PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Michael Bradley will take the field for Gladbach as they try to get their first win since the winter break and Daniel Williams will most likely get his second start for Freiburg when they take on the league leaders.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Werder Bremen
Michael Bradley will take his usual place in midfield when Borussia Mönchengladbach face Werder Bremen at home on Saturday.
After settling for a draw last weekend against last-place Berlin, Gladbach will be looking to pick up three points at home. Head coach Michael Frontzeck's squad is nearly back to full strength, the only exception being Karim Matmour who is still with the Algerian national team at the African Cup of Nations.
The Foals are currently in 12th place and the performances in the last two weeks have left them just four points above the play-off spot for relegation. A win at home could potentially put them into the top half of the standings.
After a hard-fought battle with Bayern Munich last week, sixth-place Bremen is losing sight of the leaders and are currently not in contention for international play. The team will be welcoming back forward Claudio Pizarro from injury, who should play from begin on. Bremen is still without defender Sebastian Boennisch, who is recovering from a knee operation and midfielder Daniel Jensen who is having foot problems.
Bayer Leverkusen – SC Freiburg
Daniel Williams and 15th place Freiburg will have their work cut out for them this weekend as they travel to Leverkusen to take on the league leaders on Sunday.
After collecting his first start of the season, Daniel Williams will most likely start once again for Freiburg. The defender with dual citizenship - Germany and the US - will have his work cut out for him as he takes on the offensive powerhouse. With 42 goals, Leverkusen has scored more than any other team in the league.
First-place Leverkusen is in a real race for the title, just two points ahead of Bayern Munich and three ahead of Schalke in the standings. The team from Jupp Heynckes also suffered a huge set back this week when it was announced that midfielder and German national team member Simon Rolfes would have to have another knee operation and would be out of action for a month or longer.
Leverkusen is also still without Gonzalo Castro, who has a broken cheek bone and Hans Sarpei who is playing in the Africa Cup.
Freiburg will be without defender Pavel Krmas, who is suffering from a calf injury.
Steve Cherundolo was hit with his fifth yellow card last weekend and will sit out his one-game suspension this Saturday when Hannover 96 take on FC Nuremberg at home. Sal Zizzo is still recovering from injury and will also miss out on the game.
Ricardo Clark will most likely watch from the stands when Eintracht Frankfurt host FC Cologne on Saturday as he makes his way back to full fitness.
Jermaine Jones is still recovering from a leg injury and won't suit up for Schalke's home game against 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday. Latest reports say that the midfielder won't be back until March or April.
Jared Jeffrey is still getting back up to full speed and most likely won't be included in the Mainz 05 squad as they travel to Munich to take on Bayern on Saturday.
David Yelldell is still recovering from a knee injury and won't be in the TuS Koblenz squad as they host Dusseldorf on Friday.
Matt Taylor has some new competition for playing time at forward, with FSV Frankfurt signing Sascha Mölders, from Rot-Weiss Essen, and Vlad Munteanu from Wolfsburg this past week. He will look to get some playing time as the team travels to SC Paderborn on Sunday.
Luis Robles will most likely watch from the bench when FC Kaiserslautern travels to Aachen to take on Alemannia on Monday.