MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, February 21, 2014
Fabian Johnson faces off with a team he could be playing for next season, while Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers hope to continue their climb up the 3.Liga standings.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Fabian Johnson looks to make his second consecutive start for Hoffenheim against struggling Mönchengladbach on Saturday.
The American left back/left midfielder had some uncertainty about his future going into the Rückrunde, as Johnson's contract runs out at the end of this season. While Johnson tried to recover from a broken bone in his hand a few weeks back, Hoffenheim confirmed that Johnson will leave at the end of the season, and reports out of Germany pointed to Mönchengladbach as the favorite to earn his signature.
Whether or not the immediate departure affected Johnson's spot on his current team, he managed to return to the starting lineup last week in Hoffenheim's 4-1 win over Stuttgart and seems to have played well enough to earn another start.
One of the things that make Mönchengladbach look like such an attractive destination for Johnson is the promise of European play, but things haven't gone well for the Foals recently. Finishing the Hinrunde in one of the Champions League spots, the Foals are riding a six-match winless streak, one that has dropped them into sixth place and in danger of dropping out of a European position.
Hoffenheim's Eugen Polanski is suspended for the match because of yellow-card accumulation. Mönchengladbach left back Oscar Wendt will miss the match with a knee injury, while Patrick Herrmann has the flu and is questionable.
SpVgg Unterhaching - Stuttgarter Kickers
Having completely turned their season around, Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers head to Unterhaching on Saturday in 3.Liga action.
As recently as six matches ago, the Kickers sat in the relegation zone, but thanks to a six-match unbeaten streak that consists of five wins (including the last three matches), they have leapfrogged all the way to eighth place, eight points above the drop zone.
On paper, chances are good that the Kickers will extend their unbeaten streak against Unterhaching. Haching was in third place at one point in this season, but the team has lost its last three matches and has recorded just two positive results in its nine.
The Kickers will be without Patrick Auracher because of a red-card suspension, Marcos Alvarez because of damaged cartilage, Markus Krauss with an elbow injury and Daniel Engelbrecht because of a heart condition. Unterhaching is not reporting any significant injuries.
John Anthony Brooks will dress and could return to Hertha BSC's starting lineup on Saturday at Stuttgart.
Timothy Chandler continues to recover from a torn lateral meniscus and will miss Nuremberg's Saturday clash against Braunschweig.
Steve Cherundolo's knee problems won't go away, and therefore he will not play for Hannover when the Reds host Bayern Munich on Saturday.
One week after stepping back into the starting lineup because of suspensions, Alfredo Morales looks to be relegated to the bench again for Ingolstadt, which travels to Bielefeld on Friday.
Andrew Wooten should be a bench option for FSV Frankfurt coach Benno Möhlmann on Friday evening at Union Berlin in 2.Bundesliga action.
Bobby Wood should be in the 18 for struggling 1860 Munich, which host Paderborn on Saturday.
Matt Taylor likely won't start for Preußen Münster against Stuttgart II on Friday but should dress.