John Brooks has the unenviable task of trying to keep Luka Jovic in check when top-six contenders Wolfsburg host Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday (kick-off: 8.30pm CEST/7.30pm BST/2.30pm ET).
Wolfsburg came up short against RB Leipzig last weekend, with their last three defeats all coming against top-three opposition. They've picked up routine wins over Fortuna Düsseldorf and Hannover during that run, though, and are still only two points adrift of the European places going into the weekend. Pavao Parvan is set to make his third successive Bundesliga appearance - and fifth overall - in the absence of first-choice goalkeeper Koen Casteels. The Austrian is yet to keep a clean sheet, however. A second-half substitute in the Wolves' last thee outings, striker Daniel Ginczek is pushing for his first start of 2019 following an ankle ligament injury. Renato Steffen would likely be the man to make way.
Frankfurt were also beaten last time out, though their 3-1 home loss to Augsburg was rather more unexpected. Gelson Fernandes was sent off at the Commerzbank-Arena as Eintracht's 11-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga came to an abrupt end. Jonathan de Guzman is expected to deputise in midfield, although coach Adi Hütter will have to factor Frankfurt's triumphant UEFA Europa League quarter-final exertions into his preparations. Goncalo Paciencia was on target against Augsburg, and could continue in attack alongside 17-goal top scorer Jovic, who penned a permanent deal with the club in midweek. Fellow striker Sebastien Haller remains on the sidelines.
Watch: Luka Jovic analysed by Tifo Football
- The last four meetings between Wolfsburg and Frankfurt have ended in draws.
- Wolfsburg's 12-goal leading marksman Wout Weghorst has not scored in three matches since rattling off a hat-trick against Düsseldorf on Matchday 26.
- Ginczek has had a direct hand in five goals in many games against Frankfurt (three, plus two assists).
- Frankfurt are unbeaten in six away Bundesliga matches, winning their last three in a row.
- Haller, Jovic and Ante Rebic have scored 40 of Frankfurt's 57 Bundesliga goals after 29 matches.
- Makoto Hasebe made 135 Bundesliga appearances for Wolfsburg between 2008 and 2013. He became the first Japanese player to play for, and the second to win the Bundesliga title with the Lower Saxony club (2009).
Wolfsburg: Pervan – William, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon – Gerhardt, Guilavogui (c), Arnold – Mehmedi – Ginczek, Weghorst
Out: Camacho (ankle), Casteels (thigh)
Doubtful: Verhaegh (rib)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia
Frankfurt: Trapp – Abraham (c), Hasebe, Hinteregger – Da Costa, De Guzman, Rode, Kostic – Rebic – Paciencia, Jovic
Out: Fernandes (suspended), Haller (abdominal strain), Stendera (back), Tawatha (ankle)
Coach: Adi Hütter