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Aug 22, 2014

Hannover 96 v Schalke 04: Preview

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Head coach Jens Keller is expecting a response from Schalke when they bid to put DFB-Pokal disappointment behind them in Hannover on Saturday.

The Royal Blues were sent crashing out of a competition they had high hopes of winning by third-division Dynamo Dresden and they now have their backs to the wall going in to their first Bundesliga encounter of the season.

A second straight defeat would put pressure on Keller, but he is confident his team will have learnt their lesson.

``We're going to be completely different to how we were in Dresden,'' he said.

``The cup defeat was a real blow, but the lads have been very self-critical in their analysis and they know that they have to perform in a completely different manner.

``Every player knows how important making a good start to the Bundesliga season is.

``We desperately want to start out with a win in Hannover.''

Keller may turn to World Cup winners Julian Draxler and Benedkt Howedes, who are ``a clear step further than last week'' having been the last to pick up pre-season training following their success in Brazil.

He could also be able to count on Kevin-Prince Boateng and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who have recovered from illness and injury respectively.

Hannover will be without Lars Stindl for their first home game of the season, a match which is going to be boycotted by a large chunk of their hardcore fans.

Around 1,000 season-ticket holders have decided not to renew their subscriptions out of protest at the way the Lower Saxony club is being run. They are instead following the club's reserve team this season.

``That's certainly going to make for a different kind of atmosphere, but we'll just have to see how it goes,'' said the club's director of sport Dirk Dufner.

``It's just a decision the Ultras have made, but other fans will fill the gap they leave behind,'' he added.

ends

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