Hannover 96 0 - 0 FC Twente

Match info: Europa League - Group L at AWD-Arena

Date: 22/11/2012 KO: 18:00 Ref: A Kulbakov Att: 35,800

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers




FT (ht: 0-0)

  • Last Updated: November 21 2012, 18:59 GMT

Hannover host FC Twente on Thursday having already qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League but intent on securing top spot in Group L.

Hannover are hoping to seal top spot in the group
Hannover are hoping to seal top spot in the group

The Bundesliga side are three points clear of second-placed Levante with 10 points from a possible 12 and two matches remaining.

Rather than rest on their laurels, though, Hannover are looking to cement their place as group winners and secure a more favourable draw in the next round.

In the round of 32, the 12 group winners and four third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage are seeded, the remainder being unseeded.

Hannover defender Adrian Nikci acknowledged this saying: "Number one is important. Then you get the supposedly weaker opponents.

"As group winners you can not meet other group winners or one of the top four Champions League sides who have dropped down."

Coach Mirko Slomka is in a position to rotate his team, who have a game with Bayern Munich on Saturday afternoon.

Slomka will rest winger Huszti Szabi, who he describes as "broken and flat", with Manuel Schmiedebach set to replace him.

Christian Pander, Steven Cherundolo and Sergio Pinto are all set to return with Nikci set to replace Lars Stindl who is suspended.

For Twente, victory on Thursday is vital and even so that may not be sufficient to progress.

Steve McClaren's side are third, four points behind Levante, and if they are to reach the knockout stage they need to win Thursday and hope the La Liga side lose at Helsingborg.

That would reduce the deficit to just one point with the Eredivisie side set to host Helsingborg in the final game when Levante face Hannover at home.

It means qualification is out of their hands and their points so far have all come from draws meaning they must change the habit of a campaign if they are to prolong their participation.

The match should also see the continuation of Wout Brama as captain in place of Peter Wisgerhof who is drawing towards the end of his career.

This is set to be the defender's final season and he told the club's official website: "A few weeks ago I told the coach that I would prefer it if someone else became captain, someone who plays every game.

"To the outside world this was not really known.

"I am thinking that Wout did well.

"This role also fits very well with him. So I think it is better that Wout remains captain."

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