MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, September 28, 2012
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover look to defend their high position, while Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and Hoffenheim have the chance to finish off a perfect week against Augsburg.
Hamburger SV - Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover travel to Hamburg for this matchup of porous defenses Saturday.
Outside of a little bump last weekend against Hoffenheim, Hannover's used a high-flying start to record 10 points through five games. Cherundolo and Co. have struggled defensively, though, allowing eight goals so far, but the offense has picked them up, averaging almost three goals per game.
Against Hamburg, Hannover's offense shouldn't slow down, despite Hamburg's recent run of good results against Dortmund and Mönchengladbach. Opponents average two goals against Hamburg, tied for the third worst in the German top division.
Hannover will be without defender Christian Pander yet again because of muscular problems, and midfielder Leon Andreasen will join him, as he tore his cruciate ligament in Hannover's 4-1 win over Nürnberg Wednesday.
Defender Dennis Aogo will miss for Hamburg, as he deals with the flu, while fellow defender Jeffrey Bruma will miss due to irritation in his knee.
TSG 1899 Hoffeheim - FC Augsburg
Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim look to win their third win game in seven days, when the team hosts struggling Augsburg Saturday.
American midfielder Danny Williams is questionable for the game, as he struggles with a contusion on one of his big toes.
After a horrendous start to the season, Hoffenheim has put together two wins in the past week to catapult from last place to 11th in the Bundesliga. Both wins were convincing, beating Hannover 3-1 at home and Stuttgart 3-0 on the road.
Based on Augsburg's performances to start the season, the team looks to be in the thick of the relegation battle, having lost to promoted Düsseldorf and 15th place Mainz already in the young season.
Midfielders Boris Vukcevic and Takashi Usami join Williams on the injury list as questionable for the game with muscle problems and inflammation, respectively. Augsburg will be without goalkeeper Simon Jentzsch and defender Sebastian Langkamp because of a finger operation and an ankle injury.
Preußen Münster - Borussia Dortmund II
Matt Taylor and Münster look to roll over the 3.Bundesliga's cellar dweller, Dortmund II, Saturday.
Taylor added his sixth and seventh goals of the season in the team's 2-1 win over Aachen Tuesday, as Münster stretched its unbeaten streak to nine games. The Eagles have won their last three games, two of which came against promotion rivals Osnabrück and Bielefeld.
As hot as Münster is at the moment, Dortmund II has been just as bad. The team is currently riding a seven-game winless streak, allowing 18 goals over that span, and because of this, Dortmund II owns the league's worst goal differential (-14) and sits in last place.
Neither team is reporting any injuries at this time.
Schalke's Jermaine Jones is questionable for the team's Friday game against Fortuna Düsseldorf because of an ankle injury that caused him to miss Tuesday's 3-0 win over Mainz.
Forward Andrew Wooten should make Sandhausen's bench at 1860 Munich Saturday.
Although he played the entire second half for St. Pauli Wednesday, American Joe Gyau should once again start on the bench for his team against Jahn Regensburg.
Defender Alfredo Morales probably won't feature for Hertha Berlin at Duisburg Monday.
Forward Preston Zimmerman is questionable for Darmstadt's home game against Bielefeld Sunday because of a fever that kept him out of the midweek game.
Jerome Kiesewetter could make Stuttgart II's lineup against Wiesbaden Saturday.
Jared Jeffrey shouldn't feature for Mainz against Wolfsburg Sunday.
Goalkeeper David Yelldell shouldn't make Leverkusen's lineup against Greuther Fürth Saturday.