Berlin: Runaway league leaders Bayern Munich are waiting on the fitness of Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger for Saturday night's high-profile Bundesliga clash against struggling Schalke 04.
Bayern are enjoying a remarkable season: no other team has managed to either concede only seven goals after 20 games in Bundesliga history or keep 14 clean sheets in the same number of games.
With a 12-point lead in the Bundesliga, they face Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League on February 19, then host Dortmund in the German Cup quarter-finals on February 27 as they look for their first title since May 2010.
Ahead of the Schalke match, there are concerns over Schweinsteiger, who missed Germany's 2-1 friendly win in France on Wednesday after turning his ankle in the win at Mainz last weekend.
"Bastian has a real problem with the ankle," admitted coach Jupp Heynckes after Schweinsteiger trained on Thursday with the club waiting to see how how the ankle reacts.
Brazil's Luis Gustavo is ready to step into the defensive midfield role alongside Javi Martinez, while Germany striker Mario Gomez and Dutch wing Arjen Robben are set to remain on the bench.
Gomez has played a total of just 20 minutes, spread over three games, so far in 2013 and his main rival for the striker berth Mario Mandukic has had a hand in six of Bayern's last seven Bundesliga goals with five goals and one assist.
Mandzukic has scored five goals in three games and is the Bundesliga's top-scorer with 14 goals.
With six points from their last nine Bundesliga game, Schalke are having a bad run of results and were shocked 2-1 at home by bottom side Greuther Fuerth last Saturday, a week after being held to a goalless draw at strugglers Augsburg.
Schalke, sixth in the table, will be without Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who has a burst blood vessel in his left eye, while defender Christian Fuchs is suspended.
The Royal Blues need to improve results quickly with Galatasarary looming in the last 16 of the Champions League in Istanbul on February 20.
Second-placed Borussia Dortmund host Hamburg with coach Jurgen Klopp admitting: "In terms of injuries, we're on our arse" due to the number of problems.
Both Germany defender Marcel Schmelzer and midfielder Kevin Grosskreutz are definitely out with illness.
Goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller (flu), midfielders Marco Reus (groin strain) and Mario Goetze (virus), plus defender Lukasz Piszczek (ankle injury) are all struggling.
"We could do with some large dose vitamin injections," quipped Klopp with several players suffering from flu-like symptoms.
Dortmund are chasing their sixth straight win and revenge having suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at ninth-placed Hamburg in September.
Borussia Monchengladbach are looking for their first win at home to Bayer Leverkusen since German reunification.
The Berlin Wall was still up in February 1989, the last time 'Gladbach beat Leverkusen at home and in the 20 games at Borussia when the two clubs have met, they have drawn 15 times and lost five.
There has not been a longer winless home run by one club against another in the Bundesliga's history.
Borussia Dortmund v Hamburg, Borussia M'gladbach v Bayer Leverkusen, VfB Stuttgart v Werder Bremen, Hanover 96 v Hoffenheim, Greuther Fuerth v VfL Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt v Nuremberg, Bayern Munich v Schalke 04
Augsburg v Mainz 05, Freiburg v Fortuna Duesseldorf