Ja-Cheol Koo (l.) is set to face his former employers VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday
Ja-Cheol Koo (l.) is set to face his former employers VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday

Mainz face Wolfsburg; battle of the Eintrachts in Frankfurt

Munich - 1. FSV Mainz hope to inflict a third successive defeat on VfL Wolfsburg when Thomas Tuchel's side travel to the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CET).

VfL Wolfsburg - 1. FSV Mainz

Elsewhere, SC Freiburg host 1899 Hoffenheim and bottom-of-the-table Eintracht Braunschweig travel to Eintracht Frankfurt. bundesliga.com looks ahead to Saturday's top flight action...

is set to face his former club when Mainz make the trip to Lower Saxony to face Wolfsburg. The South Korea captain, who marked his second appearance for the club with the all-important second goal in der Karnivalverein's 2-0 victory over SC Freiburg last time out, says he doesn't plan on going easy his former employers on Saturday.

"I really hope we can leave Wolfsburg with all three points. A goal would also be nice" said the 24-year-old, who made just 32 appearances for the Wolves during his three-year spell with the club. "Everything's great for me [at my new club]," added Koo. "They team is good and the people are really friendly."

'No surprise'

Koo's former team-mates haven't had the best of starts to the Rückrunde. A 3-1 defeat to local rivals Hannover 96 was followed by a narrow 2-1 defeat to FC Schalke 04, and coach Dieter Hecking knows his team have to improve if they wish to avoid a third consecutive league defeat.

"Mainz are having a very good season, as they seem to have every year," said Hecking. They play aggressively and are good going forward. They always give 110 per cent and work incredibly hard for each other. It's no coincidence - and certainly no surprise to me - that they're level on points with us near the top."

SC Freiburg - 1899 Hoffenheim

The Coface Arena plays host to a Baden-Württemberg derby on Saturday as Freiburg host Hoffenheim. Both teams have had mixed starts to the second half of the 2013/14 campaign: Christian Streich's Freiburg succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at Mainz following an impressive win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen, while Hoffenheim bounced back from Matchday 19's defeat at 1. FC Nürnberg with victory over Hamburger SV.

Streich doesn't feel geographical proximity between the two clubs will have any bearing on the result. "Every match is different," said the 48-year-old. "I don't expect their to be many goals, but there could be the odd surprise. Individual mistakes could also have an impact on the game."


"The derbies against Freiburg are always very emotional affairs," said Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol, who will be hoping his team can pick up where they left off on Matchday 19, when goals from Roberto Firmino, Niklas Süle and Andreas Beck sealed a comfortable victory over Hamburg.

"The first game was a proper fight. Neither team held back and we're expecting our opponents to try and push their boundaries again this time. Freiburg and Hoffenheim are two of the youngest teams in the division. It's going to be a special game."

Eintracht Frankfurt - Eintracht Braunschweig

After resting some of his first-team regulars last weekend for the 5-0 defeat to FC Bayern München, Eintracht Frankfurt coach Armin Veh is set to name his first-choice starting XI for the visit of Eintracht Braunschweig, and that could include Vaclav Kadlec once again.

The Czech forward has been missing from the last four matches, but he showed in the corresponding fixture in the first half of the season how big a threat he can be. "He's making a good impression," said Veh on Thursday. Kadlec, who last started on Matchday 16, set up a goal on his debut against Braunschweig at the Eintracht Stadion.

High hopes

Frankfurt would welcome a repeat of that 2-0 win as they look to pull away from the danger zone, but Braunschweig, who trail their hosts by just six points, are not planning on making things easy for them.

"We're capable of exceeding ourselves," said coach Torsten Lieberknecht. "The hope we can get something away from home is high." At the same time, Lieberknecht acknowledges Frankfurt are in a different league to his side. "They are technically very strong and I expect them to move away from the lower regions of the league very quickly," he added. "Hopefully they will only do that after our duel."