Schalke 04 host Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga on Saturday in a potentially pivotal relegation battle.
After Schalke's 2-0 defeat to Freiburg on Wednesday, Manuel Baum's side have astonishingly now failed to win their last 28 league matches, unsurprisingly remaining marooned to the bottom of the table as a result.
Schalke's blow of being denied finally ending their club-record winless run by conceding a last-minute equaliser to 10-men Augsburg last weekend appeared to weigh heavily on Baum's men during their defeat to Freiburg.
Amine Harit returned to the side for the first time since he and teammate Nabil Bentaleb were both involved in a training ground bust-up with assistant manager Naldo last month, but it had little positive impact on the side as they mustered only two shots on target across the 90 minutes.
A second-half brace from Rolland Sallai took the game away from Schalke, keeping them six points adrift of safety while moving the visitors seven points clear of the relegation zone.
A win against Arminia Bielefeld, who currently occupy the relegation playoff position, will not take Schalke above their forthcoming opponents in the table - unless it is by six clear goals - due to goal difference, but it would be a massive boost to their chances of survival.
Likewise, Arminia could certainly use a victory themselves, having won just once since the opening day of the campaign upon their return to the Bundesliga.
The crucial 2-1 win against fellow strugglers Mainz 05 represents Uwe Neuhaus's side's only three points in their last 10 matches, unsurprisingly resulting in them dropping into the bottom three.
With fixtures against Freiburg and Augsburg coming after beating Mainz, Neuhaus would have sensed an opportunity to improve their league position, but two defeats without even scoring has proved an incredibly disappointing return, especially having conceded a late goal against Augsburg on Wednesday in the 1-0 defeat.
With the winter break following their trip to Schalke, Arminia will not want to end 2020 potentially joint bottom of the league, having initially made a bright start to life back in the top flight.
Schalke 04 Bundesliga form: DLLLDL
Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga form: LLLWLL
Bentaleb and Vedad Ibisevic, who is set to have his contract terminated next month, are unlikely to feature, but Harit appears to be back in Baum's plans now.
With just one goal in 12 starts, 33-year-old Fabian Klos has struggled to adjust to the gulf in class between the Bundesliga and the lower divisions, where he had previously been so prolific for Arminia to earn legendary status at the club.
Schalke 04 possible starting lineup:
Fahrmann; Stambouli, Kabak, Sane, Oczipka; Serdar, Mascarell; Matonda, Harit, Raman; Boujellab
Arminia Bielefeld possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Brunner, Van der Hoorn, Nilsson, De Medina; Doan, Hartel, Kunze, Cordova; Klos, Schipplock
We say: Schalke 04 1-1 Arminia Bielefeld
If Uth or Pacienca recover in time, we would actually fancy Schalke to finally end their winless league run, which stretches back to January.
However, with such a lack of potency in attacking areas, we can envisage a tight draw between two sides who may be scared to lose.