and aerial prowess will be a handful for the home defence to deal with, is the most likely source of goals, even if he hasn't hit the target since Matchday 17.
Peter Stöger (Köln coach): "Hannover are better than their points tally so far in 2015 suggests. It'll be an interesting and difficult game."
Tayfun Korkut, l., (Hannover coach): "We need to score again in the decisive moments. If we go in front we need to do everything we can to not concede."
The hosts have taken five points from their four games so far in 2015, losing 1-0 away to Gladbach last week, meaning they have failed to score in their last three matches. Hannover have lost three of their four fixtures since the turn of the year, drawing the other, and have slipped down to tenth.
These two have a remarkably even record from the 41 Bundesliga fixtures contested: Hannover have 18 wins to Köln's 17, with six draws - although there has always been a winner in the last 13 meetings. The 96ers took the spoils on Matchday 5 earlier this season with a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
Köln: Horn - Olkowski, Maroh, Wimmer, Hector - Risse, Lehmann, Vogt, Halfar - Ujah, Osako
Hannover: Zieler - Joao Pereira, Marcelo, Sane, Albornoz - Schmiedebach, Gülselam - Briand, Stindl, Kiyotake - Joselu