PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
John Anthony Brooks and Fabian Johnson could make their returns from injury this weekend, while Tim Chandler and Nuremberg continue their search for their first win this season.
FC Schalke 04 - Werder Bremen
Jermaine Jones and Schalke look to bounce back from a Champions League loss when the Royal Blues host Werder Bremen on Saturday in a Bundesliga contest.
The Royal Blues have struggled the past couple of weeks across all competitions, losing three of their past four matches. Two of those losses were at the hands of Chelsea in the Champions League by 3-0 scorelines, while arch-nemesis Borussia Dortmund beat Schalke two weeks ago.
Bremen, meanwhile, has a little momentum coming into this weekend, having ended a four-match winless streak last weekend against Hannover. Despite recording the third lowest goals-scored total in the German top tier with 12, Bremen sits in eighth place, two points behind Schalke in sixth.
Schalke will be without Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Marco Höger because of knee injuries and Jefferson Farfan because of a torn abductor muscle. Bremen will not have Sebastian Prödl with a thigh injury and Nils Petersen and Philipp Bargfrede available.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Hertha Berlin
Following a month-and-a-half break, John Anthony Brooks should return to Hertha Berlin's starting lineup when the team travels to Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Brooks made two starts with the Berliners' second team the past two weeks to finish off his rehabilitation from an arm injury suffered in late September. Since Brooks last played, Hertha has experienced some mixed results, losing three matches and winning just two.
Like Brooks, Johnson is coming back from an injury as well, and the American left back should make a return himself, although Johnson's best-case scenario sees him on the bench. Meanwhile, Hoffenheim is looking to end a two-match losing streak this weekend.
Sandro Wagner will miss the match for Berlin with a red-card suspension, while Hoffenheim is not reporting any significant injuries.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - 1. FC Nuremberg
Having not won a match yet this season Tim Chandler and Nuremberg face a tough task of ending it when they go to Mönchengladbach on Saturday.
Der Club fired its coach and appointed Gertjan Verbeek as the new coach, but in his two matches at the helm, Nuremberg still can't change the goose egg in the win column. Nuremberg's biggest downfall is an inability to score, as it averages one goal per match so far and has been shut out four times so far.
Nuremberg will need to find a way to score if it wishes to hang with Mönchengladbach this weekend. The Foals will have scored the second-most goals in the Bundesliga with 25 so far, and they have ridden the offensive output to fourth place in the standings.
Timo Gebhart and Robert Mak are out for Nuremberg with a team-sanctioned suspension and a foot contusion. Mönchengladbach will be without Alvaro Dominguez, Roel Brouwers and Havard Nordtveit because of a broken collarbone, a torn abductor muscle and an ankle injury.
FC Ingolstadt 04 - VfR Aalen
Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt put a two-match unbeaten streak on the line against Aalen on Friday.
Before this recent streak, Ingolstadt hadn't put together two consecutive positive results this season. Because of these struggles, die Schanzer sit in last place in the 2.Bundesliga, four points away from safety.
Ingolstadt's opponent, Aalen, also comes into the matchup with an unbeaten streak, with Aalen's going back three matches. Aalen has recorded seven out of a possible nine points over that span to jump into sixth place in the league.
Almog Cohen must finish out his red-card suspension and will therefore miss the match for Ingolstadt, while Aalen is not reporting any injuries.
1. FC Saarbrücken - Preußen Münster
Matt Taylor and Münster travel to Saarbrücken on Saturday in 3.Liga action in search for some answers.
Münster has struggled all season long, taking the Eagles from a promotion favorite to a team mired into a relegation battle. The Eagles have lost the last two matches, which has left them two points above the relegation zone.
The good news for Münster is its opponent, Saarbrücken, hasn't fared any better this season. Although the team is riding a four-match unbeaten streak into this weekend, Saarbrücken sits two places and three points behind Munster.
Saarbrücken will be without Marc Lerandy out because of a patella tendon injury, Andreas Glockner because of an undisclosed injury and Phillip Kreuels because of an ankle injury. Münster is not reporting any injuries.
After suffering a setback last week, Steve Cherundolo will likely not be available for Hannover in the Niedersachsen Derby on Friday evening because of knee problems.
Michael Parkhurst can only hope to dress for Augsburg on Saturday at Bayern Munich.
Andrew Wooten will probably not dress for Kaiserslautern when the Rote Teufel travel to FSV Frankfurt on Friday.
Bobby Wood should be a bench option for coach Friedhelm Funkel on Saturday when 1860 Munich goes to Bielefeld in 2.Bundesliga action.
Royal-Dominique Fennell might dress for the Stuttgarter Kickers against Halle on Saturday.