Bayern Munich could welcome back a host of stars including Mario Gomez for Saturday’s trip to Nuremberg in the Bundesliga.
The league leaders, already with 10 wins from 11 games, could be strengthened by the return of Gomez for his first game since August, while Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos are also in line to return from illness.
Gomez bagged four goals against a regional side on Tuesday and his inclusion could leave leading scorer Mario Mandzukic and recent hat-trick hero Claudio Pizarro on the bench.
Bayern lead Schalke by seven points and defending champions Borussia Dortmund by 11, but were in a similar situation last year before they were overrun for the title.
Schalke will be eyeing a fifth league win in six games away to fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen while Dortmund must feel they need to secure their first back-to-back win of the season against relegation-threatened Greuther Furth on Saturday to be any chance of retaining the title.
Contrary to last season, Dortmund’s success in the Champions League appears to be adversely affecting their tilt at a third straight title.
Surprise packets Eintracht Frankfurt take on rock bottom Augsburg looking to maintain third place.
Hannover are at home to Freiburg on Saturday and mid-table Hamburg entertain Mainz intent on stopping Hungarian leading scorer Adam Szalai.
Borussia Moenchengladbach take on struggling Stuttgart and, on Sunday, Werder Bremen host Fortuna Dusseldorf, who have not won in their past six league games.
Wolfsburg have moved out of the relegation zone with two wins in their past three fixtures and will look to surge further up the table when they travel to play Hoffenheim.