MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, December 6, 2013
Tim Chandler and Nuremberg hope to get a win at home, while John Anthony Brooks should make his return to Hertha Berlin's starting lineup.
1. FC Nuremberg - 1. FSV Mainz 05
Still in search of the season's first win, Tim Chandler and Nuremberg will hope to find it when they host Mainz on Friday night.
Nuremberg sits in second-to-last place in the Bundesliga through 14 matches and for good reason - Der Club has allowed the third most goals in the league and holds the second-worst goal differential in the league at -16. Nuremberg has really struggled at home, as the Francoians have recorded three ties at Grundig-Stadion.
Mainz, meanwhile, has had a revival of sorts, using three wins in a five-match span to catapult itself into eighth place. When Mainz has lost this season, it hasn't been pretty, as it has recorded three losses by at least three goals and holds a goal differential of -7.
Nuremberg will be without Timo Gebhart because of a groin injury and Niklas Stark because of an abductor injury, while Markus Feulner is questionable with the flu. Mainz will not have first-choice goalkeeper Heinz Müller with a hip injury, Julian Baumgartlinger with a knee injury and Elkin Soto with a red-card suspension.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - FC Schalke 04
A continual theme for Schalke this year, Jermaine Jones and the Royal Blues look to bounce back after a bad loss when they travel to Mönchengladbach.
Schalke has been very inconsistent so far this season. The Royal Blues have lost three games by at least three goals across all competitions, including two 4-0 losses in league play to Wolfsburg on August 17th and Bayern Munich on September 21. Still, whenever teams count them out, the Royal Blues manage to get an important result and will need another one after a 3-1 loss to Hoffenheim in the DFB Pokal.
Trying to bounce back will prove no easy task at Mönchengladbach. Sitting four points ahead of Schalke in fourth place, the Foals are riding a five-match winning streak into this weekend, and they've allowed just two goals over that span.
The Royal Blues have four players missing because of serious knee injuries in Dennis Aogo, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Marco Höger and Klaas Jan Huntelaar, while Timo Hildebrand will miss with a hip injury. Alvaro Dominguez will miss for Mönchengladbach because of a broken collarbone.
Eintracht Braunschweig - Hertha Berlin
After struggling with an elbow injuries and knee problems, John Anthony Brooks should return to Hertha Berlin's starting lineup against Eintracht Braunschweig on Sunday.
The last time Brooks stepped onto the field for Hertha Berlin's first team occurred on September 21 in a 1-1 tie with Freiburg when the American central defender left after 20 minutes holding his arm. With Sebastian Langkamp out because of a thigh injury, coach Jos Luhukay should call upon Brooks yet again with Brooks being healthy again.
Although he will be thrown right back into the thick of things, playing Braunschweig should be a way to ease back into game action - at least on paper. Last place in German top flight, the Lions have scored a league-worst eight goals through 14 matches.
Along with Langkamp, Alexander Baumjohann is out for Hertha Berlin with a torn cruciate ligament. Braunschweig will be without Ken Reichel and Marco Caligiuri because of knee injuries.
Preußen Münster - MSV Duisburg
Matt Taylor and Münster will attempt to continue their three-match unbeaten streak when they host Duisburg on Saturday.
Taylor and the Eagles need to continue its short run of good results, as the Stuttgarter Kickers are nipping at their heels on the edge of the relegation zone. The problem for the Eagles in the past couple of weeks has been the offense, as Taylor's goal against the Kickers being the only goal in the past couple of weeks.
Following an offseason in which the DFL relegated the team because of financial problems, Duisburg is managing life in the 3.Liga well enough, sitting in eighth place with 26 points through 18 matches. That's only six points ahead of Münster, so there's little room for error.
Duisburg will not have Kingsley Onuegbu and Marcel Lenz available due to a thigh contusion and a meniscus injury.
Steve Cherundolo should be on the bench for Hannover when die Roten travel to Stuttgart on Saturday.
Michael Parkhurst won't dress for Augsburg at Hamburg on Saturday.
Fabian Johnson is questionable for Hoffenheim in the team's Saturday match at Eintracht Frankfurt, as he continues to struggle with ankle problems.
Bobby Wood should dress for 1860 Munich on Saturday against 1. FC Union Berlin in 2.Bundesliga action.
Alfredo Morales will be on Ingolstadt's bench when die Schnazer head to Cottbus on Sunday.
Andrew Wooten will not be in the 18 for Kaiserslautern's Monday night match against Düsseldorf.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Royal-Dominique Fennell will dress for the Stuttgarter Kickers against RasenBallsport Leipzig on Saturday in 3. Liga action.