Two of the Bundesliga's finest Mexican imports and firm childhood friends, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and Marco Fabian, meet on Saturday of Matchday 30 when Bayer 04 Leverkusen welcome Eintracht Frankfurt to the BayArena (kick-off: 15:30CEST/13:30GMT).
The hosts Leverkusen come into this one as one of the top flight's in-form sides, having beaten local rivals 1. FC Köln 2-0 last time out, a fourth win in as many games. Chicharito has been in fine form in that run - netting twice in the last two games, and has been ably assisted by young attacking midfielder Julian Brandt, who himself has scored in each of the last three games.
It is an altogether different situation at Frankfurt approaching Matchday 30, however. The Eagles occupy 17th place and are three points adrift of outright safety. The appointment of Niko Kovac as permanent head coach is yet to have the desired effect; the Croat has only won one of his four matches in charge, although could turn to Fabian for an additional does of creativity this weekend.
Matchday 13 rewind: Frankfurt 1-3 Leverkusen
Matchday 30 - match stats
- Chicharito and Fabian are the only two Mexicans currently playing in the Bundesliga. Both played for Chivas Guadalajara together until 2010.Leverkusen have won the last four games without conceding a goal.For their part, Frankfurt have only won once in the last 11 games.This is the most-played Bundesliga fixture (61 times) never to end 0-0.The Eagles have only scored once in four games under Kovac and have managed a mere 31 shots in those encounters.Alexander Meier - still out injured - is a big miss for the visitors: He has scored 41 per cent of Frankfurt's goals this season, a league-high contribution.Frankfurt boast the league's worst away record this season (W2 D3 L9).
Leverkusen: Leno - Jedvaj, Bender, Tah, Henrichs - Kramer, Calhanoglu - Bellarabi, Brandt - Kießling, Chicharito
Absentees: Kruse (ligament strain), Boenisch, Toprak (both thigh), Papadopoulos (calf), Hilbert (collar bone), Kampl (broken leg), Wendell, Ramalho (both suspended)
Coach: Roger Schmidt
Frankfurt: Hradecky - Chandler, Abraham, Russ, Djakpa - Hasebe, Kittel - Huszti - Aigner, Ben-Hatira - Castaignos
Absentees: Anderson, Flum (rehabilitation), Zambrano (thigh), Medojevic (Achilles), Meier (knee), Reinartz (thigh)
Coach: Niko Kovac