The last match between the two sides in Kraichgau finished goalless, but Hoffenheim have the edge in their previous Bundesliga meetings there: In four home matches, TSG have picked up two wins, while the other two games finished as draws. Nevertheless, Markus Babbel's side are staying cautious: “Hannover are a great role model for us, as they manage to show 100 percent commitment in every match they play. We have to avoid any lapses in concentration, because they are always ready to pounce.”
Hannover without Huszti
Hannover have made a good start to the Bundesliga season with an opening day draw against FC Schalke 04, before wins against VfL Wolfsburg (4-0) and Werder Bremen (3-2) helped them to third place in the table. 96-manager Mirko Slomka will be without Mame Diouf (foot injury), as well as top scorer Szabolcs Huszti who is suspended following his red card last week.
Babbel will have Chris (thigh injury) and captain Tim Wiese (adductor injury) missing, while Sven Schipplock continues to struggle with a heel injury and will complete an individual training scheme with rehab coach Christof Elser this week. The match-up with Hannover comes around too soon for the right-back to be involved.
Debut for Casteels
Replacing Wiese in goal will be Belgian U21 international Koen Casteels, who will also make his TSG debut. “We have full confidence in him. Koen is an extraordinary talent. He'll go far“, said the 1899-manager.