Hamburg - Hamburger SV's superb home form this season will be given a stern test late on Saturday afternoon when free-scoring surprise package Eintracht Frankfurt arrive at the Imtech Arena (kick-off 18:30 CET).
Rafael van der Vaart and Co have won four consecutive matches on their own patch, taking the total to six victories from nine home games this term. However, Japanese livewire Takashi Inui - with five goals and four assists to his name already in his debut Bundesliga campaign - is one of the main threats to the Red Shorts extending that record.
Aside from the intimidating home statistics, the hosts have plenty of reason to be buoyant ahead of the match. Thorsten Fink's charges turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-2 victory against SV Werder Bremen last week, with Heung Min Son in outstanding form, taking his goal tally for the season to seven with a superb strike. On top of that, goalkeeper Rene Adler and centre-back Heiko Westermann have been called up into the latest Germany squad.
"The way we fought back in the game against Bremen gives me a lot of confidence for Saturday," Fink said. "As a promoted side, nobody expected Frankfurt to play so well. They're very daring and brave going forward and they have nothing to lose. But we want to attack as well and we'll try to force them on to the back foot."
In contrast to their hosts, Frankfurt brought in new faces during the winter transfer period in Marco Russ - a returning one, to be precise - and striker Srdjan Lakic. The Croatian is likely to make his debut appearance for the visitors, although Canadian international Olivier Occean and Karim Matmour are also vying for the lone striker's role.
The Eagles' scoring feats so far this term have been remarkable- only three teams have netted more than Frankfurt's 36 goals - but coach Armin Veh is evidently keen to share some of the attacking responsibility going into the business end of the season. Alex Meier is the league's second-highest scorer with twelve goals and he has forged a strong understanding with Inui. Not that Meier will need any extra motivation ahead of the clash: he'll be keen to get one over on the club with whom he first turned professional, but where he was unable to make his breakthrough.
Hamburg: Adler - Diekmeier, Bruma, Westermann, Jansen - Badelj - Arslan, van der Vaart, Aogo - Rudnevs, Son
Frankfurt: Trapp - Jung, Zambrano, Anderson, Oczipka - Schwegler, Rode - Aigner, Meier, Inui - Lakic
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