PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt welcome in werder Bremen while Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 square off agaisnt Mainz this weekend in the Bundesliga.
Eintracht Frankfurt - Werder Bremen
Ricardo Clark will be fighting for a place in the starting line-up when Frankfurt faces Bremen on Friday.
After getting a lot of minutes for Frankfurt in the last month, Clark will be looking to team up with Pirmin Schwegler in midfield. Schwegler just returned to team training this week and is seen as a given for the starting 11.
Head coach Christoph Daum has said that each of the next six games should be seen as a final and there really isn't much room between them and the next relegation spot. Daum even closed training to the public this week to get his players focused on the task ahead.
Traditional powerhouse Bremen has seen better days. The team will be looking to fill the gap left by Peruvian forward Claudio Pizarro, who is still out injured.
Frankfurt will be without Patrick Ochs who picked up his fifth yellow card last week and defender and team captain Chris.
In addition to Pizarro, Bremen will be without defenders Sebastian Boenisch, Naldo and Sebastian Prödl - all to injury. They are also without injured midfielder Daniel Jensen.
Hannover - Mainz
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 will host Mainz on Saturday in a match that might decide the international seeding for next year.
After last week's 15-minute defensive lapse that allowed for three Dortmund goals, 96 have fallen to fourth place behind Bayern Munich. Team officials worry that the team might lose sight of the top and are looking for a reaction.
Mainz is also looking to keep its European hopes alive and are still in the hunt for a Europa League berth.
American midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has recently been left out of the game-day squad for Hannover and is still looking for his first minutes of 2011.
96's head coach Mirko Slomka should have a full squad to choose from.
Mainz will be without defender Christian Fuchs due to suspension, and midfielder Elkin Soto and forward Adam Szalai due to injury.
Nürnberg - Bayern Munich
Timothy Chandler will be looking to be included in the starting line-up when Nürnberg hosts Bayern Munich on Saturday.
After missing a week of action due to a red card, Chandler will definitely be an option in the back-line for Nürnberg. The team also welcomes back forward Julian Schieber, who has returned to training following his knee operation.
Although they are not running on all cylinders, Bayern has still managed to get some ugly results over the past few weeks and is in contention for one of the Champions League spots for next season.
Nürnberg will just be without long-term absentee Albert Bunjaku.
Munich will just be without defender Daniel van Buyten and forward Ivica Olic.
MSV Duisburg - Alemannia Aachen
David Yelldell will be between the sticks for Duisburg when the team hosts Aachen on Friday.
It's been a slow slide down the standings for the Zebras. The team had a long streak in the first half of the season but haven't been able to replicate their offensive dominance lately.
With just a few games remaining, it's looking less and less like the team - now in seventh place - will be able to compete for promotion and the lone highlight might be the German Cup Final in May.
Duisburg is still without midfielders Julian Koch and Ivica Grlic, and forward Stefan Maierhofer is also out with a broken foot.
Aachen will be missing midfielder Marco Höger who is serving a one-game suspension.
SC Paderborn 07 - FC Ingolstadt 04
Edson Buddle will most likely be up front for Ingolstadt when the team travels to take on Paderborn on Sunday.
Ingolstadt has managed to finally put some space between them and the relegation zone and hasn't lost in the last five games.
Buddle has just scored two goals so far - but it hasn't been for a lack of chances. He has consistently been able to put himself in good scoring positions and will once again be the big target up front for Ingolstadt.
Paderborn will be without defender Sören Gonther and forward Edmond Kapllani.
Andreas Buchner is still injured and won't be traveling with Ingolstadt. The team will also be missing forward Sebastian Zielinsky.
Rot Weiss Ahlen - Bayern Munich II
Matt Taylor will once again be upfront for Ahlen when the team hosts Bayern Munich II on Saturday.
Ahlen will be looking to forget last week's demolition at the hands (or feet) of Sandhausen and at the same time pick on last-placed Bayern Munich II.
With just a single point separating Ahlen from the relegation zone, a win this weekend is critical.
Both teams should have a full squad to choose from.
American defender Daniel Williams finally returned to training for Freiburg this past week and will be looking to be included in the squad that faces Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Luis Robles will most likely be back on the bench for Karlsruher SC when they travel to take on Erzgebirge Aue on Sunday.
Bobby Wood's run with US U-20 team came to an end on Wednesday as the 1860 Munich man watched from the sidelines with an ankle injury during the US' 2-1 loss to Guatemala. Wood is unlikely to be included in the 1860 roster for Saturday's game against Cottbus.