Borussia Dortmund head into their Bundesliga showdown with Bayern Munich with their entire first-choice defence ruled out through injury.
Right-back Lukasz Piszczek has missed the entire campaign thus far with a groin injury, while Neven Subotic was ruled out for six months after tearing cruciate knee ligaments in the 2-1 defeat to Wolfsburg before the international break.
And Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has seen his options at the back further depleted this week, with the news centre-back Mats Hummels will be absent until January with a heel injury while left-back Marcel Schmelzer faces a month out with a torn calf muscle.
To alleviate this defensive crisis, Klopp has drafted in free agent Manuel Friedrich, who had been unattached since leaving Bayer Leverkusen in the close-season.
The 34-year-old has been training with Dortmund in recent weeks, and could be set to feature in Saturday's repeat of last season's UEFA Champions League final - which Bayern won 2-1 - between the Bundesliga's top two.
Dortmund will be looking for a strong response to two defeats in the space of four days before the international break.
Klopp's side first fell to a 1-0 home loss to Arsenal in the Champions League that has left their participation in Europe's premier competition in the balance, while the Wolfsburg reverse saw them drop four points adrift of Bayern.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola has injury trouble of his own, though, with France international Franck Ribery ruled out with a fractured rib.
The Ballon d'Or contender joins Bastian Schweinsteiger (ankle), Claudio Pizarro (thigh), Xherdan Shaqiri (thigh) and Holger Badstuber (knee) on the sidelines.
Reigning champions Bayern are in superb form ahead of the crunch fixture, and are looking to extend their record 37-match unbeaten run in Germany's top flight.
The Bavarian giants broke the mark of 36 matches without defeat set by Hamburg in 1981 with their comprehensive 3-0 triumph over Augsburg last time out, but they will have to be at their best to prolong the streak in Saturday's encounter at Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund have won their last six straight home Bundesliga games, scoring 21 goals in the process and Bayern's only defeat in any competition this season came at the hands of Klopp's men in a 4-2 reverse in the DLF-Supercup final in July.
|Coach: J. Klopp|
for H. Mkhitaryan 71'
for J. Błaszczykowski 71'
for S. Bender 79'
|Millennium Stadium to host 2017 UEFA Champions League final|
|Ronaldo a ´possibility´ for Portugal´s Olympics squad|
|Liverpool should get rid of Sterling - Grobbelaar|
|Miranda arrives for Inter medical|
|Arsenal can challenge the best - Cech|
|Real star Bale can be better than Ronaldo, says Keegan|
|UEFA approves changes to FFP rules|
|Honduras v Mexico: Moreno´s injury may force Mexican rethink pre-Gold Cup|
|Hiddink was the wrong man for Netherlands - De Boer|
|Vargas: I was scoring with every shot at training|
|Zambrano red rocked Peru - Gareca|
|Paraguay to change tack against Argentina|
|Sampaoli thrilled with substitutes´ influence, applauds Peru|
|Martino rues Copa America date with former side Paraguay|
|Former Birmingham City player Thwaites among Tunisia victims|
|Chile 2 Peru 1: Zambrano´s red card helps hosts into Copa final|
|Thiago Silva: ´I didn´t even know the ball had hit my hand´|
|Ronaldinho set to sign for Antalyaspor|
|Jara ban reduced on appeal by one match|
|Hiddink leaves Netherlands post|
|Cresswell pens new five-year deal at West Ham|
|Koeman: No serious United bid for Schneiderlin|
|Barbados eliminated from World Cup qualifying after fielding ineligible player|
|Former Catania president admits buying matches|
|Jones agrees Manchester United deal|
|Argentina v Paraguay: Valdez hoping not to need another comeback|
|Milan seal Bertolacci signing|
|Cech grateful to Abramovich and Chelsea fans|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Brotherly pride at stake as B36 play TNS|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Tommasi set to aid La Fiorita qualifying bid|
|Cech leaves Chelsea to join Arsenal|
|Paulinho ends Spurs frustration with Guangzhou move|
|Sampdoria confirm Eto´o exit amid Antalyaspor talk|
|Garcia departs Espanyol ahead of expected Qatar move|
|Watford to delay Doyley decision|
|Schlupp agrees new Leicester deal|
|Schweinsteiger hints at Bayern stay amid United links|
|Bertolacci thrilled ahead of Milan move|
|Langerak leaves Dortmund for Stuttgart|
|Muniain extends Athletic contract|
|Youngsters to get chance on US tour - Van Gaal|
|La Liga chief hits out at Real Madrid over TV rights opposition|
|Villa confirm Wilkins as assistant manager|
|Dicks joins West Ham coaching staff|
|Heldt enters to jeers, exits to cheers|
|Paraguay pride has grown at Copa America - Aguilar|
|Van Gaal tight-lipped on De Gea|
|Bacca confirms Milan agreement|
|Weight of expectation on hosts Chile to benefit Peru - Gareca|
|MLS Review: Timbers thump Sounders thanks to Adi´s double|
|Dzeko ´would run to Roma´ - Pjanic|
|Peru won´t sit back - Sampaoli|
|Zenga: Cassano, Balotelli will not be joining Sampdoria|
|Victory to start A-League defence away to Adelaide|
|I want to play MLS ´at the peak of my career´ - Johannsson|
|Allegri: I like Isco and Oscar|
|CAF Champions League Review: Comeback kings Smouha go top of Group A|
|Pirlo in attendance for New York derby|
|No Bayern deal yet, states Costa|
|Jara handed three-game ban|
|Sunderland striker Defoe sets 20-goal target|
|Leicester offer condolences to Albrighton and family after Tunisia attack|
|Chile v Peru: Potential Jara sanction hangs over semi-final|
|Sweden U21 v Portugal U21: History beckons for Jorge´s men|
|Neville appointed Valencia number two|
|Work halted at Olympic Stadium after fatality|
|Ibrahimovic in the same league as Messi - Sacchi|
|Giggs: United want to add winners|
|Turan sets record straight over transfer talk|
|Low keen for new Germany leaders to emerge|
|Tunisia part company with Leekens|
|Evans: Sterling´s Anfield exit must be a done deal|
|FIFA audit chief urges Blatter to stick by decision|
|Hrubesch urges caution after Germany U21s humbled|
|Taarabt hits out at ´very bad manager´ Redknapp|
|Bruce: I´m lucky I wasn´t sacked after Hull relegation|
|Van Hooijdonk warns Van Gaal over Depay tactics|
|SPFL looking into winter break|
|MLS Review: Earthquakes win California Clasico, Vancouver claim top spot in West|
|Muto must toughen up to succeed at Mainz - Ficcadenti|
|Diaz: Paraguay refuse to lose|
|Tragedy strikes for Paraguay match-winner Gonzalez|
|Robinho rues substitution, wanted to take penalty|
|Dunga: Brazil squad hit by virus|
|Fiorentina make ´insane offer´ to Salah|
|Women´s World Cup Review: England reach maiden semi-final|
|Mexico 2 Costa Rica 2: Herrera´s men recover after half-time|
|ES Setif 1 USM Alger 2: African champions beaten|
|Paraguay 1 Brazil 1 (4-3 on penalties): History repeats as Dunga´s men bow out|