PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Ricardo Clark will try an impress the Eintracht Fankfurt in his second appearance of the season while Michael Bradley and Steven Cherundolo face each other in Mönchengladbach.
Eintracht Frankfurt – 1899 Hoffenheim
Ricardo Clark will most likely start once again in defensive midfield for Eintracht Frankfurt as the team hosts 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Frankfurt head coach Michael Skibbe had only positive things to say about Ricardo Clark's first on-field appearance last weekend. And Clark added another argument to his case by scoring in a mid-week practice game. The American midfielder's contract runs out at the end of the season and he will be hoping to convince the coaching staff to renew it for a longer period of time.
With both teams buried in the middle of the standings, the only thing that they will have to play for is pride. In its last home game of the season, the team from Frankfurt will be looking to give its fans something to cheer about.
Hoffenheim are coming off a 5-1 demolition of Hamburg, which eventually led to the firing of Hamburg's head coach Bruno Labbadia earlier this week. It was a performance that reminded many of the team that came crashing out of the gates last season, with Vedad Ibisevic and Chinedu Obasi both scoring twice.
Eintracht Frankfurt will be without defensive stalwart Marco Russ, who picked up a slight knee injury in last week's game, as well as defenders Christoph Spycher and Aleksander Vasoski who are also suffering from knee problems. The team will also be without midfielders Caio and Zlatan Bajramovic.
Starting goalie Timo Hildebrand will miss out with a muscle strain for Hoffenheim. Defenders Per Nilsson and Andreas Ibertsberger will also be absentees as well as forward Demba Ba.
Borussia Mönchengladbach – Hannover 96
Steven Cherundolo will take his place in the backline for Hannover 96 as they travel to face Michael Bradley and Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday.
It's do or die for Hannover this week. The team has struggled against the heavyweights in the last few weeks and is in desperate need of three points if they want to stay in the Bundesliga.
It is still crowded at the bottom of the standings, with only Freiburg being able to gain any valuable points last weekend. A win against Gladbach this week will set up a season finale against 16th place Bochum.
Mönchengladbach is coming off a well-fought game against first-place Bayern Munich and will once again be playing in front of a home crowd. The team from Michael Frontzeck won't be able to move into the top half of the standings this season, but will still be looking to finish in front of rivals FC Cologne, which is just a single point behind the Foals.
Both playmaker Elson and forward Arouna Kone will be missing for Hannover 96, as well as midfielder Jacek Krzynowek. Jan Rosenthal is still recovering from a hip problem and Altin Lala and Mikael Forssel are still in rehab. Additionally, Sal Zizzo is still missing as he continues to recover from an ACL injury suffered during the fall.
Frontzeck will nearly have a complete squad to choose from, the only absence being forward Raul Bobadilla, who picked up his fifth red card last weekend.
Schalke will still without Jermaine Jones, when the team continues its campaign for the Bundesliga title against Bremen on Saturday. The American midfielder has yet to return to training following his broken leg last year.
Jared Jeffrey will be looking to make the bench for Mainz when the club travels to Stuttgart on Saturday.
Defender Daniel Williams will be hoping to make the bench for SC Freiburg when the team travels to Cologne on Saturday.
Goalkeeper David Yeldell is out for the season and will have to cheer from the sidelines when Koblenz hosts Luis Robles and first-place Kaiserslautern on Saturday. There is still a mathematical chance that Koblenz will be able to stay in the second league, but it is looking more and more like time has ran out and relegation is coming. With last week's win, Kaiserslautern has secured it promotion to the Bundesliga for next season.
Matt Taylor will hope to make the bench when Frankfurt travels to take on Rot Weiss Ahlen on Saturday.