Fürth – The final instalment of Bundesliga Matchday 27 takes place in northern Bavaria, where bottom club Greuther Fürth play host to surprise package Eintracht Frankfurt.
Both clubs climbed the promotion pole last season, but their subsequent top-flight experiences have been markedly different. While Frankfurt have settled in as though they were never away and are seeking the win that could take them back into the top four, Fürth are in the grip of an increasingly long-odds battle for survival.
Last season's Bundesliga 2 champs have been propping up the rest of the table since Matchday 7. They have managed just two wins all season and, with nine points separating them from even the relegation play-off place, the clock is ticking down fast on their debut season in Germany's top flight.
Frankfurt, by contrast, have the luxury of past experience to draw upon. One of the country's most established clubs, the Eagles have played in 43 of the 50 Bundesliga campaigns to date and perhaps that experience has helped them navigate the top-flight this term. Their season began with four straight victories and they remain on course for Europe, an achievement well in excess of their nominal target of simply staying afloat.
Lack of goals
The Eagles’ season has stuttered in recent weeks, however. After finishing the first half of the campaign with 33 points from 17 games, they have taken a comparatively meagre nine points from nine in 2013. The key to that dip in form might well be their shyness in front of goal of late. Armin Veh’s men have scored just once in their past seven games and leading scorer Alexander Meier is without a goal since 19 January.
However, such goalscoring woes pale in comparison to Fürth. The Bavarians have scored a paltry four goals at home all season, amassing the same amount of points.
"No easy games"
Yet in spite of their poor goalscoring record at the Trolli Arena, Frankfurt coach Armin Veh warned of how dangerous the Clover Leaves can be. "Last season they finished above us and were better than us in terms of their speed in attack," said the 52-year-old, who signed a new contract with the club this week. “It’s like I always say: in the Bundesliga there are no easy games.”
Fürth: Hesl – Zimmermann, Sobiech, Mavraj, Baba – Pekovic – Nehrig, Petsos, Fürstner, Klaus - Djurdjic
Frankfurt: Nikolov – Jung, Zambrano, Anderson, Oczipka – Rode, Schwegler – Inui, Meier, Aigner - Occean