bundesliga.com previews a meeting between two sides at vastly different ends of the domestic spectrum...
Hamburg's gutsy 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund will all be for nothing if they can't back up that performance with a positive result against Hoffenheim. The visitors are yet to lose this season, though, and currently trail league leaders FC Bayern München by just four points.
Club captain could be in line for his first start since Matchday 2 after coming through a midweek Under-23s game unscathed. Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami has also been passed fit, despite picking up a knee injury on international duty.
Defender is available again after injury, but the game comes too soon for Sejad Salihovic, who only recently returned to training following a knee problem. South Korean international Jin-Su Kim faces four weeks on the sidelines, having flown back in from the Asian Games with a thigh muscle tear.
After netting his and HSV's first goal of the season in the Matchday 6 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, Nicolai Müller added an assist to his name a week later at Dortmund in an all-round attacking display emblematic of the port city club's mini revival. The signs are he's nearing his pre-Hamburg best.
continues to thrive under Markus Gisdol's wing. The Brazilian Zehner scored 16 goals last season and has once again been integral to die Kraichgauer's stellar start to 2014/15, netting once and chipping in with three assists in seven league games.
, Hamburg midfielder: "The Dortmund win doesn't mean the bad times are behind us. Every game is going to be really tough."
Markus Gisdol, Hoffenheim head coach: "We're not looking at [Hamburg's] position in the table and we're not the favourites."
It only took them seven matches but Hamburg finally picked up three points on the road at Dortmund last time out. They've still only scored twice all season, though, compared to unbeaten Hoffenheim's 11-strike tally; a number bettered only by Bayern (15), Bayer 04 Leverkusen (13) and Eintracht Frankfurt (12).
Hoffenheim did the double over Hamburg last term, with Firmino picking up two goals and three assists in a resounding 5-1 success at the Imtech Arena. Overall, the two sides have won five apiece and drawn two of their 12 Bundesliga meetings to date.
Hamburg: Drobny - Diekmeier, Djourou, Westermann, Ostrzolek - Behrami, Arslan - N. Müller, van der Vaart, Holtby - Lasogga
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Rudy, Süle, Strobl, Beck - Polanski, Schwegler - Volland, Roberto Firmino, Elyounoussi - Szalai