bundesliga.com takes a closer look at the clash at the Imtech Arena...
Without a win since Matchday 8, Mainz are slipping dangerously towards the lower regions of the table, with their eight-game unbeaten start to the season now nothing more than a distant memory. Halting that slide is Mainz's aim, while Hamburg will be keen to pull themselves out of the drop zone with a third straight win in front of their own fans.
(pictured) is out for the rest of 2014 due to injury, so Cleber is set to deputise for him at the heart of the defence. is also unavailable due to an adductor complaint, as are Rene Adler and Valon Behrami.
Translation: Valon Behrami has to sit out tomorrow's game with a thigh tear.
Valon Behrami muss morgen mit Oberschenkelzerrung passen.— Hamburger SV (@HSV) December 6, 2014
(pictured, l.) is the only major absentee for Mainz coach Kasper Hjulmand, while is walking the proverbial suspension tightrope. One more booking would rule the Japanese striker out of Mainz's next game.
(pictured) may only have made three appearances for Hamburg, but he's already got tongues wagging in the Bundesliga. "He's already giving instructions in German and I get the feeling he's becoming more and more confident in training," claimed team-mate . The 24-year-old could celebrate his birthday in style this Sunday.
Translation: 24th birthday greetings for Cleber...
Cléber, feliz aniversário! Zum 24. Geburtstag gratulieren wir ganz herzlich! pic.twitter.com/k6uWoeRtyl— Hamburger SV (@HSV) December 5, 2014
(pictured) has not yet produced the free-scoring form Mainz had hoped for, but the playmaker has nevertheless been at his influential best this season. The South Korean has all the potential to be Mainz's headline-maker and his string-pulling capabilities will undoubtedly prove the key to unlocking Hamburg's backline.
Josef Zinnbauer (pictured), Hamburg coach: "We want our third home win in a row and if we give 100 percent on the field, then we’ve got a good chance."
Kasper Hjulmand, Mainz coach: "I expect a reaction from my team. We need 90 minutes of concentration and a good mentality. Our next three games are vitally important."
Hamburg are searching for a third victory in five, having won their last two home games, whilst losing twice on foreign soil. Mainz's form has nosedived since mid-October and they are currently without a win in five, while they have only left the field victorious once since Matchday 4, a period spanning nearly three months.
Mainz won both meetings 3-2 last season. Before that, Hamburg had not lost in four matches against this weekend's visitors, although games between these two sides have rarely been decided by more than one goal - the last time there was a greater margin of victory was in 2011 when Mainz won 4-2 away.
Hamburg: Drobny - Diekmeier, Djourou, Cleber, Ostrzolek - Behrami, van der Vaart - Müller, Marcos - Lasogga, Rudnevs
Mainz: Karius - Brosinski, Bell, Bungert, Junior Diaz - Geis, Park - Koo - Allagui, Djuricic - Okazaki