MATHEW WAGNER - Saturday, August 30, 2014
John Anthony Brooks should make his season debut for Hertha BSC, while Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers will look to defend the top spot in the 3.Liga.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Hertha BSC
John Anthony Brooks should make his first start of this Bundesliga season when he and Hertha BSC travel to Leverkusen on Saturday.
Brooks has sat John Heitinga and Sebastian Langkamp in the centerback depth chart, but with the news that Langkamp will miss the next four weeks with a left ankle injury, which opens up a spot in the Hertha starting lineup.
Really, this hasn't been the greatest week of news for the Old Lady and injuries, as Hertha announced the long-term injuries of other key players. Alexander Baumjohann tore his cruciate ligament and will be out until at least 2015, while Brazilian midfielder Ronny will miss with a hip flexor injury. Genki Haraguchi, who started last week's draw with Weder Bremen, picked up a shoulder injury and is out as well.
Leverkusen comes into Saturday's match on a high after getting past Copenhagen in UEFA Champions League qualifying and outplayed Dortmund at its own game in a 2-0 win. The Werkself seems to have taken to new coach Roger Schmidt's tactics well.
Lars Bender is the lone missing piece for Leverkusen, as he continues to recover from a thigh injury.
TSV 1860 Munich - SV Darmstadt
Bobby Wood and 1860 Munich are hoping to head into the international break with a good result against promoted Darmstadt on Sunday.
Wood should start on the left wing as he has in every match for the Löwen this season.
Coach Ricardo Moniz hasn't experienced the greatest start to his time with the Löwen, a club known for pulling quick triggers on coaches in recent years when things aren't going well. Munich sits in the relegation zone after three matches, having only picked up one point despite playing two of three newly promoted teams.
The lone promoted team the Sechziger hasn't faced yet is Darmstadt, which has done quite well in the German second division. The Lilies haven't lost a league match so far, sitting tied for second place with seven points, and they managed to push Bundesliga-team Wolfsburg to penalties in the DFB Pokal.
Munich will be without Guillemo Vallori because of a calf injury and Dominik Stahl with a knee injury, while Grzegorz Wojtkowiak is questionable with a butt muscle injury. Aytac Sulu will miss the match for Darmstadt with a broken metatarsal bone.
SV Sandhausen - FC Ingolstadt 04
It could be a matchup of two German-Americans on Sunday when Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen host Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt.
Wooten will more than likely begin the match on the bench, while Morales should start for Ingolstadt.
Sandhausen hasn't enjoyed the start to this season, which resembles more its efforts two seasons ago than last season when the team comfortably survived in the 2.Bundesliga. Sandhausen has lost two of three leagues, and it also lost to a team from the 3.Liga in the DFB Pokal.
Ingosltadt had struggled to see out matches through the first three matches of the 2014-2015 season, but the Schanzer finally mane dot do just that last weekend against solid opposition in Greuther Fürth. With that first win out of the way, Ingolstadt will look to build upon it.
Sandhausen will not have Kevin Kratz, Simon Tüting, Nicky Adler and Ranisav Jovanovic because of an ankle injury, a thigh injury, an abductor muscle injury and a torn ACL. 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.
Holstein Kiel - Preußen Münster
Marc Heider and Holstein Kiel will look to build off a road midweek win when they host Preußen Münster on Saturday.
Heider should start for the Storks as an outside midfielder or a forward.
Kiel went through a rough patch that saw them lose three consecutive matches across all competitions, but it ended that streak with a win in Dresden on Tuesday. With the win, Storks jumped into the middle of the 3.Liga standings with a bit of a cushion over the relegation zone.
One of the teams with which Kiel's tied on points is Münster. The Eagles did well in the "English week" so far, picking up four points in the two matches, and another three will put them right back into the thick of the promotion race.
Goalkeeper Maximilian Riedmüller and defender Fabian Wetter are out for Kiel with a severe thigh injury and an undisclosed injury, while Münster's Kevin Schöneberg is out with back problems.
Hallescher FC - Borussia Dortmund II
Joe Gyau and Dortmund II travel to Halle on Saturday after struggling in the past week.
Gyau should start once again for the Schwarzgelben's Under-23 team, while fellow American Junior Flores will hope to dress for the team.
Dortmund II had a week off before this English week, where clubs play three matches in an eight- or nine-day span. That hasn't helped the Schwarzgelben, as against two newly promoted teams, they picked up just one point. These results dropped Dortmund II from the top four of the Bundesliga standings to ninth place.
Halle, meanwhile, is trying to stay above the relegation zone and helped give itself some cushion after a midweek win over Unterhaching. Considering Halle hasn't managed to put together multiple good results this season, the team will hope a slumping Dortmund team could end that streak.
Dortmund will be without Jeremy Dudziak, Steffen Göcke, Oguzhan Kefkir and Nick Weber because of a shoulder injury, a broken hand, an ankle injury and a torn Patella tendon. Halle, meanwhile, won't have Selim Aydemir, Ivica Banovic, Sören Bertram, Toni Lindenhahn and Björn Ziegenbein available with a torn thigh muscle, a bruised heel, an ankle injury and knee injuries.
Arminia Bielefeld - Stuttgarter Kickers
Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers will defend their top spot in the 3.Liga at Bielefeld on Sunday.
Fennell should start in central defense for the Kickers once again.
After losing their first league first to promotion-favorite Wiesbaden, the Kickers have gone five matches unbeaten in the league, with four of those five being wins. The Kickers jumped to the top of the German third tier's standings with a win over Chemnitz at home - a big achievement for a team that just two years ago barely escaped relegation.
Bielefeld was relegated into the 3.Liga last season, but the team hasn't experienced a lot of success so far in the lower division. The team sits in 12th place with eight points, four of which came in the past week with a win against Fortuna Cologne and a tie with Duisburg.
Daniel Engelbrecht is the lone missing player for the Kickers, as he continues to recover from heart surgery. Bielefeld will be without Manuel Hornig for the season because of a torn ACL, while Jonas Strifler and Peer Kluge are out with ankle and muscle issues.
Tim Chandler should be on the bench for Eintracht Frankfurt's Saturday showdown with Wolfsburg.
Julian Green will hope to dress for Bayern Munich's trip to Gelsenkirchen to square off with Schalke on Saturday.
Fabian Johnson should be in the 18 for Mönchengladbach in Freiburg on Sunday.
Terrence Boyd is still out for RasenBallsport Leipzig when the Roten Bullen travel to Bornheim to face FSV Frankfurt on Friday.
Jerome Kiesewetter should make Stuttgart II's bench against Sonnenhof Großaspach on Saturday in 3.Liga action.