Hoffenheim wait on Hildebrand
"He still has pain in the groin and we will see how he is in the run up to kick off before deciding if he will play," said Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick. Hildebrand, who only joined Hoffenheim during the winter break, was injured during a collision after an hour of the 2-0 win over Energie Cottbus last weekend on his debut as the league leaders opened a two-point gap at the top of the table.
If Hildebrand fails to be fit in time, reserve goalkeeper Daniel Haas will step in. Hoffenheim have had a bad run of injury lately and 18-goal striker Vedad Ibisevic is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, but Nigerian forward Chinedu Obasi is back in the squad after a leg injury.
Defender Andreas Beck has been selected for the Germany team to face Norway next week, but there is no place in Joachim Loew's squad for Marvin Compper or Tobias Weis, who were selected for the 2-1 defeat by England last November. "That is an indication for both of them to work 100 per cent," said Rangnick. "It just shows that 80 or 90 per cent is not good enough."
Second-placed Hertha Berlin have the chance to go top of the table on Friday if they beat Arminia Bielefeld with injured striker Marko Pantelic out with a knee and ankle injury. The Serbian striker has said Berlin can win without him, but they will have a hard time against Arminia Bielefeld who shocked Werder Bremen last Sunday.
Having downed Bayern Munich last Friday, third-placed Hamburg are looking to keep the pressure on Hoffenheim with a win over relegation contenders Karlsruhe. Having slipped from second to fourth, Bayern Munich are waiting on the fitness of Germany striker Miroslav Klose who has an injury to his left knee before their clash with Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.
If the 30-year-old fails to make it, USA striker Landon Donovan, on loan from LA Galaxy, looks set to make his first Bundesliga start alongside Luca Toni. Having been humbled by Hamburg, Munich defender Martin Demichelis promises no such complaceny at home to Dortmund.
"In Hamburg, the team didn't really turn up for the first half-hour," said the Argentinian. "We will not repeat such a thing on Sunday, we will be at full power and very aggressive to make sure of the three points."
Fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen will take on Stuttgart, who are seventh, on Saturday with rising star Tony Kroos expected to feature after he was signed from Bayern Munich on loan. Having both slumped down to mid-table this season, Schalke will take on Werder Bremen with ex-Germany striker Kevin Kuranyi have said he is commited to the Royal Blues despite a bid from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspurs.
In Saturday's other games, Eintracht Frankfurt face Cologne, while VfL Wolfsburg host Bochum and on Sunday strugglers Energie Cottbus host Hanover.
Arminia Bielefeld v Hertha Berlin
Energie Cottbus-Hanover 96
Bayern Munich-Borussia Dortmund