Borussia Dortmund is set to be boosted by the all-important return of captain Marco Reus for the derby against Schalke, but Marcel Schmelzer and Paco Alcacer remain out.
Reus missed the Champions League defeat at Inter due to illness, while hip and calf issues respectively kept Schmelzer and Alcacer out of action.
However, Dortmund coach Lucien Favre revealed on the eve of the crunch clash with Schalke that forward Reus should be available.
"We have to wait, but Marco is much better," Favre told a news conference on Friday. "I cannot say definitely, but there is a good chance that he will play tomorrow.
"Of course, his return is important. When we play the 4-2-3-1, he is very important. He has proved that for months.
"However, there are a few players who still have illnesses, so we have to wait. Marcel and Paco will definitely not be fit."
Pressure has been building on Favre amid links between Dortmund and Jose Mourinho, but the BVB coach was not interested in exaggerating the tension around this match.
"We have pressure before every game," Favre said. "It is an important game - that is clear - it's a derby."
Opposite number David Wagner, a former Dortmund II coach, is relishing his first experience of the Revierderby as Schalke boss.
Wagner also has little sympathy for Dortmund, whose midweek commitments impacted upon their preparations.
"We can't wait to get started," the former Huddersfield Town manager said. "I really don't care [about Dortmund's preparations], to be honest.
"I don't think you can automatically draw any advantages or disadvantages from it - not even with the latest result. That's completely irrelevant. What happens before the derby does not matter."