Hamburg - The form books are stacked against Hamburger SV as they prepare for Saturday's visit of VfL Wolfsburg (kick-off 18:30 CEST/ 16:30 GMT).

bundesliga.com looks ahead to an encounter with more than just a hint of David vs. Goliath about it...

Wolfsburg show no signs of letting second place slip and could still catch leaders FC Bayern München before the season's out. At the other end of the spectrum, 16th-in-the-table HSV are fighting desperately to stave off a maiden relegation from the top flight, although they could end the weekend bottom.

is expected to move out to the right-hand side of defence to cover for the injured Dennis Diekmeier, who faces two weeks on the sidelines with a thigh problem. Maximilian Beister and Lewis Holtby are options in midfield, but Marcell Jansen, Gojko Kacar, Mohamed Gouaida and Ivo Ilicevic are all unavailable.

misses out after collecting his tenth yellow card of the campaign last time out. Dieter Hecking has a ready-made replacement for the Brazilian enforcer in Maximilian Arnold, and - with games coming thick and fast - may give Ivan Perisic the nod ahead of Daniel Caligiuri on the left-hand side of midfield.

's second coming at the Imtech Arena hasn't gone quite according to plan, but the Croatian veteran - who has yet to score since returning to HSV during the winter break - didn't get to 35 without experiencing the odd barren spell along the way. The former Wolf's inside knowledge might just help him break the cycle.

It doesn't matter what the opposition do, it would appear there is simply no way of stopping Kevin De Bruyne. Cut out the space down the left, he'll move inside. Limit his runs, he'll let his passing do all the talking. Oh, and he can score goals, too. With nine strikes and 17 assists, the 23-year-old has to be a candidate for player of the season.

Peter Knäbel: "Every man is ready and prepared to fight his hardest for the team. Freiburg have shown how to go about facing the Wolves as rank outsiders. They stuck to a plan and produced a tight team performance. We want to be just as courageous going forward."

Hecking: "Only Hamburg counts for us right now, the league takes top priority. We want to secure our place in the Champions League as quickly as possible - everything else plays second fiddle to that. Every point we take is really important."

Hamburg are without a win in seven and have lost their last three on the bounce. Wolfsburg, on the other hand, have lost once in ten league games since the turn of the year. They beat Stuttgart 3-1 on Saturday and followed that up by booking their place in the DFB Cup semi-finals thanks to against SC Freiburg.

Earlier in the campaign, goals from Olic and Aaron Hunt gave Wolfsburg a 2-0 home win that extended the their unbeaten league run over HSV to seven. Hamburg won away in February 2011 and August 2009, but haven't beaten the 2008/09 champions on home soil since April 2007 (D4, L3).

Possible line-ups:

Hamburg: Adler - Westermann, Djourou, Cleber, Ostrzolek - Behrami, Diaz - N. Müller, van der Vaart, Olic - Lasogga

Wolfsburg: Benaglio - S. Jung, Naldo, Knoche, Rodriguez - Guilavogui, Arnold - Perisic, De Bruyne, Schürrle - Dost

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