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Bundesliga Preview: Borussia Dortmund-Hannover

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Bundesliga Preview: Borussia Dortmund-Hannover
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Bundesliga Preview: Borussia Dortmund-Hannover

Borussia Dortmund will look to bounce back from its first league defeat of the season when it hosts Hannover on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp's men were beaten 2-0 by Borussia Monchengladbach prior to the international break, as they dropped from first to second in the Bundesliga standings.

Hannover, which sits fifth, goes into the game with just one win in its last four league outings, having lost to the two other sides in the top three, Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen, in September. Hannover has a poor record against Saturday's opponent, too, having not beaten Dortmund in their last four meetings in all competitions.

If last season's Bundesliga runner-up is to return to winning ways, it will likely have to do so without a number of established first-team players. Marco Reus was ruled out of international duty with a torn ankle ligament and is a doubt, while Nuri Sahin is also set to miss out with a similar injury.

Klopp will also be without the suspended Mats Hummels as well as long-term injury worries Marcel Schmelzer (thigh), Lukasz Piszczek (hip and groin) and Ilkay Gundogan (back). None of the trio featured in Dortmund's practice match against Cologne on Tuesday, which saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Julian Schieber score in a 2-1 win.

However, Sven Bender could make a return from the groin and back injuries that forced him to miss Germany's final two World Cup qualifiers.

Hannover has injury concerns of its own, with striker Mame Biram Diouf a doubt due to a hamstring tear that kept him out out the 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin and Senegal's 3-1 defeat to the Ivory Coast on Saturday. Striker Didier Ya Konan (ankle) and defender Felipe (hip) are also ruled out, having undergone operations on their respective injuries.

Mirko Slomka's men kept themselves sharp during the international break with a 16-1 friendly win over lower-league side TSV Barsinghausen and will need to take some of that finishing ability into Saturday's game. While Hannover has conceded just 11 goals in the league, the club has only scored 11 - the lowest of any team in the top eight.

Slomka's men will see Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowksi as a major threat, with the Poland international having scored six times in the Bundesliga this season, and seven in his last four against Hannover.

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