After stunning VfB Stuttgart last weekend to pick up a first win under Thomas Schaaf's stewardship, Hannover 96 will now seek to do more damage to VfL Wolfsburg's push for a European place on Tuesday night (20:00CET/19:00GMT).
Schaaf's men had lost eight straight games when they stepped out at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Saturday while their hosts had won the last four home matches and were - arguably - the Bundesliga's in-form side. Christian Schulz's brace secured all three points for Hannover, however, and though the 96ers remain bottom of the table, they now have hope.
Wolfsburg are, by contrast, safe from the drop, but can no longer aspire to match last season's point tally that saw them finish runners-up. With just one win in their last ten league outings, Dieter Hecking's side require a sharp upturn in fortunes and form to ensure they have a chance of returning to the UEFA Champions League next season by securing a top-four finish.
Hannover earned only their second point of the campaign after fighting back to claim a draw in the first Lower Saxony derby of the season on Matchday 7.
Matchday 24 - match stats
- Hannover have lost 16 games already this term, one more than they did in the entire 2014/15 campaign.
- Die Roten's strikes against Stuttgart brought to an end a run of four Bundesliga games without a goal.
- Hannover's victory also ended a streak of eight consecutive defeats, meaning Schaaf’s side avoided equalling the club record for successive losses.
- Schulz's brace against Stuttgart last Saturday was only his second in the Bundesliga. His first came in a 2-1 win over MSV Duisburg in September 2007.
- Matchday 23's defeat to FC Bayern was Koen Casteels' first loss in nine competitive outings (W5, D3) for Wolfsburg this season.
- Wolfsburg cannot now match last season's tally of 69 points, which was good enough to see them finish runners-up to champions FC Bayern. München.
- The Wolves have won just one - the 2-0 triumph over FC Ingolstadt 04 on Matchday 21 - of their last ten Bundesliga games, losing five of those matches.
- Wolfsburg would be second-bottom of the table on five points, ahead only of Hannover on three points, if the season had started on Matchday 18.
Hannover: Zieler – Sakai, Sane, Schulz, Sorg – Hoffmann – Fossum, Wolf , Kiyotake, Yamaguchi – Karaman
Absentees: Benschop (knee), Bech (hip), Andreasen (ankle), Almeida (suspended), Szalai (light training)
Wolfsburg: Casteels – Träsch , Knoche, Dante, Rodriguez – Gustavo – Vieirinha, Draxler, Arnold, Schäfer – Kruse
Absentees: Dost (foot), Ascues (knee), Jung (knee), Naldo (shoulder), Caligiuri (light training), Guilavogui (hip)