CLINT WADDELL - Thursday, September 16, 2010
Jermaine Jones and Schalke will try and work themselves out of an early crisis when they host rivals Borussia Dortmund while DaMarcus Beasley will be looking to get his first minutes with new club Hannover.
FC Schalke 04 – Borussia Dortmund
Jermaine Jones will once again anchor the Schalke midfield on Sunday when the team hosts local rivals Dortmund.
After a midweek Champion's League loss to add to their account, Felix Magath's team is becoming desperate for a win – or at least a point.
The team has ushered in 14 new players this summer and Magath said earlier this week that they haven't had time to "harmonize" yet.
Dortmund has also taken notice of the amount of money Schalke has spent on new players. When asked about the increase in ticket prices for this match, head coach Jürgen Klopp said that he could understand Dortmund fans not attending as it would just help finance Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
And 1,600 fans have now followed his advice and asked for a refund on those tickets.
Schalke is still without defenders Tim Hoogland and Christian Pander, who will miss the game with respective knee and muscular problems, as well as defender Christoph Metzelder who is out with a groin injury.
Midfielder Levan Kenia is still missing from action due to an ankle injury.
Dortmund is without bad luck defender Dede, who is having knee problems as well as midfielders Tamas Hajnal and Mohamed Zidan.
VfL Wolfsburg – Hannover 96
Captain Steven Cherundolo will take his normal place at right back and DaMarcus Beasley might be lined up for his first start when Hannover 96 travels to rival club Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Just a few years ago, Wolfsburg won the Bundesliga title by playing effective counterattack soccer. Now it's Hannover that is trying to use this strategy.
The fourth place team in the league has averaged just 38% ball possession – last week against Leverkusen, it was down to 34%. The team is betting on its new found ability to score to put them ahead and a solid defense to keep them there.
For Wolfsburg, things couldn't have started out worse. Still sitting at zero points in the standings after spending the most money in the off-season, Wolfsburg joins the aforementioned Schalke as big spenders who are stuck at the bottom.
Add to that the fact that the team has the first English coach ever in the Bundesliga, the umbrella bandit, Steve McClaren, and Wolfsburg is close to being a laughingstock. They will be looking for some kind of result this week.
Hannover will be without midfielders Carlitos, Leon Andreasen and Altin Lala with respective knee, groin and hip injuries, as well as defenders Emanuel Pogatetz who is suspended and Mario Eggiman who is out with a hip injury.
Wolfsburg is just missing defender Arne Friedrich and midfielder Karim Ziani with respective back and groin injuries.
Borussia Mönchengladbach – VfB Stuttgart
Michael Bradley will start in midfield for Borussia Mönchengladbach as the team looks to bounce back against lackluster Stuttgart on Saturday.
After the 0-4 drubbing at home last week to Eintracht Frankfurt, Gladbach will be looking to get their game back together against a struggling Stuttgart team.
Head coach Michael Frontzeck will most likely have Bradley's midfield partner Thorben Marx back on board to add some stability.
Stuttgart can't seem to get things going at all this year. Three straight losses and just two goals have put them at the bottom of the standings.
The team will most likely have team captain and center back Matthieu Delpierre back from injury and will be looking to him for added defense.
The Foals are still without their new signing Igor de Camargo and winger Karim Matmour who has a strained Achilles. The team is also without midfielder Tony Jantschke due a broken foot and defender Jean-Sebastian Jaures.
Stuttgart is missing defender Philipp Degen who has a viral infection and midfielder Johan Audel with an ankle injury.
Erzgebirge Aue – MSV Duisburg
Goalkeeper David Yelldell and first-place Duisburg will look to continue their unbeaten streak when they travel to Aue on Sunday.
Three games and three wins will put a team at the front of the pack. The team from head coach Milan Sasic is much younger compared to last year's version and has been quick to learn from mistakes.
It will be interesting to see if he is able to keep his team motivated over the course of the entire season.
Aue is back in the second league and is looking to stay there. The team is coming off a 3-2 loss to Osnabrück and will be looking to back on track in front of the home crowd. A win could potentially put them in the top three in the standings.
Duisburg will be without defender Kevin Grund as he recovers from a knee injury, and injured midfielder Adam Bodzek.
Aue will be without midfielders Patrick Milchraum who is recovering from a knee injury and Jan Hochscheidt.
Rot Weiss Ahlen – Carl Zeiss Jena
Matthew Taylor will most likely start up front for Rot Weiss Ahlen when they host Carl Zeiss Jena on Saturday in 3. Liga action.
It wasn't the best start for Taylor last week as he was unable to get the Ahlen offense going and the team fell to Braunschweig 2-0.
The team is in the relegation and in need of some points – and a win could potentially put them in the middle of the pack.
After the relatively tame start to the season, Jena team officials decided to sign a new forward to help the offense.
Aykut Öztürk will started training with the team this week.
Both Daniel Williams and Ricardo Clark will be looking for minutes off the bench this week as their two clubs, Eintracht Frankfurt and SC Freiburg, meet up on Friday.
Luis Robles will most likely start on the bench for Karlsruher SC when the host Paderborn on Saturday.