MATHEW WAGNER - Thursday, October 18, 2012
Jermaine Jones meets Marco Reus for the first time since the infamous ankle-stomp when Schalke face Dortmund, while the inaugural Andrew Wooten Bowl occurs when Sandhausen travel to FCK.
TSG Hoffenheim - Greuther Fürth
Fabian Johnson and Hoffeheim look to pick on bottom dwellers Greuther Fürth Friday.
Hoffenheim wants to get the bad taste of its mouth from a 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich two weeks ago, halting the momentum from the previous three games. Yo-yoing from the bottom of the standings to mid-standings and with only a three-point cushion between it and last place, Hoffenheim will hope this doesn't turn into another losing streak.
Meanwhile, Greuther Fürth hasn't met its expectations so far in its first Bundesliga season ever. After a thrilling run into the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal and running away with the 2. Bundesliga title last season, the team sits in last place with four points, riding a three-game losing streak into this weekend's match.
American Danny Williams will miss for Hoffenheim due to yellow card accumulation, while midfielder Sejad Salihovic continues to serve his suspension from a red card he earn against Augsburg September 29.
Midfielder Thanos Petsos will miss for Fürth because of a cruciate ligament injury in his left knee.
Eintracht Frankfurt - Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo will captain Hannover as the team travels to the biggest surprise thus far in the Bundesliga, Frankfurt, Saturday.
After being on fire offensively to start the season, Hannover has since cooled off. In the last four Bundesliga games, the team has scored more than one goal once- against a reeling Nuremberg team- and has recorded only four points.
Frankfurt was another team that started strong. The promoted team collected five wins in its first six games and only picked up its first loss two weeks ago against Mönchengladbach. Because of this, the Frankfurters sit in second place through seven games.
Defender Trevizan Felipe will miss for Hannover because of a hip flexor injury, while Frankfurt is not reporting any significant injuries at this time.
Borussia Dortmund - FC Schalke 04
Jermaine Jones and Scahlke renew the "Revier-Derby" Saturday, as they travel to back-to-back defending champion Dortmund.
There's isn't a lot of love between these two sides in one of Germany's biggest rivalries. Both teams have combined for 15 Bundesliga titles (eight for Dortmund and seven for Schalke) and eight DFB Pokal titles (three for Dortmund and five for Schalke).
In 88 meetings, both Schalke and Dortmund have proven to be equals, with each team winning 31 times and tying 26.
For Jones, this game marks the first time he will play against Dortmund's Marco Reus since the incident last December in which he stomped on Reus' injured ankle. The act earned Jones a three-month suspension.
Both teams will be missing key players. Greek defender Kriakos Papadopoulos and midfielder Julian Draxler will miss for Schalke because of a virus and a broken forearm, respectively. Dortmund will be without Mario Götze and Jacob Blaszczykowski, while defender Marcel Schmelzer and midfielder Ilkay Gündogan are questionable.
FC Kaiserslautern - SV Sandhausen
Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen travel to Kaiserslautern to take on Wooten's parent team Friday evening.
After struggling to make appearances in the first eight games of the season, Wooten earned his first start against Aalen two weeks ago and made it count, picking up an assist in the 1-0 win. Because of his performance at right midfielder, the American will start once again.
His new found playing time couldn't come at a better time for Wooten, with Sandhausen playing Kaiserslautern. Wooten lit up the Regionalliga for Kaiserslautern's reserve team last season and even played in a few Bundesliga games before being shipped off to Sandhausen at the start of this season.
Sandhausen will be without defenders Julian Schauerte and Daniel Schulz and midfielder David Blacha because of a bone injury, adductor problems and muscular problems, respectively. Kaiserslautern will be without Enis Alushi and Alexander Baumjohann who both have knee issues.
VfL Bochum - Hertha Berlin
John Anthony Brooks will start once again in central defense as Hertha looks to build off a huge win before the international break against Bochum Friday.
Fellow American Alfredo Morales is unlikely to feature for Berlin.
The American Under-20 center back played well enough in Berlin's 3-0 win over TSV 1860 Munich two weeks ago to earn yet another start on the back line. With that win, Berlin jumped into second place in the 2.Bundesliga and finds itself in a prime position to earn promotion back into Germany's top tier.
Berlin's opponent, Bochum, has struggled offensively, recording five goals in nine games, and because of this, the team sits in 15th place, one point in safety.
Defender Felix Bastians will miss for Berlin with a cruciate ligament injury, while Bochum is not reporting any serious injuries at this time.
Preußen Münster - Kickers Offenbach
Matt Taylor and Münster continue their march for promotion at home against Kickers Offenbach Saturday, in a matchup of two of the hottest teams in the 3. Bundesliga.
Münster currently sits atop the 3.Bundesliga standings and holds the best goal differential in the German third tier (15). The Eagles ride an 11-unbeaten streak in the league into the match.
The only other team in the league with a similar run to Münster is Offenbach, who has gone nine-games unbeaten to jump into seventh place. The Kickers have scored 23 of their 24 goals this season during the unbeaten run.
Neither team is reporting any significant injuries at this time.
SV Darmstadt 98 - Borussia Dortmund II
Preston Zimmerman and Darmstadt can put some distance between themselves and the bottom of the standings when last place Dortmund II comes to town Saturday.
The Lilies currently occupy 17th place with 11 points, sitting just outside of the relegation zone by a better goal differential over Babelsberg. Darmstadt has been plagued by an inability to score, averaging less than a goal per game thus far.
Dortmund II could be just what the Darmstadt offense needs. Dortmund has allowed an average of two goals per game and hasn't won since August 7.
Dortmund midfielder Rico Benatelli and Kerem Demirbay are out with leg woes while Konstantin Fring will sit for yellow card accumulation. Darmstadt is not reporting any injuries at this time.
American winger Joe Gyau will hope to make St. Pauli's lineup against Paderborn Sunday.
David Yelldell and Jared Jeffrey shouldn't feature for Leverkusen and Mainz, respectively, when the two teams face each other Saturday.
Royal-Dominique Fennel could return to the Suttgarter Kickers' lineup Saturday against Wacker Burghausen after missing Stuttgart's last match due to yellow card accumulation.
Stuttgart II's Jerome Kiesewetter will miss his team's match against Halle because of the red card he earned in Stuttgart II's 2-0 to Heidenheim October 6.