Germany's European heroes are back in action in the Budesliga this weekend
Germany's European heroes are back in action this weekend after yet another successful week of action in Europe.
Last Updated: 07/12/12 8:34am
Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Schalke all secured top spot in their respective Champions League groups as the Bundesliga continues to fly its flag high with potentially seven teams out of seven making it through the group stages of European competition.
Less than 48 hours after hosting Molde in a decisive Europa League encounter, Stuttgart are up against Schalke, whose 1-1 draw against Montpellier on Tuesday earned them a seeding in the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League.
For Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand, it is set to be an emotional return to his former club for the first time since leaving them after nine years in 2007.
"I have never played against my former club," he said after Tuesday's draw in France.
"I will count my blessings if I do actually play on Saturday. I will only believe it if I am stood on the field at 3.30.
"There has always been something (preventing me from playing against Stuttgart). Either it was bird flu, swine flu, or I picked up an injury, or something else."
Stuttgart's recent surge in form, combined with a mini Schalke slump, means only three points separate the two clubs going into Saturday's encounter at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
The Bundesliga's three other Europa League sides are not in action until what is set to be a super Sunday.
Borussia Monchengladbach host in-form Mainz while Hannover are at home to high-flying Bayer Leverkusen with all four clubs in the hunt for a place in Europe again next season.
Leverkusen have reduced the deficit on league leaders Bayern Munich to eight points, and that gap could shrink further should Jupp Heynckes' side lose their Bavarian derby at Augsburg, the side they also meet in the DFB-Pokal before Christmas.
A new face gets the weekend started with Frank Kramer on the bench for Hoffenheim for their trip to Hamburg tomorrow night, replacing Markus Babbel, who was sacked earlier this week.
Elsewhere, Freiburg host Greuther Furth, Nurnberg welcome Fortuna Dusseldorf to the Frankenstadion and Werder Bremen travel to Eintracht Frankfurt buoyed by Marko Arnautovic's hat-trick last weekend.