Separated by only one point in the Bundesliga standings, Eintracht Frankfurt host TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday (kick-off: 13:30GMT/15:30CEST) in a crucial encounter in the relegation dogfight.
After defeat at FC Bayern München last week, Frankfurt remain in 17th, a place from the bottom. Niko Kovac's men will, though, take plenty of confidence from the victory over fellow strugglers against Hannover 96 prior to the international break, and will be able to call upon the craft and trickery of Mexico international Marco Fabian after he missed out last week.
Hoffenheim, though, will approach this one on a high after Matchday 28's 1-1 draw with 1. FC Köln meant the Sinsheimers left the relegation zone for the first time since Matchday 8. Die Kraichgauer have been a side transformed under young coach on Julian Nagelsmann, and know a win here would go a long way to securing their Bundesliga status for another year.
Matchday 12 rewind: Hoffenheim 0-0 Frankfurt
Matchday 29 - match stats
- With only 27 points after 28 Matchdays, this is Eintracht Frankfurt's worst season since 2003/04, when the Eagles were relegated.Hoffenheim have picked up as many points in eight games under Julian Nagelsmann (14) than in the previous 20.When Nagelsmann took over after Matchday 20, Die Kraichgauer were seven points behind Eintracht. They now sit one point and three places ahead.Frankfurt mathematically ensured survival with a 3-1 over Hoffenheim on home turf on Matchday 32 last season.The Eagles have, however, only scored two goals in the last seven Bundesliga games.Apart from the new Hannover 96 coach Daniel Stendel, no Bundesliga coach has as little managerial experience in the German top flight than Nagelsmann (eight games) and Kovac (three).
Frankfurt: Hradecky - Chandler, Zambrano, Russ, Djakpa - Hasebe - Fabian, Stendera, Huszti, Ben-Hatira - Castaignos
Absentees: Anderson, Flum (rehabilitation), Medojevic (Achilles), Meier (knee)
Coach: Niko Kovac
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Kaderabek, Süle, Bicakcic, Toljan - Strobl - Rudy, Amiri - Uth, Volland - Kramaric
Absentees: Herdling (knee), Schwegler (light training)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann