Werder Bremen vs. Hannover 96 Match Preview

Werder Bremen welcome Hannover to the Weserstadion on Friday in a game of underachievers so far this season. The two teams are capable of mounting a European challenge, but both have failed to deliver their usual standards this season on a consistent basis.

Werder Bremen are languishing in 12th position currently, without a win in their last four Bundesliga matches, losing three of them.

Hannover are a tough team to beat on home soil, but away from their AWD-Arena is where their problems lie. The Lower Saxony outfit have lost seven of their last nine away matches in the Bundesliga. That poor form is one reason why they are sitting in 10th place in the league.

Only four points ahead of their hosts, but more importantly is that they are just three points outside of the Europa League places. Such is the competitive nature of the Bundesliga, that just eight points separate 15th placed Nürnberg and 6th place Schalke 04.

With the table that close, any kind of form from either Bremen or Hannover, that they are both capable of, could push themselves up the league standings quickly and aim for Europe come the end of the season.

What both teams are lacking is defensive stability. They have both conceded 37 goals so far in the league, only 17th placed Hoffenheim have let in more.

Werder Bremen will hope their attacking fluidity can open up such a porous defence. Kevin De Bruyne and Nils Petersen are the two key men in attack for the home side, as they look to get back to winning ways.

Hannover will be optimistic despite their poor away record as they too are a free scoring side, league leaders Bayern Munich and third place Borussia Dortmund have only scored more. Especially with the prolific Mame Biram Diouf in attack, he scored his eighth goal of the campaign in their victory over Wolfsburg last weekend.

The two sides will be missing players due to suspensions though. Werder Bremen will be without Clemens Fritz and Marko Arnautović, whilst Hannover new boy Sébastien Pocognoli is missing.

As both teams look to climb up the table with three points here, the inconsistency and defensive frailties of either side lean towards an entertaining score draw.

Follow Tom Rowland via Twitter @TWRowland