Preview and Manager Interview
Another tough game will take place on Saturday (kick off 15.30 CET) with Eintracht Frankfurt hosting Ralf Rangnick's 1899 Hoffenheim. Enjoy the match preview and the interview with Eintracht manager Michael Skibbe.
INTERVIEW WITH MANAGER MICHAEL SKIBBE
Mr Skibbe, did the Eintracht players on national duty return well from their trips relating to international games?
Yes, they are well. Pirmin Schwegler played 65 minutes for Switzerland, Giorgos Tzavellas 90 for Greece.
What about the injured players?
Maik Franz joined for the full practice session today and will be in the squad for Saturday. Uemit Korkmaz has some problems but will most likely be OK to join the final training.
Alexander Meier is back in training, how does it look for him?
I would like to have him in the squad and I’m positive that it will happen until the game, but I will have to talk to him again.
What do you think of 1899 Hoffenheim?
They are a skilful team with good pace. This season the played a little more defensive away from home compared to last season. In Hamburg and Dortmund they stood solidly at the back and were waiting for fast breaks. We have to be totally focussed on their fast strikers Ba and Mlapa during counter attacks.
Will the remaining five games until the winter berak be an indicator for the rest of the campaign?
We should think from game to game. Any kind of trend quickly can go either way hence I tend not to call certain games ‘ground-breaking’.
Are you prepared for the moment when the great current unbeaten run will not last?
I am pretty relaxed about that, you cannot plan success or failure.
Four times Eintracht and Hoffenheim have met, resulting in a couple of 1-1 draws and 2-1 defeats for the Eagles. It is only the third Bundesliga season for 1899 Hoffenheim who got promoted to the top flight in 2008/09, with financial backing of SAP owner Dietmar Hopp. Their manager Ralf Rangnick has formed a skilful and capable team that right from their promotion seemed to take Bundesliga by storm. This season they again started well with three wins in a row but recently have lacked both form and good results from that opening period.
Possible starting eleven of EINTRACHT:
Nikolov – Jung, Franz, Russ, Tzavellas – Schwegler, Köhler – Ochs, Caio, Altintop – Gekas.
Possible starting eleven of HOFFENHEIM:
Haas – Beck, Vorsah, Compper, Ibertsberger – Rudy, Luiz Gustavo, Salihovic – Mlapa, Ba, Vukcevic.
Around 42,000 tickets have been sold so far for Saturday’s game.
Eintracht will play in their traditional black and red kit, Hoffenheim in white.
Live Match Coverage
Check the English live text commentary on eintracht.de – you can follow the action with live updates from 15.30h CET onwards HERE.
Eintracht grabbed a point away to 1899 with a 1-1 draw and lost the second leg at home (1-2).
Pre Ticket Sales
Ticket sales for the last two home games before the winter break (v Mainz and Dortmund) have picked up, pre sale tickets are nearly sold out.
In the round of the last 16 Eintracht will play away to 2. Bundesliga team Alemannia Aachen on the 22nd of December (20.30h CET).
On Sunday, the day after the Hoffenheim game, Eintracht's and Bundesliga's top striker Theofanis Gekas (11 goals in 12 league games) will celebrate his 31st birthday.