PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Michael Bradley and Steven Cherundolo return from international duty and will be looking to get their teams going once again as the Bundesliga gets back underway.
Bayern Munich – Hannover 96
Steven Cherundolo will try and stabilize the Hannover 96 defense against Bayern Munich as the two teams limp back into action on Saturday.
Hannover is trying to improve on their best season start ever and it seems like as good of a time as ever to match up against a Bayern team that is trying to improve upon their worst start.
And while the Red Devils are once again struggling with a range of injuries across the board, it appears their opponent will be as well.
Along with Arjen Robben, who most likely won't play until 2011, Bayern is without their international stars Franck Ribery and Mark van Bommel.
The team will also have to line up without the two forwards Ivica Olic and Miroslav Klose, who both returned from international duty with injuries.
In addition, the team will have to make a game-time decision on Bastian Schweinsteiger's fitness as he recovers from a foot injury. Starting defender Diego Contento is also out, as he undergoes groin surgery.
After a slight injury, DaMarcus Beasley has returned to team training and head coach Mirko Slomka might be looking for him to help out on offense as starting forward Mohammed Abdellaoue will miss out with a thigh injury and Didier Ya Konan might not be available due to a knee injury.
Hannover is also still 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.
Defender Emanuel Pogatetz is also out with muscle problems and Karim Haggui won't be available due to suspension.
Hoffenheim – Borussia Mönchengladbach
After two games with the national team, Michael Bradley will once again be in the center of Mönchengladbach's midfield when the team plays away to Hoffenheim.
Gladbach's head coach Michael Frontzeck still hasn't found the key to success this season. The team has been inconsistent and is struggling in nearly every area.
After seven games, the Foals are just barely out of the relegation area and some might say that all the difficult games are still to come.
However, for the first time this season it looks like new signee Igor de Camargo will have a realistic chance of playing. He has been good in training and has impressed in the a few practice games during the international break.
After a very promising start, Hoffenheim has lost touch with the top of the standings. The team will only be missing central defender Josep Simunic and will be looking to get things back on track.
Gladbach will be without defenders Roel Brouwers, who is suspended for a red card, Dante, who is recovering from a foot injury and Christian Dorda from a torn patella tendon.
Midfielder Tony Jantschke is also out as he recovers from a broken foot and Karim Matmour is still suffering from Achilles heel problems.
Karlsruher SC – VfL Bochum
After his successful debut for Karlsruher SC, Luis Robles will most likely start between the sticks as the team hosts VfL Bochum on Saturday.
There is just a point separating the two teams in the middle of the standings and this game could be a good first step into the top half.
Both teams have struggled to come up with good results this season and Bochum doesn't look anything like a team that was playing in the Bundesliga just a few months ago.
But the real story here might be the direct face off between North and South. Jong Tae-se, who plays up front for Bochum, is the first North Korean to be included on a German team and Robles has South Korean heritage.
Robles will have to keep an eye on "The People's Rooney" as he has been deadly as of late – four goals in seven games.
KSC will be without at least one at each position: goalie Kristian Nicht, defender Sebastian Langkamp, midfielder Massimillian Porcello and forward Christian Timm.
Bochum will just be missing two in midfield, injured Marc Pfertzel and Paul Freier who is serving a suspension.
Arminia Bielefeld – MSV Duisburg
David Yeldell will be back in goal for the Zebras when the team travels to Bielefeld on Monday evening.
Yeldell has been strong in goal so far this season and Duisburg will be counting on him for another shut out to get the team back in contention for promotion to the first league.
With just two points separating them with the league leaders, a little luck could put them back in first place.
Bielefeld is tied for last place and hasn't been able to get anything going this season.
With just one win to brag about, the team will have to do a lot more if they don't want to be relegated.
Duisburg are missing only a pair of players, with Kevin Grund recovering from a knee problem and Adam Bodzek also working his way back to fitness.
Bielefeld will be without forward Pavel Fort, midfielder Michael Delura and defender Arne Feick – all with knee injuries.
Rot Weiss Ahlen – SV Sandhausen
Matt Taylor will be looking to get back his scoring touch when Ahlen hosts Sandhausen on Saturday.
The bad season has gotten worse for Ahlen. With just one point separating the team from the relegation zone, it was also announced this week that the club has filed for bankruptcy.
The team will be hoping to give their fans something to cheer about at home and a win could due a lot to help their cause.
Sandhausen haven't been that impressive yet this season and if the team isn't careful, they could fall into the relegation zone as well.
Ahlen will be missin starting keeper Andre Maczkowiak, who is out with a leg problem, forward Sebastian Hille who is out with pulled muscle, midfielder Janis Kraus who has an ankle injury and Rouven Meschede with a knee injury.
In addition, Raphael Koczor is serving a suspension.
Sandhausen is without defenders Kristian Gilbo and Marco Pischorn, midfielder Roberto Pinto and forwards Sreto Ristic and Emre Öztürk.
After his first two games with the US national team, Jermaine Jones will be missing from Schalke's line-up due to suspension when the team faces Stuttgart at home on Saturday.
Daniel Williams will hope to see some minutes on Saturday when Freiburg travels to Bremen.
Ricardo Clark will start on the bench on Sunday for Eintracht Frankfurt when they play away to Kaiserslautern.
Defender Amaechi Igwe is still recovering from a knee injury and will not be available for Ingolstadt when they play in Aachen on Sunday.
Kenny Cooper is working his way back from a broken ankle and will not take part 1860 Munich's game against Oberhausen on Sunday.