PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover face a tough task against Bremen, while Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and Hoffenheim hope to put an end to its bad start against Freiburg.
Hannover 96 - Werder Bremen
After starting for the U.S. Men's national team on Tuesday, Steve Cherundolo returns to captain Hannover as the team takes on Werder Bremen Saturday.
Hannover's had a hot start to the 2012-2013 season, sitting in third place in the Bundesliga and qualifying with relative ease for the Europa League.
Although struggling in its Bundesliga opener and the first round of the DFB Pokal, Bremen came back swinging against a beleaguered Hamburg with a 2-0 win. The team sits in ninth place going into the third Bundesliga game.
Defender Christian Pander will miss for Hannover because of a muscular injury, while forward Mame Diouf continues to be on the injury list, as he is returning from ankle surgery.
Bremen is not reporting any significant injuries at this time.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth - FC Schalke 04
With Schalke opening up its Champions League campaign next week, Jermaine Jones might sit on the bench against promoted Fürth Saturday.
Along with the Greek Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Scahlke coach Huub Stevens could opt to rest the two because of their work for their respective national teams, but both players should make the bench in the least, according to kicker.
Schalke might be able to get away with it against Fürth, despite the team's 1-0 win over Mainz two weeks ago.
Schalke is not reporting any significant injuries at this time.
Forward Baye Djiby Fall is out for Fürth because of a torn ligament in his shoulder.
SC Freiburg - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams will hope to put an end to a disastrous start to the season against Freiburg Sunday. Johnson will once again start at left back, while Williams is set to sit on the bench again.
Hoffenheim lost its first three games- two Bundesliga games and its first round matchup in the DFB Pokal- and currently sits in 17th place with a -5 goal differential. Frankfurt's 4-0 beat down left a particular sting before the international break.
Perhaps luckily for Hoffenheim, the team faces perennial relegation-candidate Freiburg. After a 1-1 tie against Mainz in its first Bundesliga game, Freiburg lost two weeks ago against Leverkusen.
Defender Stephan Schröck and Sejad Salihovic are suspended for Hoffenheim because of the yellow-red cards they received in Hoffenheim's last game.
Midfielders Daniel Caligiuri and Jan Rosenthal will miss for Freiburg because of a torn ligament in the ankle and a tendon tear in the knee, respectively.
VfL Osnabrück - Preußen Münster
Matt Taylor and Münster have the opportunity to gain some points on another team toward the top of the 3.Bundesliga standings, as Münster travels to rival Osnabrück Saturday.
After a 0-0 tie to Stuttgart II in its last match, Münster finds itself on the outside in the promotion race. The team currently sits in fifth place, collecting 15 points through eight games.
In third place, Osnabrück has struggled a bit in its past three games, losing two of those three games. Those two loses came against the Stuttgart Kickers, a promoted team, and Babelsberg, which sits in 17th place.
Münster is not reporting any injuries at this time, while Osnabrück will be without starting goalkeeper Manuel Riemann, who picked up a red card in the 1-0 loss to Babelsberg.
Hallescher FC - SV Darmstadt 98
Preston Zimmerman and Darmstadt take on a tough Halle team away from home Saturday, with Zimmerman playing a more comfortable position at center forward.
Zimmerman hasn't helped the almost non-existent Darmstadt offense this season. The Lillies have scored only five times through eight games, with Zimmerman contributing zero goals. The American has assisted on two of his team's five goals, though.
Halle also has struggled to score, but unlike Darmstadt, Halle's defense has shined in the 3.Bundesliga, leading to its current seventh place spot. The team has scored only six goals thus far but has allowed a measly four goals- the best in the league.
Midfielder Benjamin Baier is out for Darmstadt, as he rests his ripped muscle fascicle.
Defender Steven Ruprecht and midfielder Anton Müller will miss for Halle because of a red card and a torn muscle fiber.
Borussia Dortmund II - Stuttgarter Kickers
In a matchup of promoted teams, Royal-Dominique Fennel and the Stuttgart Kickers head to Dortmund II Sunday, with Fennell starting once again at center back for the Kickers.
The Kickers are sitting pretty through eight games in eighth place with 11 points, and Stuttgart has won three of its last four 3.Bundesliga games.
Dortmund, meanwhile, has not seen much success. The BVB second team sits in last place, with five points and -13 goal differential, and it has allowed the most goals in the German third division (18).
The Kickers are not reporting any injuries at this time. Dortmund II will be without Marvin Ducksch and Eric Durm because of a stress fracture and bone contusion, respectively.
Defender Alfredo Morales will hope to feature for Hertha Berlin as the team hosts Aalen Sunday.
American Joe Gyau could make his debut for St. Pauli Monday, as the team travels to Cologne.
Forward Andrew Wooten should make the bench for Sandhausen against Dynamo Dresden Saturday.
Forward Jerome Kiesewetter will probably not make the lineup for Stuttgart II when the team takes on Chemnitz.
Goalkeeper David Yelldell will look to make the bench for Leverkusen against defending champion Dortmund Saturday.
Jared Jeffrey will not make Mainz's lineup Saturday, when Mainz travel to Bayern Munich.