Konigsblauen skipper Benedikt Howedes returns to face Thomas Tuchel's outfit, who are a mere three points away from the Bundesliga's drop zone
Howedes, Papadopoulos, Metzelder, Fuchs
Obasi, Raul, Draxler
Pospech, Bungert, Noveski, Fathi
Kirchhoff, Polanski, Soto
The big news for the hosts is that captain Benedikt Howedes has returned to the side after recovering from a fractured cheekbone incurred in late January when the Germany international clashed with team-mate Marco Hoger.
However, the bad news for Huub Stevens is that Lewis Holtby, Peer Kluge and Ralf Fahrmann remain sidelined, while Jermaine Jones must miss this one out due to suspension.
For Mainz, Bo Svensson, Stefan Bell and Marcel Risse are all out through injury, while Tunisia striker Sami Allagui is unavailable for selection due to being at the Africa Cup of Nations.
||DID YOU KNOW|
- Historically, Schalke are superior to Mainz at both home and away. In 11 encounters so far between the two sides, Schalke have won seven times, lost three and drawn once.
- Last season, Mainz had their first success at the Veltins-Arena after six consecutive losses. Lewis Holtby, who is now a Schalke a player, was one of the scorers in the 1-3 on that day.
- Coincidentally, another player who was at Mainz last season and now plays for Schalke, Christian Fuchs, is the only player in the host team who has featured in every minute of his club's 19 Bundesliga matches this campaign.
- Mainz are the only team in the German top flight to have gone on to lose a match after going 2-0 up this season. Any guesses as to who it was against? Exactly – Schalke won 4-2 at the Coface Arena back in August.
- Klaas-Jan Huntelaar could become the fifth non-German player – and the 20th Schalke player – to score more than 25 Bundesliga goals. Currently on 24, the Dutchman is closely followed by Raul (23) and Jefferson Farfan (22).