PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover will try to keep their Champions League hopes alive while Timothy Chandler and Nürnberg have a tough visit from Mainz with a Europa League spot on the line.
SC Freiburg - Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo will anchor the defense for Hannover 96 when the team travels to take on Daniel Williams and SC Freiburg on Thursday.
A scoreless draw against Hamburg and a Bayern win was enough to bump 96 out of the top three last week - but the club isn't giving up the chase for the last Champions League spot. The team has redefined its goal as the season has progressed and isn't prepared to settle for anything else.
American defender Daniel Williams returned to the bench for Freiburg but is still looking for his first minutes in 2011. DaMarcus Beasley was once again left out of the squad for Hannover 96 last week and seems to not be a part of head coach Mirko Slomka's planning.
Hannover will be missing two of its stalwarts - both midfielder Sergio Pinto and leading scorer Didier Ya Konan are serving suspensions.
Freiburg is still without injured defender Felix Bastians and midfielder Jan Rosenthal.
FC Nürnberg - Mainz 05
Timothy Chandler should be in the starting line-up for Nürnberg when the team hosts Mainz on Saturday.
Just two points separate these two teams in the standings and it is looking more and more like the better of the two will qualify for international competition next season.
Europa League or not, both teams will have to restructure this summer as many of their stars have already either been sold to bigger clubs or were just loaned out for this season.
Nürnberg is still without forward Albert Bunjaku and midfielder Mike Frantz.
Mainz is missing midfielders Miroslav Karhan and Marcel Risse, as well as forward Adam Szalai.
Rot-Weiß Oberhausen - Karlsruhe SC
After consecutive starts, Luis Robles will most likely be in goal for KSC when they travel to take on Oberhausen on Saturday.
After a lackluster season, Bielefeld has already booked its trip down to the 3. Bundesliga – but there is room for two more and Karlsruhe is one of three teams in danger of slipping.
A tough loss to one of the league's leaders has left Karlsruhe on the edge of the relegation zone and the team will need to get points in its last few games to stay in the second league.
Oberhausen is in second-to-last place and will be looking to steal points from KSC to move out of the relegation zone.
KSC is without forwards Christian Timm and Andrei Cristea - both to injury.
Forward Moses Lamidi will be missing from the Oberhausen line-up.
1. FC Union Berlin - FC Ingolstadt 04
Edson Buddle will look to return to action for Ingolstadt when the club travels to take on Union Berlin on Sunday.
Ingolstadt hasn't lost in its last seven games and has managed to distance itself from the relegation zone and two wins will guarantee their spot in the 2. Bundesliga next season.
After missing out last week due to a slight injury, Buddle is back and ready to push Ingolstadt over the hump.
Forward John Jairo Mosquera will be out due to suspension for Berlin. The team will also be without defender Christian Stuff.
Ingolstadt is without midfielder Andreas Buchner who will most likely be out for the rest of the season and defender Ronald Gercaliu.
MSV Duisburg - Hertha BSC
David Yelldell and Duisburg will face a tough test when Hertha BSC comes to town on Monday.
Hertha BSC has all but confirmed its return to the top flight next season and will be looking to complete the season on a high note.
Duisburg is officially in no-man's land in the middle of the standings and has been dealt another blow with captain Srdjan Baljak being ruled out for the next six months.
In addition to Baljak, the team is still without midfielders Julian Koch and Ivica Grlic, forward Stefan Maierhofer and defender Bruno Soares.
Berlin will be without forward Valeri Domovchiyski.
VfB Stuttgart II - Rot Weiss Ahlen
Matt Taylor will be looking to provide a spark on offense when Ahlen travels to take on Stuttgart II on Sunday.
A midweek win wasn't enough to get Ahlen clear of the relegation zone as three teams are deadlocked at 36 points at the bottom of the standings - and Ahlen is in the worst position due to goal differential.
Taylor notched his 14th goal of the season on Wednesday and the club's staff has to be satisfied with their signing for this season. Taylor has been a constant threat up front for Rot Weiss.
Midfielder Robert Flessers picked up his fifth yellow card on Wednesday and won't be available for Ahlen against Stuttgart.
Stuttgart II will be without defenders Sven Schimmel and Sebastian Enderle, midfielder Öztürk Karataş and forward Pascal Breier.
Ricardo Clark might see some minutes for Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday when the team hosts Bayern Munich. Frankfurt has been plagued by injuries all season long and Clark has been known to fill in the vacant positions. The latest will be for Maik Franz, the defender who is now out for the season with a broken foot.
Bobby Wood wasn't included in the 1860 Munich squad last weekend and will be looking to make an appearance this weekend when the team hosts Greuther Fürth.