CLINT WADDELL - Friday, May 13, 2011
Two Americans will face off in the last game of the Bundesliga season when Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 host Timothy Chandler and FC Nürnberg.
Hannover 96 - FC Nürnberg
Steve Cherundolo and Timothy Chandler will go head to head in the last game of the season when Hannover hosts Nürnberg on Saturday.
Mirko Slomka and his team let the Champions League slip away over the last month - and if Nürnberg has anything to say about it, the team might get bumped down to fifth place. A Hannover loss and a Mainz win would mean that the two would switch places in the standings.
Nürnberg had to bid adieu to European competition as well, as the team just wasn't able to get into the top five.
The team also seems to be at a crossroads, with Ilkay Gündogan, Mehmet Ekici and Julian Schieber all moving on (or back) after the season - three starters who will need to have their positions filled. It will also be the final game for the "Phantom" Marek Mintal - the forward who has been part of Nürnberg for the better part of the last decade.
DaMarcus Beasley is still looking for his first minutes since November and will most likely play no part in Slomka's plans this weekend.
Hannover will be without midfielder Carlitos due to a knee injury and forward Mohammed Abdellaoue is also out of action with a back injury.
Midfielder Gündogan will be missing from the Nürnberg line-up, as well as Albert Bunjaku, who finally returned to action for the second team, but promptly received a red card and is serving a suspension.
VfL Bochum - MSV Duisburg
David Yelldell will most likely be between the posts for Duisburg when the team travels to take on Bochum on Sunday.
After a season of huge ups and downs, Duisburg might just be looking to be the fly in Bochum's soup.
Bochum needs a win if they want to guarantee themselves a chance of moving up to the Bundesliga, with only two points separating them from fourth-placed Greuther Fürth.
Duisburg is missing defender Julian Koch with a knee injury along with midfielder Ivica Grlic and forwards Srdjan Baljak and Stefan Maierhofer.
Bochum will be without defender Matias Concha and midfielder Kevin Vogt.
FC Ingolstadt 04 - VfL Osnabrück
Edson Buddle will be looking for a spot in the starting eleven when Ingolstadt hosts Osnabrück on Sunday.
The relegation battle in the 2. Bundesliga will go down to wire on the last day of the season and Osnabrück needs points if they are going to have a chance of staying put.
Ingolstadt's ten-game unbeaten streak has made the relegation zone a distant memory for Buddle and his teammates and the team have proven to be hard to beat.
Ingolstadt will be missing midfielder Andreas Buchner.
Osnabrück will have to make due without defender Oliver Stang, midfielder Michael Lejan and forward Aleksandar Kotuljac.
Hansa Rostock - Rot Weiss Ahlen
Matt Taylor will be up front for Ahlen when the team travels to take on Hansa Rostock on Saturday.
Last week's unpredictable, come-from-behind thriller should have given Ahlen the confidence they need to stay afloat in the 3. Liga. The team now heads to Rostock needing a win to guarantee their spot for next season.
Taylor added two goals to his season's total and has already confirmed his return to the 2. Bundesliga with new club Paderborn. But the American forward still says he has unfinished business and a win with Ahlen to finish out the season would be the best way to go.
Ahlen is without starting midfielder Sebastian Ghasemi-Nobakht due to a muscle pull and midfielder Marcus Piossek who has a shoulder injury.
Hansa Rostock should have a full squad.
Daniel Williams picked up a slight injury this past week and won't be available for Freiburg when the team hosts Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
Ricardo Clark is still sidelined with a calf injury and will most likely be out of contention for playing time when Eintracht Frankfurt travels to take on Borussia Dortmund. Christoph Daum and his team have their backs against the wall and will be sent down to the 2. Bundesliga if they fail to get a result against the league winners.
After making the bench last week for Hertha BSC, Alfredo Morales will be hoping to get some playing time when the team hosts Augsburg on Sunday.
Luis Robles will most likely start on the bench for Karlsruhe when the team tries to avoid relegation on Sunday. KSC will be facing Union Berlin.