PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Tim Chandler and Nuremberg's quest for their first win continues, while Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt look to continue their turnaround.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen - 1. FC Nuremberg
Tim Chandler and Nuremberg will try to end their winless start to the season at second-place Leverkusen on Saturday.
Despite not recording a single win, Nuremberg has accrued eight points so far from eight ties, five of which came with a 1-1 scoreline. Based on goal differential, Der Club sits in second-to-last place.
Leverkusen, meanwhile, finds itself on the other end of the Bundesliga standings, just four points behind leader Bayern Munich. The Werkself are coming into the match on a down note following a 5-0 drubbing by Manchester United during the midweek.
Nuremberg will not have Timo Gebhart available following groin operation, while Leverkusen will be without Sidney Sam because of a torn thigh muscle, Roberto Hilbert because of a knee injury and Sebastian Boenisch because of a tendon problem.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Werder Bremen
Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim look to end a three-match losing streak when Bremen comes to town on Saturday.
Hoffenheim found itself in the middle of the standings early, but losing four of its last five matches has seen the team drop to 14th place, just two points above the relegation playoff spot. Two of the losses came against the top two teams in the league, but the other two were against Hertha Berlin and Augsburg.
Like Hoffenheim, Bremen enters the weekend struggling. Werder has lost three of its last four matches, allowing three goals in each of those losses.
Bremen will be without Zlatko Junuzovic and Felix Kroos because of ankle and knee injuries, respectively, while Hoffenheim is not reporting any significant injuries.
FC Schalke 04 - VfB Stuttgart
Riding a three-match unbeaten streak, Jermaine Jones and Schalke host Stuttgart on Saturday.
Schalke hasn't started out the season well, yet the Royal Blues find themselves still in play for a spot in Europe and still have a chance to advance past the group stage in the champions League. Although they haven't lost the last three matches, the last two matches ended in draws.
Stuttgart has turned things around since replacing its coach early in the season, with the Schwaben sitting in ninth place in the German top division. The team has been up and down the past three weeks, losing by five goals to Dortmund, winning by two goals over Stuttgart and then losing by two to Mönnchengladbach.
The Royal Blues will be without key components to their team in Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Marco Höger and Klaas Jan Huntelaar because of knee injuries, while Cacau and Arthur Boka are out for Stuttgart with calf and abductor muscle injuries.
FC Ingolstadt 04 - SV Sandhausen
Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt put their turnaround on the line when they host Sandhausen on Saturday.
Ingolstadt spent the majority of the start of the season in the cellar of the 2.Bundesliga, but since changing coaches at the beginning of the season, die Schnazer have won three matches and are currently riding a four-match unbeaten streak.
After being relegated at the end of the last season, Sandhausen managed to survive because Duisburg didn't fulfill the financial requirements by the DFL for teams in the top two divisions of Germany. The team has enjoyed another season in the 2.Bundesliga, recording 20 points (it had 26 at the end of last season).
Florian Hübner will miss the match for Sandhausen with an ankle injury, while Ingolstadt is not reporting any significant injuries.
Hallescher DC - Preußen Münster
One week after putting some distance between themselves and the relegation zone, Matt Taylor and Münster look to expand that cushion against Halle on Saturday.
Taylor scored the match-winning goal last week against the Stuttgarter Kickers, and that kept the Eagles, a favorite for promotion into the 2.Bundesliga before the start of the season, away from the relegation zone. Despite holding a zero goal differential, they still sit in 16th place.
Halle, meanwhile, recorded a morale-boosting win last week as well, a 3-1 win over Duisburg. That loss ended a three-match winless streak and bumped the team up to 12th place in the 3.Liga.
Robert Schick, Toni Lindenhahn and Maik Wagefeld are out for Halle with a hip injury, a knee injury and a torn Achilles tendon, respectively. Münster is not reporting any injuries.
John Anthony Brooks will miss Hertha Berlin's match against Michael Parkhurt and Augsburg on Saturday because of knee problems, while Parkhurst will probably not dress for Augsburg.
Steve Cherundolo should be in the 18 for Hannover when the Reds host Eintracht Frankfurt.
Andrew Wooten probably won't dress for Kaiserslautern in the team's match at Dresden in 2.Bundesliga action on Saturday.
Bobby Wood should be on the bench for 1860 Munich on Sunday when die Löwen travel to Bochum.
Royal-Dominique Fennell will look to make the 18 for the Stuttgarter Kickers against Burghausen in 3.Liga action on Saturday.