Adnan Januzaj could make his debut for Borussia Dortmund as Thomas Tuchel’s men bid to continue their perfect start to the new Bundesliga season when they visit Hannover.
Januzaj joined Dortmund on a season-long loan from Manchester United on the Bundesliga’s transfer deadline day and netted in a benefit match against St Pauli on Tuesday.
Dortmund return to league action on Saturday having claimed three wins from three to start the Bundesliga campaign under new boss Tuchel, easing to comfortable victories over Borussia Monchengladbach, Ingolstadt and Hertha Berlin.
And Januzaj may be in line to make his competitive bow for the club at the HDI-Arena.
“Adnan only trained with the team once, and also had minor problems with his thigh last week, but in spite of that he has hinted at his potential, and was strong in his dribbling,” Tuchel said.
Asked whether the Belgium international would feature, Tuchel responded: “Everything’s possible.”
One player who will definitely not be on the pitch is full-back Erik Durm. The 23-year-old is set for six weeks on the sidelines after having surgery to remove infected tissue from his knee.
Marco Reus is a doubt with a toe injury while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could also miss out due to a knock picked up on international duty with Gabon.
Lukasz Piszczek is likely to be unavailable because of a calf problem sustained in Poland’s 3-1 Euro 2016 qualifying defeat to Germany, and Nuri Sahin is also set to be absent.
Even with those injury problems, Dortmund will go into the game as heavy favourites to defeat a Hannover side that has picked up just one point from the first three games, which came in a 2-2 draw with newly promoted Darmstadt.
That stalemate was followed by a 1-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen and a 3-0 reverse at the hands of Mainz in the last game before the international break.
Despite that disappointing run of results, Michael Frontzeck – who took over in April and ensured survival for the club last term – has been keen to stress patience with his side, stating on Wednesday that his team “needs time”.
Hannover did claim a 1-0 win against Dortmund away from home last season but, given the two clubs’ contrasting fortunes so far this campaign, Frontzeck may have to wait a little longer for his first league triumph of 2015-16.