SV Werder Bremen entertain northern rivals Hannover 96 on Saturday afternoon (kick-off: 15:30CET/14:30GMT) with a crucial three points in the battle against the drop up for grabs.
Bremen managed to pull one point clear of the relegation zone after their Claudio Pizarro-inspired 4-1 destruction of Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Wednesday gave them a first win in four games. Coach Viktor Skripnik will be optimistic his 37-year-old veteran can add to his ten Bundesliga goals against a side who have already conceded 42 times this season.
The most recent of those goals came against VfL Wolfsburg on Tuesday. The 4-0 defeat left Hannover rooted to the foot of the table, seven points from safety. Die Roten's cause is not helped by the continued absence of striker Charlison Benschop.
Goals: 1-0 Sane (56’)
Hannover earned their first win of the campaign with a battling 1-0 victory against Werder Bremen, who themselves have now lost four games on the trot.
Matchday 25 - Match facts
- Bremen have failed to win in any of their last nine home games - an ongoing negative club record.
- Thomas Schaaf was employed in various guises for 41 years by Werder. He returns to the club for a second time as an opposition coach. Last season his Eintracht Frankfurt side lost 1-0 in Bremen.
- Pizarro's hat-trick for Bremen in Wednesday's 4-1 win at Leverkusen made him the oldest scorer of a hat-trick in Bundesliga history at 37 years, four months and 30 days old.
- Werder are unbeaten in their last 12 home games against Hannover (eight wins and four draws). No team has endured a longer winless run at the Weser Stadium than Die Roten.
- Hannover have won only one of their previous 27 Bundesliga games in Bremen. The last victory came back in March 2003, when Fredi Bobic scored twice for Hannover to drown out Ailton's opener for Werder.
- Schaaf's troops have lost more than half of their Bundesliga matches against Werder (28 of 55). However, the 96ers are unbeaten in three games against Bremen.
- Zlatko Junuzovic scored direct free-kicks in two games against Hannover last season.
- Hiroki Sakai's only Bundesliga goals came against Bremen in November 2013.
Bremen: Wiedwald - Gebre Selassie, Vestergaard, Djilobodji, Garcia - Fritz - Bartels, Grillitsch - Junuzovic - Ujah, Pizarro
Absentees: Bargfrede (knee), Johannsson (light training)
Hannover: Zieler - Sakai, Milosevic, Schulz, Sorg - Hoffmann, Sane - Karaman, Klaus - Fossum, Kiyotake
Absentees: Benschop (knee), Bech (hip), Andreasen (ankle)