Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp expects a difficult test from Hannover when the two sides meet in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
Dortmund will enter the match full of confidence, having played superbly against English Premier League champions Manchester City in a 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw on Wednesday.
But Klopp’s side – who have won the last two Bundesliga crowns – only sit third in the domestic table – seven points off leaders Bayern Munich and just a point clear of fifth-placed Hannover.
Klopp paid tribute to Hannover coach Mirko Slomka and praised their improvement in recent years.
“Not only in the Europa League have Hannover been impressive,” Klopp said.
“They played 70 minutes against Levante with only 10 players and yet they still dominated the match. You would not have known Hannover had one player fewer than Levante. This is a quality that they have as a team.
“They have made great progress in recent years and coach Mirko Slomka does an outstanding job there.
“They kept their team together and moreover were able to improve the side. They have a clear idea of the game which they follow through every time. Furthermore, they have played really good matches in the Europa League and it has been enjoyable to watch their games.”
Klopp knows winning at the AWD-Arena will be difficult but says he and his players are excited about the challenge.
“So our match against them in the Bundesliga will be a very hard one,” he said.
“Hannover showed two faces in the Bundesliga so far – at home and away. And especially at home they showed their good face. So it will be no easy task for us.
“This match will really be an exciting one. We’re looking forward to it. After the highlight for us in Manchester this is another highlight in the Bundesliga because matches in Hannover are one of the most attractive away matches and it will be tough for us.”