PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Steve Cherundolo returns to action as Hannover try to topple Schalke while Michael Bradley will do his best to keep Gladbach's strong run of results going against Frankfurt.
FC Schalke 04 - Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 will look to continue their recent string of good results as they travel to Gelsenkirchen to face Schalke on Saturday.
Cherundolo is expected to start in spite of leaving the US's 1-0 loss to Slovakia with a knee injury. He did not play on Wednesday against Denmark, a move which likely only helped his chances at a roster spot for the World Cup.
Schalke is looking to jump into the top three with a victory, but they will have to do so with a limited lineup. Königsblauen coach Felix Magath will be without the services of US midfielder Jermaine Jones, striker Gerald Asamoah, midfielder Levan Kenia, and defender Carlos Zambrano.
Hannover is looking to overcome their grief after the apparent suicide of keeper Robert Enke. Coach Andreas Bergmann is also missing defenders Leon Balogun and Sofian Chahed, the latter due to swine flu. Striker Mikael Forssell will also sit out as he recovers from a foot operation, and American Sal Zizzo joins him in recovery from severe knee injury.
While Schalke is fighting for a shot at a Champions League spot, Hannover is in the middle of the standings, seven points out of either relegation or Champions League spots.
Eintracht Frankfurt - Borussia Mönchengladbach
Michael Bradley and Borussia Mönchengladbach travel to Frankfurt on Saturday to face Eintracht Frankfurt.
In a turn of fortune, Bradley will look to overcome a pair of disappointing results for the US National team to return to his more successful, at least in the short term, club team.
The club is having their best string of results of the season, by far, with two ties and a win in the previous three games. Those results have been enough to keep them three points clear of the relegation zone.
Eintracht Frankfurt, meanwhile, is looking to stabilize their results after a pair of 4-0 losses in their last three games. While they are four points above Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga, their inconsistent play has their supporters filled with trepidation as the season progresses.
Mönchengladbach coach Michael Frontzeck has almost his entire first-choice lineup available, missing only striker Raul Bobadilla with a pulled muscle and defender Filip Daems who is still recovering from a foot injury.
Frankfurt is missing only strikers Ioannis Amanatidis, Martin Fenin and Nikos Liberopoulos, the latter not injured but out due to a death in the family.
TuS Koblenz - Alemannia Aachen
David Yeldell will take his usual spot in goal as TuS Koblenz play at home against Alemannia Aachen on Sunday.
Koblenz is currently sitting in 16th place in the standings and will be looking to finally get things back on track. The team hasn't won at home on their home ground of the Oberwerth Stadium since the second game of the season.
Uwe Rapolder's team has been every shade of inconsistent so far this year and hasn't been able to put the pieces together on offense, hitting the back of the net only 10 times in 12 games.
Part of this inconsistency has been related to injuries, as the team has had to reorganize the line-up week after week, depending on who was healthy.
Against Aachen, the team will still be without defender Martin Hudec who is recovering from a broken ankle, Dominique Ndjeng and midfielder Lars Bender who are both sidelined with thigh problems.
Aachen is currently sitting in 11th place and a win in Koblenz could potentially put them into the top half of the standings.
With two wins in a row, including their first win away from home when they beat Augsburg two weeks ago, Aachen will be looking to once again steal some points on the road. However, the team from head coach Michael Krüger hasn't exactly been an offensive powerhouse either this season, scoring only 11 times.
The team will travel to Koblenz without midfielder Florian Müller, who is currently recovering from a knee injury and forward Manuel Junglas who has the flu.
Bryan Arguez is not expected to play a role for Hertha Berlin as they travel to face Stuttgart on Saturday.
After going 75 minutes against Bielefeld two weeks ago, Matthew Taylor will once again try to get some time on the field and points on the board as relegation-bound FSV Frankfurt travel to Oberhausen on Saturday.
Kenny Cooper will miss out of this weekend's game against first-place Bielefeld as he is recovering from a knee injury and isn't expected back for three weeks.
Ian Joy has taken a slight knock and will miss Ingolstadt's visit to VfB Stuttgart II on Friday evening.