GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

badenova-Stadion, Germany

Attendance: 24000

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SC Freiburg

  • Christian Schulz 24' OG
  • Max Kruse 44'
  • Jonathan Schmid 73'

3 - 1

FT

Hannover 96

  • Konstantin Rausch 36'

SC Freiburg v Hannover 96: Preview

Hannover coach Mirko Slomka has demanded a win from his side in Freiburg tomorrow night to keep their wavering Europa League qualification hopes alive.

The Reds travel to the Black Forest knowing their chances of clinching a third straight campaign in the Europa League hinge on the outcome of tomorrow night's match.

With four points separating them from fifth-place Freiburg, defeat would put their hopes to bed, but a win would take them right back into contention.

``In terms of European qualification, victory is practically an obligation,'' said Slomka at the pre-match press conference.

However, Slomka is prepared for missing out on Europe and claims his side never made qualification an obsession or a target this season.

``Our aim was the top half of the table with the possibility, if everything went well, of being able to return to Europe too,'' he added.

The hosts, in contrast, are ignoring the issue of European football, despite a four-point advantage over their guests.

Freiburg began the year with the sole target of avoiding relegation and Christian Streich's first concern tomorrow night is securing a win that would make that mathematically certain.

Only once they are sure of a record-breaking fifth straight season will Streich begin to consider other targets.

``We want to play as well as we can in every game,'' said Streich at a press conference. ``We are hungry and the players have a lot of energy, and then we'll see what comes out of it in the end.''

Wednesday night's DFB-Pokal clash with Stuttgart could well be in the back of Streich's mind since victory in that game could provide a short cut into the Europa League.

With Bundesliga champions Bayern facing Wolfsburg in the other semi-final tie, merely reaching the final could earn the Baden-Wurttemberg club an automatic starting berth in the Europa League group phase.

That may be enough to persuade Streich to rest some of his key players tomorrow.

Slomka, on the other hand, has very few choices and little room for rotation. Lars Stindl could come back into the squad after a long injury absence while Steven Cherundolo could start, and regular goalkeeper Ron Robert Zieler should be fit.

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