MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, November 28, 2014
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha will be tested when league-leading Bayern Munich comes to town, while Andrew Wooten and Terrence Boyd face off in Sandhausen on Sunday.
Hertha Berlin - Bayern Munich
Following a solid performance last weekend, John Anthony Brooks and Hertha face a tough test when Bayern Munich travels to the German capital on Saturday.
Brooks should start in central defense once again for the Old Lady.
Despite some serious injuries in defense for Hertha, the Berliners held strong in a 2-1 win over Köln on the road, breaking a two-match losing streak directly prior to the international break. The win was big also in terms of their situation in the standings, as Hertha now has a three-point cushion over the relegation zone.
Trying to maintain or build upon that advantage this weekend is rather unlikely, as the steamroller known as Bayern Munich comes to town.
Although the Bavarians lost in the midweek during Champions League action (their first loss of the season), they held their own and even built up a lead despite going down to 10 men early in Manchester.
Hertha will be without Peter Pekarik and Marvin Plattenhardt because of torn thigh muscles, Alexander Baumjohann because of a torn ACL and Tolga Cigerci because of a toe operation, as well as center backs Sebastian Langkamp and Fabian Lustenberger with ankle and adductor injuries.
Munich will not have David Alaba, Javi Martinez and Thiago available because of knee injuries, Holger Badstuber because of a thigh injury and captain Philipp Lahm because of a broken ankle.
Eintracht Frankfurt - Borussia Dortmund
Tim Chandler and Frankfurt will look to build off a good result last week when they host struggling Dortmund on Sunday.
Chandler should start at right back for the Adler, as he has for the past three matches.
The Adler had been on a bit of a freefall heading into last weekend's matchup, as they had lost five straight matches, but Frankfurt stopped it with a 3-1 win over third-place Mönchengladbach.
That win has given the team a bit of breather when it comes to the relegation battle, as it put them four points above the playoff spot.
They can add to that cushion when Dortmund travels to the financial capital of Europe. Surprisingly sitting in the relegation-playoff position, Dortmund hasn't come close to the success of recent seasons.
The Schwarzgelben have already lost seven matches this season, and they are coming off a rather underwhelming loss to Arsenal in midweek Champions League action.
Frankfurt will be without Kevin Trapp because of an ankle injury, as well as Constant Djakpa, Carlos Zambrano, Nelson Valdez because of knee injuries.
Dortmund, meanwhile, will not have Marco Reus, Mats Hummels, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Jakub Blaszczykowski available with a knee injury, an ankle injury, a broken fibula and a torn leg muscle, respectively.
SV Sandhausen - RasenBallsport Leipzig
A pair of German-American attackers square off when Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen host Terrence Boyd and Leipzig on Sunday.
Wooten should start for Sandhausen on either the right wing or as a striker, while Boyd should start up top in the Roten Bullen's 4-4-2 formation.
It seems that this season, Sandhausen goes as Wooten does. Four of Wooten's five goals have led to 12 of his team's 15 points. The problem so far has been keeping the team in matches long enough to allow Wooten to work his magic late, as shown in last week's 3-0 loss to Heidenheim.
Boyd announced himself back on the scene last weekend during Leipzig's 4-1 win over St. Pauli, scoring two goals to give him three on the season across all competitions. That win has propelled the Roten Bullen to one point behind third place in a tight promotion race.
Sandhausen will be without Florian Hübner because of a torn thigh muscle and Robert Zillner with a torn ACL, while Leipzig is not reporting any significant injuries.
VfB Stuttgart II - Energie Cottbus
Jerome Kiesewetter will attempt to end a small losing streak when they host Cottbus on Friday.
Kiesewetter should start at right midfield for the Schwaben.
Following a five-match unbeaten run, Stuttgart II has lost two consecutive matches against Rostock and Osnabrück - two teams on opposite ends of the 3.Liga standings. Still, the Schwaben are sitting comfortably in the middle of the standings with an eight-point advantage over the relegation zone.
Ending that streak against Cottbus could prove to be tough. Cottbus is in the thick of the promotion race, sitting in fifth place with 30 points, and it beat Rostock, which beat the Schwaben by three goals, by a 1-0 scoreline last weekend.
Robin Yalcin and Erich Berko will miss the match for Stuttgart with knee injuries, while Cottbus will be without Nikolas Ledgerwood, Zbynek Pospech and Manuel Zeitz and Zbynek Pospech because of a groin injuries and a hand operation.
Julian Green will hope to dress for Hamburg in Augsburg on Saturday.
After dealing with a slight muscular problem, Fabian Johnson will look to return to the 18 for Mönchengladbach when the Fohlen head to Wolfsburg on Sunday.
Alfredo Morales is suspended for Ingolstadt's matchup with Bochum on Saturday because of yellow-card accumulation.
Bobby Wood probably won't dress for 1860 Munich when the Sechziger host FSV Frankfurt on Sunday.
Royal-Dominique Fennell should make the Stuttgarter Kickers' bench when they host Kiel on Saturday.
Joe Gyau could dress for Dortmund II against Münster on Sunday, as he has returned from a meniscus injury sooner than expected.