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Atlético size up Hannover

Club Atlético de Madrid will look to take another step toward the 2012 UEFA Europa League final as they meet Hannover 96, the most inexperienced side in the last eight.

Falcao is Atlético's top scorer in the competition this season
Falcao is Atlético's top scorer in the competition this season ©AFP/Getty Images

Winners of the inaugural UEFA Europa League, Club Atlético de Madrid will look to take another step toward the 2012 final as they meet Hannover 96.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.

• Atlético's record in 30 games against German sides is W13 D6 L11 (W8 D2 L3 at home).

• Three of those games were played on neutral territory – the 1974 European Champions Clubs' Cup final, staged in Brussels, which FC Bayern München won 4-0 in a replay after a 1-1 draw; and the second leg of the 1961/62 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-final against SC Motor Jena – now FC Carl Zeiss Jena – played in Malmo, Sweden. Atlético won 4-0.

• Hannover's only previous meeting with Spanish opponents came in this season's UEFA Europa League play-off round when, against the odds, they eliminated Sevilla FC, winning 2-1 at home then drawing 1-1 in Seville.

Match background
• Atlético have won their last seven European home games, since losing 3-2 to Aris Thessaloniki FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Hannover's six European away games this season have ended W3 D2 L1. They only failed to score in one of those games, and registered twice in three of them.

• Atlético were last in the quarter-finals in 2010; they knocked out Valencia CF and then Liverpool FC to reach the final, which they won 2-1 against Fulham FC in Hamburg.

• Hannover are competing in UEFA competition for only the second time in their history, and this is the first time they have played post-Christmas club competition football. Their previous campaign, in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, ended in a 4-3 aggregate first round defeat by SV Werder Bremen.

• Hannover's 4-0 win against R. Standard de Liège in the round of 16 second leg was their biggest victory in UEFA competition.

Team facts
• Should Atlético reach the final, the decider in Bucharest would be their 100th game in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League.

• Atlético's next goal will be their 400th in UEFA club competition.

• FC Schalke 04's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is this season's top scorer in the UEFA Europa League with nine goals. Of the strikers left in the competition, Atlético's Falcao is his nearest rival with six goals. The Colombian set a competition record last season, scoring 17 goals as he won the UEFA Europa League with FC Porto.

• Atlético are at their most dangerous between the 16th and 45th minutes, when ten of their 21 goals since the start of the group stage have been scored.

• Adrián López and Falcao are the only players to have featured in all ten of Atlético's games since the start of the group stage. Between them, they have scored 11 of the club's 21 goals.

• No Hannover player has scored more than two goals in Europe this season, with seven of them registering twice.

• Three Hannover players have featured in all ten of their games since the start of the group stage: midfielders Sergio Pinto, Lars Stindl and Konstantin Rausch.

• Atlético's Brazilian playmaker Diego has plenty of German experience, having played for Werder Bremen (2006-09) and VfL Wolfsburg (2010-11), with the latter loaning him to the Madrid side this season. He has scored four goals in his seven games against Hannover.

• Diego Simeone replaced Gregorio Manzano as Atlético coach on 23 December. The former Argentina midfielder had two spells at the club as a player, winning a domestic double in 1995/96. He won the 1997/98 UEFA Cup with FC Internazionale Milano and is coaching in Europe for a second time, having helped Calcio Catania avoid relegation from Serie A in 2010/11.

• Hannover coach Mirko Slomka led the club he had previously served as a player and assistant into Europe with a fourth-placed Bundesliga finish in his first season in charge.

• In the 2005/06 UEFA Cup, Slomka led Schalke from the round of 32 to the semi-finals after replacing Ralf Rangnick as coach following the group phase.

Final rounds
• The winners will take on AZ Alkmaar or Valencia in the semi-finals, playing the first leg at home. Whoever prevails in that tie will be the nominal home side in the final in Bucharest's National Arena on 9 May.

• Hannover have never played in Bucharest, while Atlético have been to the Romanian capital three times, with the record W1 D1 L1.

• Atlético beat Valencia on away goals in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

• There was an all-Spanish UEFA Cup final in 2006/07, when Sevilla FC beat RCD Espanyol on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

• Of their potential final opponents, Atlético have only met Sporting Clube de Portugal in a European game, beating them on away goals in the round of 16 en route to winning the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League.

• Hannover have not met any of their potential semi-final or final opponents in Europe, though they are familiar with FC Schalke 04 – once coached by their boss Slomka – from the Bundesliga.

• There was an all-German UEFA Cup final in 1979/80, when Eintracht Frankfurt got the better of VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach on away goals.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here: