Grp L: Helsingborg vs Hannover Preview

Hannover's latest European tour takes them into uncharted territory on Thursday when they face a Swedish club for the first time.

Football News: Hannover

The Reds are still rather green when it comes to European football and, despite reaching the quarter-finals of the Europa League last term, they have yet to cross the path of a Swedish team, making Thursday's clash with Helsingborg even more difficult to prepare.

However, they do have an insider within the team with Mohammed Abdellaoue making his debut for Norway under the current Helsingborg coach Age Hareide.

"His teams are usually very well organised, they are physically strong and play in a 4-4-2," he said.

"But we need to concentrate on ourselves first and foremost. We're in good shape and showed in our last two Europa League games that we can pay good football."

Hannover also showed last year what they are capable of on the European stage, losing only narrowly to the eventual Europa League winners Atletico Madrid.

Their push to the last eight included a 2-1 win in Copenhagen which Abdellaoue is taking as inspiration for Thursday night, when as many as 3,000 Hannover fans are expected to travel to support their team.

"The Copenhagen game was fantastic," said Abdellaoue on his club's website. "I will never forget it.

"Our fans were incredible and I hope that we can have a similar experience with them in Helsingborg."

The Swedish champions Helsingborg have already had to abandon hope of defending their title.

With only three games of the domestic season remaining, they are 10 points behind the league leaders BK Hacken and are now relying on the Europa League to give them some joy over the winter.

And Hareide feels his side have nothing to fear against the side who finished sixth in the Bundesliga last season.

"There is little between Scandinavian teams and the more established clubs in Europe," he told the Helsingborgs Dagblad newspaper.

"We matched Celtic for much of our (Champions League qualifier) game, and Celtic just matched Barcelona."



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