PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
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MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, August 8, 2014
Alfredo Morales will look to build off a big performance, while Bobby Wood and 1860 Munich will try to pick up the pieces after a disappointing loss.

FC Ingolstadt 04 - SV Darmstadt

Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt host surprising Darmstadt on Sunday for their 2014-2015 home opener.

Barring a late injury, Morales should be in the starting lineup following a solid performance in Ingolstadt's 1-1 tie against St. Pauli.

Ingolstadt almost escaped Hamburg with a win last weekend thanks to a first-half goal from Morales, but the Schanzer gave up a late goal and had to settle for a point. As disheartening that result may have been, it was still better than the previous season, when Ingolstadt looked likely destined for relegation.

Darmstadt, meanwhile, enjoyed a very successful return to the second tier of German soccer after a 22-year hiatus, winning its opener against Sandhausen.

With all the ties that happened on opening weekend, that result has shot the Lilies into third place, which they hope isn't the high point of the season.

Ingolstadt will be without Ralph Gunesch and Christian Eigler while recovering from knee surgeries, Leon Jessen because of an ankle injury and Almog Cohen because of a shin injury.

1860 Munich - RasenBallsport Leipzig

Bobby Wood and 1860 Munich will look to bounce back from a crushing opening loss when Leipzig comes to town on Sunday.

Wood should start on the left wing once again, having torched Kaiserslautern throughout Monday's match.

At halftime on Monday, 1860 Munich looked well on its way to rout, leading by two goals and being up a man, but the Löwen suffered a collapse of epic proportions, giving up three goals in the second half en route to a loss.

It was one that left the team shocked afterwards and trying to pick up the pieces, and the Sechziger will hope to put that behind them against Leipzig.

Leipzig has enjoyed tons of success the past few years. Red Bull bought the club in 2009 and had the team join the fifth tier of the German pyramid.

The past two seasons, the Roten Bullen have earned successive promotions to the German second division but not without controversy. Seen as a "plastic club" that has bought its way up the pyramid, teams and their fans want nothing more than to stop RB Leipzig from joining the Bundesliga.

1860 Munich will not have Grzegorz Wojtkowiak, Dominik Stahl and Stephan Hain available with a torn thigh muscle, ankle problems and a knee operation.

Meanwhile, Leipzig will be without goalkeeper Fabio Coltorti, midfielder Henrik Ernst and American forward Terrence Boyd because of knee injuries and defender Fabian Franke because of Achilles tendon issues.

Stuttgarter Kickers - 1. FSV Mainz 05 II

Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers take on Mainz II at home on Saturday in 3.Liga action.

Like he has so far this season, Fennell should be in the Kickers' starting lineup.

The Kickers have recovered from a season opening loss by accumulating four points in the last week with a win over Regensburg and tie with Sonnenhof Großaspach in the midweek. Those four points put them tied for eighth place with a goal differential of one.

Mainz II looks like a team that will struggle against relegation all season long. The Mainzer finished third in the Regionalliga Südwest, but once Freiburg II elected to forgo the promotion playoff for the 3.Liga, Mainz took its spot and managed to earn promotion.

The team has struggled in the third tier, however, allowed the most goals through three matches and picking up just one point so far.

The Stuttgarter Kickers will be without Marco Calamita, who torn his meniscus, and Daniel Englbrecht, who is recovering from heart surgery.

Tobias Schilk will miss for Mainz because of abductor muscle problems.

Borussia Dortmund II - Jahn Regensburg

Joe Gyau, Junior Flores and Dortmund II will square off with Regensburg at home on Saturday in hopes of recovering from a midweek loss.

Gyau should start for coach David Wagner, while Flores can hope to dress for the Schwarzgelben.

Dortmund started the season off well, picking up four points in the first two matches, but the team took a step back at promotion-favorite Wehen Wiesbaden on Tuesday. Dortmund's reserve team will thankfully be at home, where it had almost 5,000 spectators at its last home match.

Regensburg might be just what the doctor ordered for Dortmund. The Rothosen lost their past two matches and will be in danger of losing a third match in an eight-day span.

Dortmund will be without Jeremy Dudziak, Steffen Göcke and Nick Weber because of a shoulder injury, a broken hand and a torn Patella tendon.

Regensburg will not have Sebastian Nachreiner, Azur Velagic, Gino Windmüller and Romas Dressler available with an ankle injury, a groin injury, a red card suspension and an undisclosed injury.

VfB Stuttgart II - Holstein Kiel

Marc Heider and Holstein Kiel will hope to continue their strong start to the season when they travel to Jerome Kiesewetter and Stuttgart II on Saturday.

Heider should start once again for Kiel, while Kiesewetter should be in the 18 for Stuttgart coach Jürgen Krammy.

In the team's second season in the 3.Liga, Kiel has picked up where it left off last season. The Storks have yet to lose this season, and they recorded their first win of the season on Wednesday against Hansa Rostock with their second shutout of the season.

Meanwhile, Stuttgart II couldn't have a worse start to the campaign, losing all three of their matches so far by a combined six goals. Twice, the Schwaben allowed their opponents to score three goals while they have yet to score more than one goal in a match.

Goalkeeper Maximilian Riedmüller and defender Fabian Wetter are out for Kiel with a severe thigh injury and an undisclosed injury, while Stuttgart II will be without Erich Berko because of a torn ACL.

Notes

Andrew Wooten should be available for Sandhausen coach Alois Schwartz when the team hosts Kaiserslautern on Sunday.
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