Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 have the top four in their crosshairs as they prepare for Saturday's end-of-year visit of struggling Hamburger SV (kick-off 14:30 GMT/ 15:30 CET).

bundesliga.com looks ahead to a game between two sides with vastly different winter wishes...

Depending on results elsewhere, victory for Schalke would lift them into the UEFA Champions League places for the first time this season. It's a scenario lowly Hamburg can only dream of, with the Bundesliga's self-styled dinosaurs currently sitting just a point clear of the relegation places in 14th.

Roberto Di Matteo opted for a three-man defence against SC Paderborn 07 on Wednesday. Brazilian centre-back replaced Jan Kirchhoff at half time in that one, but reports suggest Kaan Ayhan will be the one dropping to the bench on Saturday afternoon. Kevin-Prince Boateng and Julian Draxler remain sidelined.

Josef Zinnbauer is expected to stick an extra man in midfield after leading scorer (l.) suffered a thigh strain in midweek. Mohamed Gouaida, Tolgay Arslan and Zoltan Stieber are all vying for a starting berth in the middle of the park, but talismanic captain Rafael van der Vaart (l.) misses out through suspension.

has netted ten goals in his last seven appearances against HSV, including one on his comeback from a serious knee ligament injury in January. The Dutch striker has since added a further 16 goals to his 2014 Bundesliga tally, but ominously hasn't scored in his last four outings in all competitions.

has scored just one goal in 11 league appearances this season, but should relish the freedom and responsibility of playing in the lone striker's role in the absence of Lasogga. The Latvian won't be short of chances either, judging by the shaky performance of Schalke's three-man back line on Wednesday night.

, Schalke striker: "I'm playing against my hometown club, but obviously we want to win."

Josef Zinnbauer, HSV head coach: "We've got a game plan, but we still have to carry it out. It won't be easy."

Schalke bounced back from their first home defeat of the 2014/15 Bundesliga campaign to 1. FC Köln with a smash-and-grab win at Paderborn on Matchday 16. VfB Stuttgart inflicted an eighth league loss of the season on Hamburg, whose only away win this term came at Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 7.

This fixture's been good for goals in recent years, with at least three flying in in each of the two sides' last six league meetings. HSV held Schalke to a 3-3 draw at the Veltins Arena in 2013/14, but haven't won in Gelsenkirchen since January 2011.

Possible line-ups:

Schalke: Fährmann - Neustädter, Kirchhoff, Höwedes - Uchida, Fuchs - Aogo - Barnetta, M. Meyer - Huntelaar, Choupo-Moting

Hamburg: Drobny - Diekmeier, Djourou, Cleber, Ostrzolek - Behrami, Arslan - N. Müller, Holtby, Gouaida - Rudnevs

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