MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, August 15, 2014
With the first round of the DFB Pokal this weekend, Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers are looking for a big upset , while Bobby Wood and 1860 Munich are hoping to quell recent controversy.
Stuttgarter Kickers - Borussia Dortmund
Royal-Dominque Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers will hope to pull together a big upset when they host Dortmund on Saturday.
Fennell should start once again for the Kickers, who have already set a new record for tickets sold for a DFB Pokal match with 30,000.
The Kickers come in Saturday's match on a high note, having recorded seven points during a famous "English" week in which teams play three matches within a seven- or eight-day span.
After a rough start to the season, this put the team into sixth place, tied with Dortmund's second team in the 3.Liga.
Although Dortmund hasn't played a league match yet, it also has some momentum coming in Saturday.
The Schwarzgelben defeated Bayern Munich in the DFB Supercup on Wednesday, 2-0, for the second-straight year, and after losing to Bayern in the DFB Pokal final last season, the team will look to recover the trophy it held up to two years ago.
Daniel Engelbrecht is out for the Kickers, as he continues to come back from heart surgery, and Lhadji Badiane is questionable with groin problems.
Dortmund, meanwhile, will likely be without its World Cup players in goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller and Mats Hummels, while Jakub Blaszczykowski, Ilkay Gündogan, Marco Reus and Nuri Sahin are out with a knee injury, back problems, an ankle injury and knee irritation.
Holstein Kiel - TSV 1860 Munich
Struggling mightily to start the new season, Bobby Wood and 1860 Munich will try to use a first-round DFB Pokal date against Kiel on Sunday to jumpstart their engines.
One of the few bright spots for the Löwen so far, Wood should start once again for Munich, while German-American forward Marc Heider will miss for Kiel with a torn calf muscle.
Munich has had a forgettable and rather disappointing beginning to the 2014-2015 2.Bundesliga season.
Following two bad losses, the team announced this week the suspensions of Daniel adlung, Yannick Stark, (now former) captain Julian Weigl and backup goalkeeper Vitus Eicher because of a "party scandal" the night after losing 3-0 to Leipzig, as well as the suspension of starting goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly because of unsportsmanlike actions to teammate Gary Kagelmacher last weekend.
Needless to say, the Sechziger need some sort of good news.
Kiel has experienced a much better start to the 3.Liga season than its opponent's in the division above it. The Storks have recorded five points through five matches, but they did lose their first match so far at Stuttgart II last weekend.
Along with all the suspensions, Munich will be without Guillermo Vallori and Grzegorz Wojtkowiak because of thigh injuries, while Dominik Stahl is out because of a red card suspension.
Kiel will not have Maximilian Riedmüller available, as he continues to come back from a thigh injury.
Kickers Offenbach - FC Ingolstadt 04
Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt travel to Kickers Offenbach on Monday looking to avoid a trap game.
Morales should start in central midfield for Ingolstadt as he had for the first 2.Bundesliga matches.
FC Ingolstadt has had a mixed start to the 2.Bundesliga season, recording two ties through the first two matches. Both of those draws have come against teams not likely to push for promotion, including a newly promoted team in Darmstadt.
Following a one-year hiatus, Kickers Offenbach have returned to the DFB Pokal after winning last year's Landespokal Hessen over Darmstadt.
Two years ago, the Kickers reached the quarterfinals before falling to Wolfsburg, but they also couldn't renew their 3.Liga license after the season because of financial issues and were therefore relegated to the Regionalliga Südwest. Still, Offenbach is hoping for a similar run in the Pokal this year.
Ingolstadt will be without Ralph Gunesch and Christian Eigler while recovering from knee surgeries, Leon Jessen because of an ankle injury and Almog Cohen because of a shin injury.
Offenbach is not reporting any significant injuries at this time.
Fabian Johnson should dress in Borussia Mönchengladbach's trip to Homburg on Saturday.
John Anthony Brooks should be an option for Hertha BSC coach Jos Luhukay against Viktoria Köln on Saturday.
Tim Chandler should make Eintracht Frankfurt's 18 on Saturday against Viktoria 1889 Berlin.
Julian Green will hope to feature for Bayern Munich in Münster on Sunday.
Terrence Boyd will miss Leipzig's first-round matchup with Paderborn on Sunday as he continues to recover from a knee injury.
Andrew Wooten could feature for Sandhausen at Bielefeld on Sunday.
Caleb Stanko will hope to dress for Freiburg on Sunday at Trier.