PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Two Americans are set to go head to head as Hannover 96 take on Schalke 04 and Michael Bradley will hope to get the Gladbach engine running when the team travels to Leverkusen.
FC Schalke 04 – Hannover 96
Jermaine Jones will anchor the Schalke 04 midfield when the team hosts Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 on Saturday.
Schalke 04 supporters were assured of at least one positive following last week's loss to Hamburg: Jermaine Jones is back.
The aggressive American midfielder who was sidelined for a year came out strong and looks to be back to his old self.
The "King's Blue" will be looking for their first win of the season and are still in the midst of a huge transformation.
It was thought that either Zvjezdan Misimovic or Rafael van der Vaart would be heading to Gelsenkirchen, but the latest rumors have the Romanian Ciprian Deac filling the hole in offensive midfield.
With so many healthy players making it through training camp, many Hannover followers thought that the injury curse that has plagued the team for the last few seasons had finally passed.
Alas, it has struck again. Just 28 seconds had been played when new addition Carlitos went down. He would later be diagnosed with an ACL tear and will be out for six months.
With Carlitos out, Hannover is once again in the market for an offensive midfielder. German media had suggested midweek that American DaMarcus Beasley was a candidate.
Hannover will definitely be looking for points on the road after the win last week at Eintracht Frankfurt.
In addition to midfielder Carlitos, the team will be without defender Mario Eggiman who is out with a hip injury, as well as midfielders Leon Andreasen and Altin Lala with respective groin and hip injuries.
Schalke will be without a pair of defensive options, as Tim Hoogland and Christian Pander will miss the game with respective knee and muscular problems and Benedikt Höwedes will be serving a suspension.
Bayer Leverkusen – Borussia Mönchengladbach
Midfielder Michael Bradley and Borussia Mönchengladbach will have their work cut out for them as they head to local rivals Leverkusen on Sunday.
Bradley played a solid 90 minutes last weekend as Gladbach drew at home to FC Nürnberg.
The team is led by Michael Frontzeck who will be looking to boost his firepower up front with his new signing Igor de Camargo, who might be healthy enough to make his first appearance for the Foals.
Leverkusen looked impressive in its first outing last weekend against Dortmund. Juup Heynckes will be looking to keep his team up top and out in front of the competition in its first home game of the season.
Frontzeck will most likely have to make a game-time decision on his starting goalkeeper as Logan Bailly has injured his foot.
Bayer Leverkusen will still be without midfielder Simon Rolfes, who is recovering from a knee injury and forward Patrick Helmes who has a torn muscle.
MSV Duisburg - FC Ingolstadt 04
David Yelldell will once again be between the sticks when the Zebras host Ingolstadt on Saturday.
After just one game, these two teams have found themselves on very opposite sides of the standings.
Duisburg's win has put them among good company at the top of the standings and the team will be hoping to stay there when they take on an Ingolstadt team that got blown out last weekend against Augsburg.
Yelldell has been solid in his first few outings for his new team, only conceding one goal.
Duisburg will be hoping to capitalize on its relatively easy first matches, so that they are in a good position when the tougher teams come calling.
Duisburg will be without defender Kevin Grund as he recovers from long-term injury, and injured midfielder Adam Bodzek.
American defender Amaechi Igwe will miss the match for Ingolstadt due to a knee injury.
The team will also be without midfielders Manuel Hartmann and Stefan Leitla and defender Ronald Gercaliu.
Ricardo Clark was an unused substitute last week and will most likely start once again from the bench for Eintracht Frankfurt when they host Hamburg on Saturday.
Daniel Williams came off the bench last week for Freiburg and will be looking for minutes this week when Freiburg travels to Nürnberg on Saturday.
Luis Robles still hasn't made it past Kristian Nicht in the pecking order at Karlsruher and will most likely have to wait for this first start until later in the season. KSC hosts Aachen on Sunday.
Kenny Cooper is recovering from a broken ankle and will not be on the bench when 1860 Munich hosts Osnabrück on Sunday.