Frankfurt - Eintracht Frankfurt play host to Hamburger SV in Saturday's late kick-off (17:30 CEST), with much of the interest focused on the guest dugout, where Bert van Marwijk will be taking his bow as the Red Shorts' new head coach.
"Knows which buttons to press"
The 61-year-old former Dutch national team coach was appointed as Thorsten Fink's successor late on Monday, inheriting a team third from bottom of the table with just four points to show from their opening six matches.
A Bundesliga old hand, having occupied the Borussia Dortmund hotseat from June 2004 to December 2006, van Marwijk has wasted no time making clear to his new charges that, as far as he is concerned, everything starts afresh in Frankfurt's Commerzbank Arena on Saturday evening. "Obviously he can't perform miracles in the space of three days, but he knows which buttons to press to get things moving quickly," keeper Rene Adler surmised by way of a first impression.
Hamburg can at least travel to Frankfurt on a winning note, having scraped into the third round of the DFB Cup at SpVgg Greuther Fürth's expense on Tuesday. Pierre-Michel Lasogga marked his competitive starting debut with the only goal of the contest against the Bundesliga 2 outfit and the on-loan Germany U-21 forward is likely to get a chance from the off against Eintracht as well.
Frankfurt chasing first home points
Van Marwijk's primary area of concern, however, is at the other end of the pitch, where Hamburg have already leaked a division-high 17 goals. "We have to defend as a single unit," he stressed from the off, while as far as the outcome of his debut is concerned, the message was equally plain: "I want to win every game. Declaring anything else is a mistake, because then you take that attitude out onto the pitch with you."
Hosts Frankfurt, having won this fixture home and away last season, are aiming for three straight Bundesliga wins against HSV for the first time since the mid-1960s. Victory in its own right on Saturday is of far greater importance to head coach Armin Veh, however, given that, "we haven't earned a single point at home so far. This is an important game, regardless of the opposition."
Hosts on the up
That said, Eintracht's two previous games on home turf ended in single-goal defeats to FC Bayern and Dortmund. On the road, since being demolished 6-1 in Berlin on Matchday 1, the Eagles have won at Braunschweig and Bremen and, last time out, came away from Stuttgart with another point in the bag. Throw in a 3-0 victory over Bordeaux to kick-start the UEFA Europa League group stage and a solid performance to progress in the DFB Cup against Bochum, and Frankfurt are a team very much on the up of late.
On the personnel front, a back problem means Alexander Meier misses out on the meeting with the club he represented at youth level, while Veh said left back Bastian Oczipka "could be involved, but it's not certain yet." For Hamburg, midfield prospect Kerem Demirbay (hip muscle injury) joins defender Slobodan Rajkovic and longer-term absentees Dennis Diekmeier and Tomas Rincon on the list of those not available to van Marwijk for his Bundesliga comeback.
Frankfurt: Trapp - Jung, Zambrano, Anderson, Oczipka - Russ - Rode, Barnetta, Inui - Aigner, Kadlec
Hamburg: Adler - Westermann, Tah, Djourou, Jansen - Badelj, Arslan - Beister, van der Vaart, Calhanoglu - Lasogga