Match preview: Hannover vs. Atlético

Atlético take slim lead into Germany for 2nd leg of Europa League quarter-final

atletico madrid's diego collides into hannover's steven cherundolo

Diego collides with Hannover captain Cherundolo (AP)

A late Eduardo Salvio wondergoal in Atlético’s Europa League quarter-final first leg fixture against Hannover a week ago helped the young Argentine’s team to a 2-1 victory over the German outfit that los Colchoneros will have to defend on foreign soil Thursday.

Senegalese striker Mame Diouf’s earlier goal, which had cancelled out Falcao’s opening strike at the Vicente Calderón, puts quite a bit of pressure on Diego Simeone’s men to get on the scoreboard early once proceedings get underway at the AWD-Arena at 21:05 CET.

A goal by Atleti before the expected 49,000 strong Die Roten faithful inside the stadium would force the Lower Saxony side to have to score twice should they want to prolong proceedings.

A 1-0 shutout or a victory by two goals or more in favour of the hosts would result in a Hannover upset of their Spanish foes.

Los Rojiblancos have won all five Europa League games under new boss Diego Simeone and have strung together eight consecutive victories in UEFA play since last losing to Udinese in Italy in the Group Stage, but their Bundesliga opponents have never lost at home in European competition, so on Thursday, something’s got to give.

Atleti midfielder Diego, on-loan for one season from Wolfsburg, will return to a ground he has set foot on during his exploits in the German first division.

“We expect a spectacular atmosphere, as always in the Bundesliga,” the playmaker said in a pre-game press conference.

“The stadium is modern, very beautiful and will be packed. It’s a great atmosphere to play in.”

He continued: “They will be a little stronger with the support of their fans…but we have no fear. We’re going there to play a great match.

“We have to be smart and play the game normally. We’re not going for the draw, rather, we’re going to win like always, but by playing smart. We know we have an advantage and we’re going to play with intelligence.”

Given the suspensions of Gabi, Arda and Juanfran, who each saw a third yellow card in the home fixture of this match-up last week, and the unavailability of Antonio López and Sílvio through injury, Simeone was forced to call-up reinforcements from Atlético’s reserve side.

17-year-old Atlético B midfielder Saúl, who is certainly no stranger to the first team – having frequently appeared on our squad lists of late – was handed a plane ticket to Germany, as was first-timer Ndoye, our very own Senegalese striker, despite only having started in four Atlético B games this season reports our resident Atlético cantera expert Billy ‘Big Dog’ Edwards.

The side that comes out on top Thursday evening will await the winner of the match-up between AZ Alkmaar and Valencia in the semi-finals, as the first leg will be played in either Madrid or Hanover.

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Sergio Asenjo
Defenders: Godín, Filipe Luis, Domínguez, Perea, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Tiago, Salvio, Assunçao, Koke, Diego, Ndoye, Saúl,
Forwards: Adrián, Falcao, Pizzi

Hannover match selection: TBA

  • Javi Lozoya

    I’m glad Simeone recalled Saúl and called Ndoye for the first time. Life has been really difficult for Ndoye at Atleti.
    He suffered a serious injury that kept him away 2 years from playing football. He has also suffered from homesickness because his family is in Senegal, his mother and 5 brothers, and he is pretty much all alone by himself in Spain. This sort of things make realize the kind of difficulties football players have to overcome to become pro, while others take it for granted.
    That’s why nothing would be greater than see Ndoye debuting and achieve success in football. I really wish he accomplish his dream, help outs his family and makes his mom happy. I really do.

  • Come on Atleti. We wanna win or even a draw would get us through or a 3-2 and going up by a one goal margin loss. So come on….. Lets kick some Butts!!!!!
    Aupa Atleti!!!

  • Hanover are strong at home they havent lost a single match at home in all competition this season (beyern,dortmund,among others) have not beat dem so we have 2 be careful. Let kick Hanover out of europa league

  • Vamos Atléti! The red-white tide is coming up, we’ve got to win this one! And we can! Just sad some players were left out due to yellow cards, but I still think we can do it! AUPA ATLÉTI! ATLÉTI CAMPEON!

  • Diego will be the star of this match. In Bundesliga is like the fish in the water.
    A good player who deserve to play to the highest level. Hope for Atletic to reach the Europa League final in Bucharest and for me to join Diego on a photo. 🙂

  • falcao

    It’s time for Hannover to lose home…

  • Hey if barca win the semifinal and real win theres and we win the europa league, the european super cup will be an all spanish cup as well as if athletic bilbao or valencia win and the finals of each can be all SPANISH!!!!!!!!!!

  • FancyFartPants

    randy you are german , if you keep backstabbin your country your soul will be damned

  • Hey Fart Pants that are Fancy 😉 i am not german. My friends call me that in school. I am Trinidadian.

  • ratchet

    he never said he was german

  • leika

    Somewhat awful play so far, so many passing errors. And god damn how I hate that raush. So agressive, bossy and always dives.

  • palc

    We might lose this 1-0. 🙁

  • Palc u wrong!!!! Cuz Adrian scored a wonder goal from nothing!!!!!!!

  • leika

    hell no…

  • Falcao another wonder goal!!!!!! Greta game so far.
    2-1 GAME WON!!!!!! not GAME ON!!!!

  • Thats it semi finals here we come where we will play valencia. Well done Fantastic result. I wanna see this against Levante.

  • ratchet

    oh yeah, valencia here we come, get ready to get ur a$$e$ whooped.

  • Dircil

    We won due to 2 masterpieces of Adrian and Falcao. Diego played really well also.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Actually, Rausch is a good player, and he didn’t dive. Falcao clearly touched him. Clumsy challenge from el Tigre although he had no intention to hurt Rausch. Rausch is aggressive but not malicious. Some of you have to understand football is not only fantasy plays and backheel passes.