Schalke return to the scene of one of their greatest successes in recent years when they head to Freiburg, although coach Roberto Di Matteo says the past does not matter
Schalke return to the scene of one of their greatest successes in recent years when they head to Freiburg, although coach Roberto Di Matteo says the past does not matter

Plenty to play for before international break

Cologne - There is one final push to be made before the two-week international break with plenty to be gained on Saturday (kick-off 14:30 GMT/15:30 CET) up and down the country.

SC Freiburg - FC Schalke 04 takes a closer look at this Saturday's action on Matchday 11...

Memories of one of the most dramatic games in recent Bundesliga history will be evoked this weekend when FC Schalke 04 travel to SC Freiburg, where the Royal Blues have particularly fond memories from the final day of the 2012/13 campaign.

Just 18 months ago the Royal Blues snatched fourth place in the Bundesliga, and a berth in the UEFA Champions League, by virtue of a 2-0 win at the Schwarzwald-Stadion. "That was a good result, but it belongs to the past," said Schalke coach Roberto Di Matteo, whose side are without a win away from home under his guidance.

Beating the travel sickness

"It's going to be a hard game, but we also want to pick up points away from home," added the Italian coach. "We're under pressure on our travels." While Di Matteo may not like to look at the past, Schalke do have a good recent record in the Black Forest with just one defeat in their last six trips south.

Bidding to make that two are a Freiburg side boosted by back-to-back wins in the league and DFB-Cup. "We wanted to build on our cup win in Cologne last weekend, and we did that with a really good performance and a deserved win," said midfielder Sascha Riether, who will be hoping for his third start in a row off the back of his previous two showings - and preferably another three points.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - 1. FC Köln

It's a case of business as usual for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim with the first Bundesliga defeat of their season not appearing to have made any impression on four-goal hitman Anthony Modeste, who is looking forward to Saturday's clash with 1. FC Köln.

A 3-1 reverse at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 10 may have blotted their copybook, but it hasn't left any mark on their confidence levels. "We've managed to carry the momentum from the second half of last season into the new season, and that's why things are going so well," he told "We've got a great atmosphere within the team and it's great fun to be part of it."

Keeping the faith

For Modeste, the Gladbach defeat could even be a blessing in disguise. "There are positives to it," he said. "At least nobody's now talking about our unbeaten streak, so we can focus on our work again. We need to get the three points."

Köln, meanwhile, are without Marcel Risse, who underwent knee surgery this week. "Of course we're going to miss him," said coach Peter Stöger. "I'm sorry for Marcel because he was an important factor for us and I can only hope he's fit again soon." Miso Brecko could replace him with Stöger saying he has "unconditional faith" in his entire squad, which includes Jonas Hector fresh from his .

FC Augsburg - SC Paderborn

FC Augsburg face SC Paderborn for the first time in the top-flight of German football this weekend, although the two sides are already well acquainted from the lower levels of the game.

Their respective rises to the Bundesliga provide enough inspiration for clubs of all sizes and traditions to see how the dream of one day eating at the top table is anything but impossible, with Paderborn coach Andre Breitenreiter openly admitting that Augsburg's recent story is particularly stimulating. "They are like role models for us," he said.

No mercy

Having earned the right to measure themselves against Augsburg in the Bundesliga, Paderborn have even moved three points ahead of their hosts in the standings, although that "does not make us favourites," according to Breitenreiter, who is happy not to assume that role in any of his side's games this season.

"They follow the motto 'we've got nothing to lose' - and I like it," said Augsburg midfielder , who comes up against an old friend in , with whom he played between 2008 and 2011. "I hope they stay up, but I won't be showing Lukas any mercy - I want to score against him."