Hannover face a tough task in shaking of their label as the most inexperienced side remaining in the Europa League when they go up against Club Brugge in the first knockout stage of the competition.
Mirko Slomka’s side have made just one previous appearance on the European stage, with their first round European Cup Winners’ Cup defeat against Werder Bremen back in 1992 their only game on the continent.
The German outfit emerged from Group B of the competition behind Belgian outfit Standard Liege to set up their tie against Brugge, and they will have to up their game against their Belgian opponents if they are to progress even further in the competition.
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They failed to score a single goal and picked up only a point in their two group games against Standard Liege, and given Brugge’s three point advantage over their Belgian rivals in the Juplier League, Hannover know they will have to up their game to stand a chance of emerging victorious across the tie.
However they will be heartened by not only their performances in qualifying for the next stage of the tournament, but by the fact they were able to negotiate their way past double Europa League champions Sevilla to book their place in the competition proper.
Brugge meanwhile go into the game in excellent domestic form having not tasted defeat in their last six league games although they have some way to go in order to bridge the nine point gap between them in second place and table topping Anderlecht.
Their European record makes for good reading as well, with their last ten Europa League games this season yielding five wins and just two losses.
Boss Christopher Daum has an excellent knowledge of Brugge’s opponents on Thursday having spent time managing in the Bundesliga, with his record against Hannover as a manager reading six games, four wins and just one defeat