Grünwalder Strasse, Munich - On Monday evening TSV 1860 Munich and FC Energie Cottbus will play the last of the second division Bundesliga games of matchday 20 after a 6-week winter break.
Results this weekend have been relatively kind to 6th placed 1860 with Greuther Fürth and St Pauli both losing meaning that Reiner Maurer's men could narrow the gap to 5th place to four points should they beat "Die Laussitzer". Elsewhere at the top, Eintracht Frankfurt and Paderborn did manage home wins while league leaders Fortuna Dusseldorf ground out a draw with lowly FC Ingolstadt.
Expectations are high at the Munich club and three points from Monday night's game is an absolute must if any hopes of a top 3 finish are to be kept alive. Recent new additions have also got the fans talking and they'll be eager to see how they fair if given their home debut.
Guillermo Vallori has been drafted in on a free transfer after spending five years with Swiss side Grasshopper Club Zurich. The 29-year-old Spaniard impressed during his trial in December and will push for a place at centre-half.
Romanian international Maximillian Nicu is the other new face in the "Sechzig" dressing room. He joins from SC Freiburg and also boasts Hertha Berlin as a former employer. Born in Chiemsee, Baveria, it's like a home coming for Nicu and he'll no doubt want to make a big impact for his new club.
In charge of his first league game for Energie Cottbus, Rudi Bommer will be equally keen to impress. He takes charge of a team that lie 11th in the table with just 1 win in their last 8 matches. In the reverse fixture they conceded 5 goals without reply to record their worst league result of the season.
Bommer is able to call upon the services of former leading goal scorer Dimitar Rangelov who is back at the club on loan from Dortmund, the club he joined from Cottbus in 2009 when they were relegated from the top flight. He is expected to fill the void up front left by Emil Jula and Nils Petersen, two strikers that left the club last year for Bayern Munich and Duisburg, respectively.
Before the winter break The Lions had collected a remarkable 13 from a possible 15 points from their last five games and that put them top of the form table. The question now is whether they can pick up where they left off and continue the good form on what will feel like arctic temperatures at the Allianz Arena.
Editor's note: The Munich Times will have reporter Tony Mayger at the game and you can follow his live updates on Twitter (tony_tmt_sports).