26 January 2019
Two sides with contrasting destinies on paper are set to face-off at the Signal Iduna Park, as Borussia Dortmund welcome Hannover 96 looking for all three points that would bring them one step closer to lifting the Bundesliga title.
The current league leaders have a six-point lead over second-placed Bayern Munich, having suffered just one defeat in the opening 18 Bundesliga fixtures (W14, D3, L1). Lucien Favre’s men have reacted well on a shock loss to Fortuna Dusseldorf, securing two vital triumphs over Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig in their last two outings. The Black and Yellows boast an almost perfect home record (W8, D1) as they’ve entered this round with a four-game home winning run during which they’ve scored nine and conceded four goals. No German team has scored more goals at home than BVB (29), with Favre’s players averaging 3.22 goals scored per match at Signal Iduna Park. Still, they’ve already conceded 11 goals at home, managing just two clean sheets in nine Bundesliga home clashes so far.
Meanwhile, the visitors come into this meeting hoping to bring a four-game Bundesliga losing streak to an end, which seems like an impossible task. They are one of two teams that are yet to secure all three points after the opening nine Bundesliga road trips (D4, L5), having failed to keep a clean sheet on every single match away from home this term. The Reds are trailing Bundesliga safety by four points and are dealing with the third-worst goal difference (-19). Only two teams have scored fewer goals than Hannover (17) while just two shipped more goals than them (36) this term. Established as one of the weakest defenses in the German top tier, André Breitenreiter’s men have failed to keep a clean sheet in 17 of 18 Bundesliga outings, allowing over 1.5 goals per match ten times in the process.
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