SCOTT PETERSON - Friday, September 20, 2013
Tim Chandler should make his second consecutive start for Nuremberg, and Matt Taylor should return to Munster's starting lineup in an attempt to right a sinking ship.
VfL Wolfsburg - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim hit the road to take on Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Hoffenheim picked up a big win over Mönchengladbach last weekend, thrusting Hoffenheim into seventh place with eight points through five matches. The team's last road match went horribly wrong for it, however, as Stuttgart smacked them for a 6-2 loss.
Wolfsburg has been hit or miss so far this season, either taking all three points or dropping all points. Based on its pattern through five matches, the Wolves are set for a win at home, having lost last weekend.
Sejad Salihovic will be unavailable for Hoffenheim because of a red-card suspension, while Wolfsburg will be without Luiz Gustavo and Bas Dost because of a red-card suspension and a syndemosis injury.
1. FC Nuremberg - Borussia Dortmund
Tim Chandler looks to take advantage of Markus Feulner's absence once again when Nuremberg hosts league-leader Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Chandler made his second start of the season in last weekend's 1-1 tie to Braunschweig. Feulner, who took over from Chandler following a subpar performance in the first round of the DFB Pokal, missed last week because of an infection, and the 30-year-old German will miss the match for Der Club as he's just returning to practice.
The American right back has a tough test ahead of him in the form of Dortmund. The Schwarzgelben have come out of the gates strong in the Bundesliga, not dropping a single point through five matches and holding a goal differential of plus 11, but they are coming off a disappointing performance against Napoli in the Champions League.
Along with Feulner, Der Club will be without Timo Gebhart because of abductor muscle problems, and Dortmund will not have Lukasz Piszczek because of groin and hip surgery, Ilkay Gündogan because of a spine injury and captain Sebastian Kehl because of a knee injury.
SC Freiburg - Hertha Berlin
Riding a two-match losing streak, John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin will hope to take advantage of a struggling Freiburg on Sunday.
Berlin started off its return to the Bundesliga well, collecting seven points in the team's first three matches, but in the last two matches, the offense hasn't done its job, as the Old Lady hasn't scored and lost by a combined 3-0.
Freiburg experienced much success last season, leading to a berth in the Europa League, but after teams raided the Breisgau-Brazilians over the summer that success hasn't carried over. Outside of the team first-round DFB Pokal match, Freiburg hasn't won another match across all competitions.
Hertha will be without Alexander Baumjohann because of a knee injury, while Freiburg will not have Vegar Eggen Hedenstad and Mensur Mujdza with abductor and knee injuries.
FSV Frankfurt - FC Ingolstadt 04
Sitting in last place in the 2.Bundesliga, Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt travel to Frankfurt on Sunday in hopes of starting their climb out of the cellar.
Ingolstadt dropped into a tie for 17th place following a loss to first-place Union Berlin last weekend, tied on points, goals scored and goals conceded with Dynamo Dresden. It ended a two-match unbeaten run in which the Schanzer picked up their first four points of the season.
Frankfurt sits four points above Ingolstadt in the standings, having gone winless in its past three matches. Two of those came against the top two teams in the 2.Bundesliga standings, with Frankfurt managing to pull off ties versus Union Berlin and Greuther Fürth.
Moritz Hartmann is still recovering from a knee injury and will be unavailable for Ingolstadt. Frankfurt's Nils Teixeira is suspended because of a red card he received against St. Pauli last weekend.
1. FC Heidenheim - Preußen Münster
With no answer found for Münster's struggles, the Eagles will call on Matt Taylor to help resurrect the team at Heidenheim on Saturday.
The Eagles haven't recreated their success from the 2012-2013 and have instead struggled out the gates, sitting in 17th place and one point above the relegation zone because of a seven-match winless streak that has included four ties. Münster has lost three of its last four matches, prompting the team to change coaches.
Taylor hasn't been immune to the changes to the team, as he hasn't started the last two matches, but with unable to win without him in the starting lineup, it looks as though new coach Ralf Loose will use Taylor's services once more.
Turning things around against Heidenheim is a tall order to ask of Taylor and the Eagles. Heidenheim sits atop the 3.Liga standings and has won four consecutive matches, although three of those four wins came against teams placed 15th or below in the standings.
Münster will not have Dominik Schmidt because of knee problems and Amaury Bischoff because of a red-card suspension. Heidenheim is not reporting any significant injuries.
Chemitzer FC - Stuttgarter Kickers
Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers square off against Chemitz on Saturday with a chance to get out of the relegation zone.
The Kickers come into the match having gained a confidence booster with a win over Jahn Regensburg last weekend. It catapulted the team to 18th place, and the Kickers sit just one point away from safety.
Chemitz, meanwhile, is on a hot streak of its own, going unbeaten in its last six matches. The last three matches ended in ties, leaving the team in 12th place on 11 points.
The Kickers will not have Mahir Savranlioglu and Daniel Engelbrecht due to a torn ACL and myocardial inflammation, while Chemitz will be without Toni Wachsmuth and Kolja Pusch because of a torn calf muscle and a left foot injury.
Steve Cherundolo is unavailable for Hannover 96 in the team's Saturday match against Michael Parkhurst and Augsburg, with Parkhurst hoping to dress for the Fuggerstädter.
Following a red-card suspension, Jermaine Jones may enter the starting lineup for Schalke against Bayern Munich on Saturday as a fresh player.
Andrew Wooten will likely be a bench option for Kaiserslautern coach Kosta Runjaic when the Red Devils travel to Colgne on Friday in 2.Bundesliga action.
Bobby Wood should make 1860 Munich's bench for the Lions' Saturday match against Aue.
Jerome Kiesewetter will hope to make Stuttgart II's bench for the team's Saturday match against RotWeiß Erfurt.