Both Bundesliga sides started into the tournament proper with a draw, although in Bayer's case there were less grounds for satisfaction about the result than in Hannover's. Both, accordingly, have earmarked a follow-up win this time around.
Rosenborg BK - Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Leverkusen were nothing short of profligate in their 0-0 home draw with Metalist Kharkiv, spurning ample opportunities to register all three points. A similar bout of tameness plagued die Werkself in their next task against Borussia Mönchengladbach, before the introduction of two-goal hero Sidney Sam finally saw Sami Hyypia's men convert chances into goals against SpVgg Greuther Fürth on Matchday 6.
Bayer are now within touching distance of the European places on offer in the Bundesliga, but are just as keen to make the most of their participation in this season's edition of the Europa League. "There's no doubt we're travelling to Trondheim to win", said sporting director Rudi Völler. "We want to book our place in the next phase as soon as possible, but it won't be easy," he added.
Once upon a time
Indeed, Rosenborg are no strangers to European fare, although they came up short the last time the two sides met, only two years ago. A certain Sidney Sam was on the scoresheet back then, as Leverkusen won 4-0 at home and 1-0 in Norway.
Just six players remain from that side however, and the men from Trondheim currently sit atop Group K, having edged out SK Rapid Wien in their opening contest in Vienna.
Hannover 96 - Levante UD
Like Leverkusen, Mirko Slomka's Hannover are locked on 10 points in amongst the chasing pack in the Bundesliga. The Reds may have found themselves back in the top three but for the heroics of Hamburger SV goalkeeper Rene Adler at the weekend, so are unlikely to have been rocked too much by the narrow loss to their northern rivals.
That's not to say they'll be taking the challenge posed by La Liga club Levante lightly. "We know a bit about our opponents. Everyone in our team follows the Spanish league - and when you're in Spain's top six, you can't be doing much wrong", Hannover midfielder Sergio da Silva Pinto warned.
Although not quite hitting the heights of last term domestically, the Valencia-based outfit got off to a winning start in the group with a 1-0 victory over Swedish champions Helsingborgs IF. Former Hertha Berlin right-back Christian Lell, ex-Eintracht Frankfurt striker Theofanis Gekas and one-time VfL Wolfsburg forward Obafemi Martins bring plenty of Bundesliga nous to the Levante ranks, as they look to cement their place as Group L leaders with three points in Hannover on Thursday night.
The 96ers meanwhile, having battled back from two goals down to earn a point at on-form FC Twente for starters, will be out to add to their impressive ongoing record at the AWD Arena. The only team to beat them there last season, incidentally, were not German, but Spanish - Atletico Madrid, in this self-same tournament.