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1516 burnley turf moor 04We’re just one week away from the start of the new Premier League season. We’ve played a number of public pre-season games and now face the last of them with the much looked forward to visit of German Bundesliga club Hannover 96.

They lost their place, along with Vfb Stuttgart, in the top flight a year ago, but the pair of them are back again having secured the top two places in last season’s 2 Bundesliga to clinch automatic promotion.

Based in the largest city in the state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), they have been German champions on two occasions although it is some time since they last won it. They took the title in 1938 and again, for the second and last time in 1954. They have also won the DFB-Pokal once, in the 1991/92 season.

This season they are under new management with André Breitenreiter having taken over from Daniel Stendel in March and steering them through to promotion, just one point ahead of third place Eintracht Braunschweig.

As far as I know, this is only the second time the two clubs have met with the last occasion in Germany during pre-season in 1966 when Ralph Coates scored in a 1-1 draw. Later that season we played both Vfb Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt in the Fairs Cup and tomorrow will see us face a German team at home for the first time since those games over 50 years ago although we’ve had more recent games against SV Wacker Burghausen (twice) and TSV 1860 Munich 2004 and 2005.

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It’s Wilkommen bei den Roten who are expected to bring around 600 supporters with them to the game too and for those unable to make it, they are streaming the game on their website hannover96.de and Facebook.

They are still two weeks away from their first league game, an away fixture against Schalke 04, but for Burnley, who will play in their new white kit tomorrow with Hannover 96 presumably wearing their traditional red,  it gives Sean Dyche one last opportunity to see his players in action before we go to Chelsea next week.

Having played against a passing side in Celta Vigo last Tuesday, Dyche is expecting us to face a team more like we’ll find in the Premier League. “You can never guarantee that, but the German sides tend to be a little bit more that way thinking and a little bit more like us,” he said. “It was a very technical team we played the other night. Usually, not always, German sides are slightly more mixed.

“They can be technical but they also be slightly more robust and formatted and a bit more methodical, so we have tried to find that healthy balance amongst all these different fixtures for different reasons in order to get the players ready.”

He’s hinted that tomorrow will see a team much close to the one he’s likely to start with at Chelsea but has said: “I don’t think the exact team will necessarily play on Saturday.” It will certainly be interesting to see what formation we use having played a 4-3-3 system at Forest and then more of a 4-5-1 last Tuesday.

If the game is as enjoyable as last Tuesday, it’s one to look forward to.

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