MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, September 27, 2013
Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones face off against each other, and Tim Chandler should make his third consecutive start this weekend.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - FC Schalke 04
In a matchup of two Americans, Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim host Jermaine Jones and Schalke on Saturday.
Johnson should start at his customary left back spot for Hoffenheim, while Jones should at least dress, if not start for the Royal Blues.
Through six matches, Hoffenheim is sitting in much better position than it had last season through this point, which bodes well for a team that barely survived last season. The team has struggled the past week, however, losing to Wolfsburg in league play and needing extra time to beat 2.Bundesliga team Energie Cottbus.
Schalke, meanwhile, has been soaring as of late. The Royal Blues have won five out of their last six matches across all competitions, with the only blemish in that stretch a loss to Bayern Munich. The problem for Schalke is its success hasn't translated to league matches, as the team sits in 14th place with seven points a -6 goal differential.
David Abraham is questionable for Hoffenheim because of a foot injury, while Kevin-Prince Boateng and Julian Draxler are questionable for Schalke with knee problems. Schalke will also be without Christian Fuchs, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Klaas Jan Huntelaar, all with knee injuries.
Werder Bremen - 1. FC Nuremberg
Tim Chandler looks set to make his third consecutive start when Nuremberg travels to Bremen on Sunday.
Chandler had a solid outing last week in a 1-1 tie to Dortmund, playing more forward than most right backs do against the Bundesliga leader. His performance should give coach Michael Wiesinger confidence to start him once again at Bremen.
Bremen is coming off a confidence-boosting win in the Nordderby over Hamburg last weekend, ending a three-match losing streak in Bundesliga action. The win marked the first time all season Bremen scored more than one goal this season.
Nuremberg will be without Timo Gebhart and Daniel Ginczek with an abductor muscle injury and a broken toe, while Bremen's Franco di Santo is suspended for the match because of a red card.
Preußen Münster - Jahn Regensburg
Matt Taylor and Münster hope to turn around a long losing streak against Regensburg on Saturday in 3.Liga action.
Since beating St. Pauli in the first round of the DFB Pokal on August 4, the Eagles haven't won a match, a stretch of eight matches across all competitions. Not much seems to be going right for Münster, as the team went from a promotion candidate to a team just above the relegation zone.
Regensburg doesn't come into this match flying high, either, having lost its last two matches. Both of those losses came against the Stuttgarter Kickers and Halle, teams in 13th and 18th place in the 3.Liga standings.
Dominik Schmidt and Kevin Schöneberg are out for Münster with a knee injury and a red-card suspension, while Regensburg will not have Thomas Kurz and Patrick Haag with a knee injury and an undisclosed muscle injury.
Stuttgarter Kickers - Bourssia Dortmund II
Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers will hope to pick up their second win of the season when they host Dortmund II on Saturday.
In its second consecutive season in the 3.Liga, the Kickers seem set for another relegation fight. They sit in 18th place with six points through 10 matches, one point away from safety, and the Kicker started the season seven matches winless before beating Regensburg two weeks ago.
Dortmund II struggled last season as well, but the Schwarzgelben are doing better this season, recording 13 points in nine matches. They are currently riding a three-match unbeaten streak against three teams in the middle of the standings - Duisburg, Rostock and Chemnitz.
The Kickers will not have Paul Grishock, Mahir Savranlioglu and Daniel Engelbrecht because of a shoulder injury, a knee injury and myocardial inflammation. Dortmund will be without Evans Nyarko, Marian Sarr, Julian Derstroff and goalkeeper Hendrik Bonmann with a knee injury, a broken toe, an ankle injury and a hip operation.
Michael Parkhurst probably won't be in the lineup when Augsburg hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday.
Steve Cherundolo will be unavailable for Hannover at Leverkusen this Saturday as he continues to return from knee surgery.
John Anthony Brooks is out for Hertha Berlin on Saturday with a hyperextended elbow and underarm injury.
Bobby Wood should be on 1860 Munich's bench, while Andrew Wooten will hope to dress for Kaiserslautern when the two teams meet in 2.Bundesliga action on Sunday.
Following Ingolstadt's big win in the second round of the DFB Pokal, Alfredo Morales will likely be relegated to the bench when St. Pauli comes to town on Sunday.