PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Timothy Chandler and Nürnberg will try and keep the win-streak alive as they go on the road to Schalke as two Americans go head to head in the 2. Bundesliga.
FC Schalke 04 - FC Nürnberg
Timothy Chandler will most likely be in the starting line-up for Nürnberg when the team travels to take on Schalke on Saturday.
Just who is making virtual waves in Germany? Schalke head coach Felix Magath of course. He has become the latest Facebook junky and is looking for friends. He has even taken the time to make strange videos answering fan questions in a very long-winded kind of way.
And while this might be a good way to keep in contact with your team's community, it probably won't help Klaas-Jan Huntelaar score goals. The forward hasn't hit the back of the net for Schalke in the league in more than 900 minutes.
Nürnberg on the other hand is having a good run. The only loss in 2011 came at the hands of, you guessed it, Schalke. Nürnberg came up empty in the German Cup just over a month ago against Magath and the Royal Blue.
Nürnberg will be without suspended midfielder Almog Cohen, as well as Mike Frantz, Ilkay Gündogan and Albert Bunjaku.
Schalke is missing defenders Tim Hoogland, Christian Pander, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and midfielder Christoph Moritz.
FC St. Pauli - Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo will take his normal place in the backline when Hannover travels to take on St. Pauli on Saturday.
There are four words that are on everyone's lips in Hannover this week: Didier Ya Konan's knee. It looks as though the forward and leading scorer will miss out on at least the next two games – and if surgery is required, the rest of the season.
And while Hannover has battled (and conquered) other challenges this season, losing Ya Konan could mean the end of 96's dream of playing internationally next season (in his tenure, the team is winless when he hasn't played).
Which brings us to DaMarcus Beasley. The US winger is still waiting for his first minutes of 2011 but could be asked to fill the gap left by Ya Konan up front.
In addition to Ya Konan, Hannover will be without long-term absentees Markus Miller and Leon Andreasen.
St. Pauli has its own injuries to worry about. Head coach Holger Stanislawski will only have a few defenders to choose from and has even decided to call up an intern from the PR department (Hauke Brückner, who also plays for the second team).
Fabian Morena will be out for the rest of the season, Bastian Oczipka is out with an ankle injury, Markus Thorandt is serving a suspension, Florian Lechner has a broken foot, Marcel Eger has the flu and Carsten Rothenbach has picked up a knee injury.
Rot-Weiß Oberhausen - MSV Duisburg
Goalkeeper David Yelldell will anchor the Duisburg defense when the team faces Oberhausen on the road on Friday.
Duisburg are slowly losing contact with the top of the standings as they struggle to score. One of the 2. Bundeliga's best offenses is in a rut and will be relying on Stefan Maierhofer, the big Austrian up front to get things going.
Oberhausen is currently in the no-man's land that is the play-off relegation spot. The team is still five points clear of Ingolstadt but another loss could make things uncomfortable for them.
Oberhausen is without midfielders Daniel Gordon and Heinrich Schmidtgal and defender Daniel Embers.
Duisburg is still without midfielder Ivica Grlic.
Karlsruher SC - FC Ingolstadt 04
Edson Buddle will try and get the best of fellow American Luis Robles when Ingolstadt travels to take on Karlsruhe on Sunday.
Things are looking dismal for Ingolstadt. The team has only managed a couple of draws so far this year and is in desperate need of a win.
KSC was able to move a little bit further away from the relegation zone with last week's win, but the team will need to string some results together if they don't want to fall to the bottom again.
Buddle's only goal this season came against American David Yelldell - he will be hoping for the same "national" luck this week against Robles.
American defender Amaechi Igwe made his comeback in a practice game this week and might be included in the game day roster on Sunday.
KSC still has a range of injuries to deal with. Midfielders Marco Engelhardt and Gaetan Krebs have been ruled out as well as defender Sebastian Langkamp and forward Christian Timm.
Ingolstadt is without midfielder Andreas Buchner who will most likely be out for the rest of the season.
Rot Weiss Ahlen - Eintracht Braunschweig
Matt Taylor returned to action for Ahlen last week and will most likely be in the starting 11 that faces Braunschweig on Saturday.
Ahlen faces a tough test this weekend when the top team in the 3. Bundesliga and promotion candidate Braunschweig comes to town.
Last week's win has been one of the only highlights of the last couple months as the team has struggled to get results, losing six of eight.
And while Taylor failed to score in his return, he is still one of the major threats up front for Ahlen and will be integral to the team avoiding relegation.
Ahlen will just be missing midfielder Nils-Ole Book. Braunschweig should travel with a full roster.
Ricardo Clark has returned to training for Eintracht Frankfurt, but will most likely be watching from the stands when the team hosts Stuttgart on Sunday. Clark broke his cheekbone in practice and is now wearing a mask for protection.
Daniel Williams is still out with a knee injury and won't be traveling with SC Freiburg when they take on Cologne on Saturday.
Bobby Wood will be looking for some minutes when 1860 Munich travels to take on FC Union Berlin on Friday.