PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
After a midweek German Cup marathon, Michael Bradley and Borussia Mönchengladbach will try and earn some points on the road this weekend in the Bundesliga.
Kaiserslautern - Borussia Mönchengladbach
After putting away rivals Leverkusen in overtime on Wednesday in the German Cup, Michael Bradley and Gladbach will try and get things going against Kaiserslautern on Saturday.
Not all of the Foals were happy about the midweek win in the German Cup. Forward Igor de Camargo was set to come on for Raul Bobadilla as a late-game substitute – and the latter refused to shake the former's hand at the midfield line. A turn of events that didn't sit well with head coach Michael Frontzeck. He has left Bobadilla out of the squad to face Kaiserslautern this weekend.
For FC Kaiserslautern, this isn't just any home game. The team will be playing without a sponsor's logo on their jerseys for the first time in more than 30 years. The reason: Fritz Walter is celebrating his 90th birthday on October 31. Yes, the Fritz Walter who was the captain of the 1954 World Cup team and the one who Kaiserslautern's stadium is named after. The "Red Devils" will be wearing a special jersey for him on his big day.
Frontzeck is still giving goalkeeper Logan Bailly the week off and Gladbach will also be without defenders Dante, who is recovering from a foot injury, Christian Dorda who has a torn patella tendon and Roel Brouwers who injured his knee this past week. Midfielder Tony Jantschke is also out as he recovers from a broken foot and Karim Matmour is still out with Achilles heel problems. Juan Arango is still sitting out due to suspension.
Kaiserslautern will be without defenders Florian Dick and Jan Simunek as well as midfielder Chadli Amri.
Hoffenheim - Hannover
Steven Cherundolo, DaMarcus Beasley and Hannover 96 will take their fast-break style of soccer to Hoffenheim on Sunday.
Things are going well for Hannover this season. The team has managed to play defensively while scoring goals and that has put them near the top of the table for this first time in several years. Credit has to be given to the attacking duo of Didier Ya Konan and Mohammed Abdellaoue who have been absolutely deadly up front – scoring nine of the team's 13 goals.
Hannover will have hard time when they go up against Hoffenheim – the team that put the brakes on Dortmund's streak just a week ago. Although head coach Ralf Rangnick will have to restructure his defense once again, the team has proven that they don't allow goals that easily.
American Cherundolo has had some groin problems this week but should be able to play. Hannover is without defender Emanuel Pogatetz with a muscle tear, as well as long time absentees Leon Andreasen and Carlitos.
Hoffenheim will just be missing Sejad Salihovic who is serving a suspension for the red card he received after last week's game and defender Josep Simunic who hasn't been able to practice due to foot problems.
Fortuna Dussledorf – MSV Duisburg
David Yelldell will once again be between the sticks when Duisburg travel just down the road to take on Fortuna Dusseldorf on Monday.
The paths of the two second-league teams couldn't have been different. They were neck and neck at the end of last season, with Dusseldorf being one of the big surprises. Well, the magic has worn off and Dusseldorf is sitting in 16th place in the standings after a dreadful start where they lost six in a row.
Yelldell might actually be looking for things to do during the game as Dusseldorf has only scored six goals this term and has been shut-out five times.
Duisburg is still flying high and is still in contention for that first place spot at the end of the week. If they are lucky, forward Stefan Maierhofer will be in form. The Austrian has scored twice in games on three different occasions this season.
Dusseldorf will most likely be without forward Marco Christ who has just returned to team training after injury. The team will also be missing Wellington.
Duisburg is still missing Kevin Grund, who is recuperating from a knee problem and midfielder Mihai Tararache.
Rot Weiss Ahlen - SV Wehen Wiesbaden
Matthew Taylor and Ahlen will have their work cut out for them against second-place Wiesbaden on Saturday.
Ahlen is still trying to find its form for the season but has managed to climb out of the relegation zone. If the team wants to continue doing so, they will need to get some points at home.
It will be tough against Wiesbaden – the team has won its last four games and is just two points out of first place. If they want a chance at the top of the standings, they will have to win away.
Ahlen's forward Sebastian Hille is out with a pulled muscle, Rouven Meschede is out with a knee injury, midfielder Janis Kraus is out with a fractured ankle and Björn Kluft is out with back problems. In addition, goalie André Maczkowiak is serving a suspension.
Wiesbaden will be without Thorsten Bard and Jovan Damjanovic.
Schalke will be facing Leverkusen at home on Saturday but without Jermaine Jones. The American midfielder has picked up a slight ankle injury and won't be available for this weekend's action.
Eintracht Frankfurt will be without midfielder Alexander Meier for the next four weeks, possibly opening the door for American midfielder Ricardo Clark to get some playing time. Clark will most likely start on the bench however, when the team travels to St. Pauli on Saturday.
After getting his first start on Wednesday, Daniel Williams will most likely start on the Freiburg bench when the team travels to Bayern Munich on Friday.