MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, December 5, 2014
Alfredo Morales and Terrence Boyd will face off in a big matchup at the top of the 2.Bundesliga, while Tim Chandler and Frankfurt will hope to build off a two-match winning streak.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Hertha BSC
Two struggling teams meet up when Fabian Johnson and Mönchengladbach host John Anthony Brooks on Saturday.
Johnson will hope to have recovered from a muscular problem in order to dress for the Fohlen, while Brooks should start at center back for the third consecutive time.
Mönchengladbach started off the season strong, sitting in second place as the team went unbeaten across all competitions until four matches ago.
Since a 1-0 loss to Dortmund on November 9, it's been all downhill, as the Fohlen are now riding a four-match winless run with three straight losses in the league, and thanks to that streak, they have fallen to fifth place.
Hertha has a little more luck than the Fohlen in recent weeks, and a little that means one win in its last four matches. The other three during that span are losses, including a spirited effort in a 1-0 loss to league leader Bayern Munich last weekend. The Old Lady is in serious need of a win, as the team sits just two points above the relegation zone.
Hertha will be without Alexander Baumjohann because of a torn ACL, Valentin Stocker because of adductor problems and Tolga Cigerci because of a toe operation, as well as center backs Sebastian Langkamp and Fabian Lustenberger with ankle and adductor injuries.
Martin Stranzl will miss the match for the Fohlen because of a thigh injury.
Eintracht Frankfurt - Werder Bremen
Tim Chandler and Frankfurt will look to build a short winning streak when they play Werder Bremen on Sunday.
Chandler should start at right back for the Adler.
Frankfurt has turned things around in the league, at least in the past couple of weeks. Following a five-match losing streak across all competitions, the Adler have won their last two matches, coming against the Borussen (Gladbach and Dortmund).
Extending that run will prove to be difficult when high-flying Bremen comes to town. The Werderaner have won three of their last four league matches, catapulting from the relegation zone and into 14th place, but they still have a one-point cushion over the drop zone.
Frankfurt will be without Kevin Trapp because of an ankle injury, as well as Constant Djakpa, Carlos Zambrano, Nelson Valdez because of knee injuries. Marco Russ is also questionable with ankle issues.
Bremen will not have Marnon Busch, Alejandro Galvez and Franco di Santo available with a torn thigh muscle, yellow-card accumulation and a knee injury, respectively.
Fortuna Düsseldorf - SV Sandhausen
Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen will look to turn around their recent struggles when they head to Düsseldorf on Friday.
Wooten should start for the Hardtwälder at either forward or outside midfielder.
Sandhausen comes into Friday's match on a two-game winless run, although the team can feel confident after a goalless draw against promotion-chasing Leipzig last weekend. The Hardtwälder have been streaky all season, and they will hope that this streak will be short.
Düsseldorf has its own two-match winless run with which to deal, which hurts the team's own fight for promotion. The Flingeraner are tied on points with Darmstadt, the team in the promotion-playoff position, but their goal differential sees them on the outside looking into promotion.
Sandhausen will be without Florian Hübner because of a torn thigh muscle and Robert Zillner with a torn ACL.
Düsseldorf will be without Heinrich Schmidtgal and Andreas Lambertz because of thigh injuries, Lukas Schmitz because of a leg injury and Oliver Fink because of an undisclosed injury.
RasenBallsport Leipzig - FC Ingolstadt 04
A matchup with big-time promotion implication occurs when Terrence Boyd and Leipzig host Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt on Sunday.
Boyd should start at striker for the Roten Bullen, while Morales should return to his starting spot in central midfield for the Sandhausen after missing out last week because of yellow-card accumulation.
Ingolstadt has had a wonderful start to the 2.Bundesliga season, taking over first place after the fifth match of the season and not relinquishing that top spot. The Schanzer have lost just one match so far, and they have a four-point cushion ahead of second place.
The Schanzer were tied on points with multiple points when they first took over first, and one of those teams was Leipzig. The Roten Bullen boast the league's best defense, allowing just 10 goals in 15 matches, and although they are currently in seventh place, they sit just one point out of a promotion position.
Tim Sebastian will miss the match for Roten Bullen with an ankle injury.
Ingolstadt will be without Christian Eigler while recovering from knee surgeries, Leon Jessen and Stefan Lex because of ankle injuries and Almog Cohen and Danny da Costa because of shin injuries.
Stuttgarter Kickers - SV Wehen Wiesbaden
Royal-Dominique Fennell could return to the Stuttgarter Kickers' starting lineup when Wiesbaden comes to town on Saturday.
Normally a center back, Fennell could start as a defensive midfielder for the Blues, with Vincenzo Marchese out because of a knee injury and Sandro Braun and Daniel Kaiser suspended because of yellow-card accumulation and a red card.
Once in the hunt for promotion, the Kickers have faltered in recent weeks. The Blues have gone six matches winless, including five straight ties, and that run has seen the Kickers drop into ninth place, four points out of third place.
Wiesbaden is another team that began the season in the hunt for promotion but has struggled in recent weeks. Wiesbaden has recorded just one win and one tie in its last six matches, and that stretch has dropped the team into seventh place.
Along with all three missing players in the midfield, left back Fabian Baumgärtel will miss the match for the Kickers with a red-card suspension.
Wiesbaden will be without Sebastian Mrowca, Michael Wiemann and Jonathan Kotzke because of yellow-card accumulation, a red-card suspension and a torn ACL, respectively.
VfB Stuttgart II - Dynamo Dresden
Jerome Kiesewetter and Stuttgart II will attempt to end a losing streak when they and Dresden meet up in Aspach on Sunday.
Kiesewetter should start as a right midfielder for the Schwaben.
Stuttgart II's campaign to retake the title of Germany's best second team has taken a hit, losing three matches in a row to drop into 14th place.
The streak started against a team sitting in the relegation zone, but the other two losses came against Cottbus and Osnabrück, two teams in the top six places of the standings.
Dresden isn't going to be much different, though, as the team sits in fifth place through 19 matches. Dynamo boasts the league's third-best away record by recording 15 points on the road, and no matter the result, it should be entertaining, as Dynamo's away matches average three goals per match.
Robin Yalcin and Erich Berko will miss the match for Stuttgart with knee injuries, while Daniel Vier is also out with a back injury. Nils Teixeira is unavailable for Dresden with an illness.
Julian Green should be a bench option for Hamburg when the Dino welcomes Mainz to town on Sunday.
Bobby Wood probably won't dress for 1860 Munich when travel to Nuremberg in a 2.Bundesliga showdown on Monday.
Joe Gyau should dress, while Junior Flores will hope to make Dortmund II's bench when they host Rot-Weiß Erfurt on Sunday.