bundesliga.com has the lowdown on what is certain to be an eventful encounter at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena...
Ostensibly, both teams are keen to keep picking up points to stay clear of the drop zone, yet both also have attacking weapons capable of troubling the best in the business. Fortunately for neutrals, neither side is minded to sit back and defend, so expect some heavy blows.
The hosts have very few personnel worries to speak of, with goalkeeper (l.) the only member of the squad unavailable for selection due to a lack of fitness after suffering a broken leg at Hertha Berlin on Matchday 29 of last season.
Kevin Trapp (ankle), Constant Djakpa, Carlos Zambrano, Nelson Valdez (all knee) and Jan Rosenthal (lack of fitness) all remain sidelined and are joined in the treatment room by goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald (glandular fever), meaning former Schalke and Hoffenheim custodian (r.) is set to make his debut for the guests.
In what is set to be an attacking slugfest, victory may well come down to which team is able to score the most. Now a full Brazil international, has scored three and made three for Hoffenheim this term and will be hopeful of adding to that tally here.
The same can be said of Frankfurt’s main dangerman, , who is currently the Bundesliga's leading scorer on ten goals, having hit a brace to help down SV Werder Bremen 5-2 at the Commerzbank Arena last Sunday.
Markus Gisdol (l.), Hoffenheim coach: “Frankfurt are on a great run. They’re playing with great ease on the ball and always look to attack. Alex Meier is extraordinary.”
Thomas Schaaf, Frankfurt coach: “Hoffenheim have played well, they’ve got a strong squad and are good in attack. It’ll be be a tough task.”
Hoffenheim are one of the league’s most dazzling sides when going forward, but they’ve conceded 15 goals in their last five games and have subsequently dropped points and slipped down the table. Frankfurt sit one point and one place above them in the standings after winning their last three consecutive matches.
The Sinsheim club have won half of the ten games these two have played to date, whereas Frankfurt have taken the spoils just twice. The corresponding fixture last season ended goalless, but Hoffenheim triumphed 2-1 away almost exactly a year ago.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Beck, Süle, Bicakcic, J.-S. Kim - Polanski, Schwegler - Volland, Firmino, Rudy - Szalai
Frankfurt: Hildebrand - Chandler, Russ, Anderson, Oczipka - Hasebe - Aigner, Inui, Stendera - Meier, Seferovic