PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
DaMarcus Beasley will be hoping to get his first Bundesliga minutes for new club Hannover as play resumes following the international break.
1899 Hoffenheim – FC Schalke 04
Jermaine Jones will anchor the midfield for Schalke as the team travels to first-place Hoffenheim on Friday.
Felix Magath, once the chosen one of the Bundesliga, has seen better days. The head coach from Schalke has been criticized in the last few weeks for his transfers and of course the inability to win.
The defense has been shaky and the offense isn't clicking yet.
To solve the problem, Magath has chosen to add yet more new players to the mix – this time to the tune of nearly 30 million Euros in transfer fees.
The first is Dutch forward Klaas Jans Huntelaar, the "Hunter", who will most likely be paired up front with Spanish superstar Raul.
The second is José Manuel Jurado from Atletico Madrid, who might have to wait for his first appearance in the starting line-up.
Hoffenheim, on the other hand, is running on all cylinders and sitting in first place after slipping past St. Pauli and demolishing Werder Bremen. In contrast to Schalke, the defense is solid and the offense is back in the business of scoring goals.
Schalke is still without defenders Tim Hoogland and Christian Pander, who will miss the game with respective knee and muscular problems. Midfielder Levan Kenia will miss out due to an ankle injury.
Hoffenheim will be without Nigerian forward Chinedu Obasi, who is out with a fractured leg.
Borussia Mönchengladbach – Eintracht Frankfurt
Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt will travel to Mönchengladbach to take on the Foals and Michael Bradley on Saturday.
Two defeats have taken the wind out of Frankfurt's sails to start the season as head coach Michael Skibbe looks for that extra something that made his team the surprise of last year's Bundesliga season.
American midfielder Ricardo Clark is still looking for his first minutes on the field after a slight injury held him back and would love to be able to go against fellow American Bradley on Saturday.
After taking apart Bayer Leverkusen, Bradley and the Foals have showed the amount of firepower that they have up front.
Even without new addition Igor de Camargo, who has been out with a range of injuries, the team has presented an offensive arsenal.
Youngster Marco Reus has officially filled the gap left by Marko Marin a few years ago and Mohamadou Idrissou has become a killer in the penalty area.
Along with de Camargo, Gladbach will be without winger Karim Matmour who has a strained Achilles and most likely without midfielder Thorben Marx.
Frankfurt will most likely be without defender and team captain Chris, who has yet to appear this season, as well as defender Aleksander Vasoski and forward Ioannis Amanatidis, who are both out with knee injuries.
Hannover 96 – Bayer Leverkusen
DaMarcus Beasley and Steven Cherundolo will be looking to keep Hannover 96 on track as the team hosts Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
The "never change a winning team" motto could keep Beasley on the bench to start the game against Leverkusen.
Hannover have started the season well and head coach Mirko Slomka won't be looking to mess around with chemistry yet.
After consecutive wins, the team will be looking to keep its momentum and put the struggle and difficulties that they faced last season in the distant past.
Bayer Leverkusen have been hot and cold so far this season.
The return of Michael Ballack hasn't guaranteed wins and the team is still trying to find its way back to its fine play from the first half of last season.
It could be that the loss of loaned-out Toni Kroos meant more than originally expected.
Hannover will be without midfielders Carlitos, Leon Andreasen and Altin Lala with respective knee, groin and hip injuries, as well as defender Mario Eggiman who is out with a hip injury.
Leverkusen will be without midfielders Tranquilo Barnetta and Simon Rolfes.
MSV Duisburg – 1860 Munich
American goalkeeper David Yelldell will be between the sticks for first-place Duisburg as they take on 1860 Munich at home on Saturday.
It has been a new club and a new feeling for Yelldell this season. After battling relegation last season with TuS Koblenz, he is now sitting in first place in the second league with MSV Duisburg.
And while it is obviously early in the season, the Zebras will be looking to keep their edge and show that they are contenders for promotion.
1860 Munich is looking to do the same. Even with an early-season loss to Bochum, the team will be looking to gain ground on the rest of the pack at the top of the standings.
Duisburg will be without defender Kevin Grund as he recovers from a knee injury, and injured midfielder Adam Bodzek. New addition Filip Trojan will also miss out due to the flu.
Kenny Cooper won't be making the trip for 1860 as he continues to recover from a broken ankle.
The "Texas Tornado" has been putting in four hours a day of rehab and would like to get back into training within the next four weeks.
He recently said that he would like to be back to competitive action before the winter break.
In addition to Cooper, the team will be without defender Necat Aygün, who is serving a suspension.
Eintracht Braunschweig – Rot Weiss Ahlen
Matthew Taylor will most likely start up front with his new club Rot Weiss Ahlen as they travel to Eintracht Braunschweig on Saturday in 3. Liga action.
After a successful trial and some promising practice games, Taylor looks to be back on track. It couldn't have come at a better time for struggling Ahlen, who is just out of the relegation area with five points.
The team won't have the easiest time this weekend, facing off against a Braunschweig team that is looking to jump into the top three.
Ahlen will be without Janis Kraus with a knee injury. Braunschweig will have a full roster.
Daniel Williams will be looking for minutes this week when Freiburg hosts VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.
Luis Robles will most likely start on the bench for Karlsruher SC as they travel to face Energie Cottbus on Monday.