When and Where: The Europa League quarter-final first-leg kicks off from the Vincente Calderon at 3.05 p.m. ET. Live coverage will available on DirecTV.

Preview: After a disappointing 1-0 defeat to La Liga's bottom side at the weekend, Atletico Madrid do not come into Thursday's game in the best of mindsets.

That loss, their second in three league matches has dropped Atletico to eighth in La Liga and virtually ended any hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

But Atletico will be hoping the recent results represent a mere blip after going on a good run since Diego Simeone took over as manager at the end of last year. A return to the performacnes that saw them win 6-1 over Besitkas in the last round of the Europa League would be most welcome.

We now turn to the Europa League, which is what we have, said Simeone, according to the Atletico Madrid official website. We look forward with enthusiasm. We know that many people will come.

The game will be hard, with a rival who plays with speed, have a good passing game and is the classic German team that never gives in. They have scored goals in almost every game they have played.

While Hannover also tasted defeat over the weekend, the German side will be more encouraged by their performance as they lost narrowly to giants Bayern Munich.

After a 2-2 draw away to Standard Liege in the last round of the Europa League, Hannover secured an impressive 4-0 win at home over the Belgian's to earn their quarter-final place.

Hannover are enjoying their somewhat surprise progress in the competition and captain and U.S. international Steve Cherundolo is eager for their run to continue.

We have a job to do. We found our rhythm in playing on Thursday and Sunday and we want to extend it, he said, according to the Hannover official website.

Team News: Atletico are boosted by the return to fitness of Turkish international Arda Turan from injury. Also back in contention are fellow midfielders Diego and Tiago. Simeone has hinted that the latter two may have to be content with substitute appearances as they continue their return to full fitness.

Hannover coach Mirko Slomka has no new injury worries to contend with as they look to gain a positive result in the Spanish capital. Their attack will be led by recent signing Mame Biram Diouf, who has impressed since his January move from Manchester United.

Prediction: Atletico have looked a much better side since Simeone took the somewhat thankless reigns at the Vincente Calderon. With Radamel Falcao, who has continued his barrage of scoring in the Europa League with Porto last season with six goals in the competition this campaign, in their lineup, Atletico can consider themselves worthy favorites.

But Hannover would love to cause an upset and, if Atletico are off their game, could be primed to do just that.

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Hannover 96