Munich - This Saturday is round 16 of the 2nd Bundesliga season and for TSV 1860 Munich possibly their biggest game of the season so far.
Unbeaten table toppers Eintrakt Frankfurt, a team that were relegated from the top flight last season, will make the 400km trip south to Munich. "The Eagles" are firmly on course to make an instant return back to the premier division of German football next year just as they last did in 2005 - it's hard to image anything but an away win at the Allianz Arena.
The Lions might just have something to say about that though. Their stop-start season has left them in the "best of the rest" category occupying a respectable 6th place but still a whopping 9 points adrift of Paderborn in 5th. They haven't beaten any team that's currently above them but if ever there was to be a surprise upset, this could be it. "The pressure is not on us," claims 1860 boss Reiner Maurer.
Last week Maurer's merry men travelled to Ingolstadt and ground out a hard fought 1-0 win. Necat Aygun returned to the squad for that game and put in a stand-out performance at the heart of defence. Joining Aygun back from the treatment table was the goal scorer from that game Djorde Rakic who also put in a very good shift. If both players can carry their good form into the next game then Frankfurt could get their feathers ruffled.
The home defence will have to be sharp though. Austrian international striker Erwin Hoffer, on loan from Napoli will be looking to add to his 5 goal tally this season. Perhaps more impressive for Armin Veh's team though is Mohamadou Idrissou with a 7 goal haul from 9 appearances. Theofanis Gekas is the other danger man up front so choosing who will start between that motley collection will be tricky for Veh.
Maurer will mostly likely stick with his tried and tested system with Kevin Volland, whose services for the remainder of the season were finally captured last week, playing alongside Benny Lauth. The question is, will the manager stick with Rakic out wide on the left and drifting infield like last week or ask Sandro Kaiser to fill in on the left for the injured Daniel Halfar instead?
One key player that will be missing is midfield dynamo Daniel Bierofka who sits this one out due to suspension after picking up a 5th yellow card. His battling qualities and ball distribution will leave a huge hole in midfield, an area where 1860 badly need reinforcements. Maurer has to choose between two players to partner up with Kai Bulow in the middle. Dominik Stahl for his fitness and forward movement or Collin Benjamin for his experience and strength in deeper positions.
The Munich Times will have reporter Tony Mayger at the game and you can follow his live updates on Twitter (tony_tmt_sports).