Eintracht Frankfurt be looking for a victory that would set them up nicely for the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie with West Ham United. In their way stands a Hoffenheim side who are currently struggling for wins.
|Filip Kostic.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche|
After experiencing the highs of a 3-2 win against Barcelona at Camp Nou, Frankfurt were brought crashing back down to earth last weekend, when they lost out to Union Berlin.
The 2-0 away defeat to Union leaves Die Adler in the wilderness in tenth position. Qualifying for European competition via the league seems an unrealistic dream, while they are well clear of the drop zone with just four matches to play.
Frankfurt's best chance of being involved in European competition next season relies on them winning the Europa League. With that in mind, next Thursday's semi-final first leg against West Ham United will take priority over Saturday's encounter with Hoffenheim, but a win over Die Kraichgauer would certainly act as a confidence boost ahead of their trip to East London.
Despite reaching the final four of the Europa League, Frankfurt are not in the best form, with the only victory in their last eight matches in all competitions being the historic away win over Barcelona.
With their result form offering mixed results, on the face of it, a home fixture would be welcomed, but Frankfurt have struggled at Deutsche Bank Park in the Bundesliga this term, demonstrated by the fact that Die Adler have the third-worst home record in the top flight.
Djibril Sow has missed the last two matches, and he is expected to miss Saturday's contest, while Diant Ramaj is also sidelined.
Hoffenheim have seen their European dreams crumble before them in recent weeks. After 25 matches Die Kraichgauer sat in a lofty fourth position, but a five-game winless run has seen Hoffenheim drop down to eighth place.
The Champions League places have now escaped them with seven points separating them from the top four, but a top-six finish is still plausible.
Two points separate Sebastian Hoeneß and his players from Union in sixth place, but to close that gap Hoffenheim must halt their current slide.
Finding the net has been a real issue for the visitors in recent games, with their last five matches yielding just two Hoffenheim goals. What will concern Hoeneß is that the goalscoring issue has only occurred in the last month.
Despite their recent struggles in the final third, Hoffenheim are the fifth-highest scorers in the Bundesliga, highlighting that there is firepower in the squad. If they are to rekindle their European hopes, then Saturday's visitors need to rediscover their goalscoring touch.
Benjamin Hübner, Marco John and Chris Richards are all expected to miss Saturday's contest. Pavel Kaderabek and Christoph Baumgartner will also be unavailable, with the pair suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards.