MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, September 19, 2014
Julian Green could play against his parent club this weekend, while Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt will square off against Bobby Wood and 1860 Munich.
SC Freiburg - Hertha BSC
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha BSC are in need of a confidence-boosting win when they head to the heart of the Black Forest to take on Freiburg on Friday.
Brooks will dress and could start in central defense for the Berliners, who have yet to post a win so far this season.
Coach Jos Luhukay mentioned in his weekly press conference that Hertha needs a win this weekend to help with morale, as the Old Lady hasn't had much success through the first three matches.
The team dropped two points against Werder Bremen in its season opener, couldn't hold off an explosive Bayer Leverkusen team and then had a somewhat shocking loss to Mainz last weekend. Defense has been an area of concern for Hertha so far, giving up an average of three goals per match.
Hertha will know if it has serious defensive issues if Freiburg finds the back of the net on Friday. The Breisgau-Brazilians have found the back of the net just once through three matches, with the one coming in the closing minutes of a 3-1 loss to Dortmund last weekend.
Sebastian Langkamp, Marvin Plattenhardt, Alexander Baumjohann and Tolga Cigerci are out for Hertha because of an ankle injury, hip injury, a torn cruciate ligament and a toe injury, respectively.
Freiburg will be without young American Caleb Stanko because of a torn ACL, forward Admir Mehmedi because of a torn thigh muscle and Dani Schahin because of a undisclosed muscle problems.
Hamburger SV - Bayern Munich
Julian Green could see some action against his parent club when Hamburg host two-time defending champion Bayern Munich on Saturday.
Having made his first-ever first-team start in which he was pulled off at halftime, Green is an option to start in attack for Hamburg.
After an abysmal start for Hamburg, the club let coach Mirko Slomka go earlier this week and hired the Rothosen's under-23 coach Josef Zinnbauer.
While in the Regionalliga Nord of the German fourth division, Zinnbauer's team won their first eight matches and sit atop the standings of the league. Still, he has no prior head coaching experience above the fourth tier.
His first match in charge of the first team won't be easy, as the Rothosen welcome giant Bayern Munich to town. The Bavarians are picking up where they left off the past two seasons, tied on points atop the Bundesliga standings but trailing Leverkusen in goal differential by one.
With all the additions to an already powerful roster made in the offseason, Munich comes into the match as the clear favorites.
Hamburg will not have Marcell Jansen, Maximilian Beister, Ivo Ilicevic and Rafael van der Vaart available because of a torn abductor muscle, recovery from meniscus surgery, muscular problems and calf issues.
Bayern also has a long injury list - one that includes Holger Badstuber with a thigh injury, Javi Martinez with a torn ACL, Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger with Patella tendon injuries and Thiago with a long-term knee injury.
1. FC Köln - Borussia Mönchengladbach
Fabian Johnson and Monchengladbach will renew their rivalry with newly promoted team Cologne on Sunday following a two-year hiatus.
Johnson should dress and likely start at either left wing or right back for coach Lucien Favre.
Mönchengladbach is coming off a couple of good results in the past week, starting with a 4-1 win over Schalke in Bundesliga action and then getting a point against the Spain's Villareal in the Europa League group stage.
The Fohlen have yet to lose a match across all competitions so far, and they are currently tied for fifth place in the Bundesliga standings.
Cologne has enjoyed a solid start to its return to the German top tier following a two-year stint in the 2.Bundesliga. The Billy Goats also haven't recorded a loss this season, although they failed to score in the team's two ties thus far.
Marcel Risse and Matthias Lehmann are questionable for Cologne with undisclosed muscular issues, while Kazuki Nagasawa (knee), Dusan Svento (broken foot) and Patrick Helmes are out for the Billy Goats with a knee injury, a broken foot and a thigh injury.
The Fohlen are not reporting any injuries.
VfR Aalen - SV Sandhausen
Andrew Wooten and Sandhauen will look to build off a big win last week when they travel to Aalen on Friday in 2.Bundesliga action.
Wooten should start once again for SV, especially after scoring the match-winning goal last weekend.
Sandhausen recorded its first win of the season against promotion-favorite Greuther Fürth, a win that propelled the team out of the relegation zone.
Sandhausen's biggest issue thus far has been on offense, with the team only recording four goals in five matches and not scoring more than one in a single match.
Aalen began the season strong with four points through the first two matches, but the team hasn't recorded a win in the league or in the DFB Pokal since then. Aalen sits in 12th place with five points and a -3 goal differential.
Sandhausen will be without Leart Paqarada and Ranisav Jovanovic because of shoulder and knee injuries, respectively.
Sebastian Neumann and Robert Lechleiter are out for Aalen, as they recover from long-term knee injuries.
TSV 1860 Munich - FC Ingolstadt 04
Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt will look to defend the top spot in the German second division against Bobby Wood and 1860 Munich on Saturday.
Morales should start once again in central midfield for Ingolstadt, while Wood should make the bench for Dutch coach Ricardo Moniz.
At this point last season, Ingolstadt looked destined for relegation, but since the firing of Marco Kurz and hiring of current coach Ralph Hasenhüttl, the Schanzer have experienced a lot of success.
In 29 matches under Hasenhüttl, Ingolstadt has won 12, tied another 12 and lost just five matches, including three wins and two draws this season.
Munich has struggled under new coach Ricardo Moniz, but the Löwen seemed to take a step forward last weekend in Hamburg, picking up their first win over St. Pauli. It's been the icing on the cake for the Sechziger, who are currently on a three-match unbeaten run.
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.
Munich, meanwhile, is not reporting any injuries.
Stuttgarter Kickers - VfL Osnabrück
Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers will hope to bounce back and get back into the promotion discussion when they welcome Osnabrück to town.
Fennell should start the match in central defense for the Kickers.
The Blauen have spent most of the early part of this season toward the top of the 3.Liga standings, but following a loss last weekend and some make-up matches in the midweek, the Kickers fell from first to sixth place. They have played well at home so far this season, currently with the league's best home record (12 points in four matches).
Osnabrück started off the season slow, but the Lilly-Whites have picked it up as of recently. They have recorded wins in four of their last six matches to move into ninth place in the league.
Daniel Engelbrecht is the lone injured player for the Kickers, as he continues to recover from heart surgery.
Osnabrück will be without Kim Falkenberg, Sofien Chahed and Marco Alvarez because of undisclosed muscle injuries.
Borussia Dortmund II - Fortuna Köln
Joe Gyau and Dortmund II will look to end a long slide when they host Fortuna Cologne on Saturday.
Gyau should start once again for Dortmund II, as he returned to the second team midweek after dressing for the first team last weekend.
Dortmund II has dropped from near the top of the 3.Liga standings to 16th place thanks to a five-match winless run. In the past week, the Schwarzgelben have lost two matches by a combined score of 6-1, but they also played two of the top three teams in the German third tier.
Fortuna Cologne might just be what the doctor ordered for Dortmund II. Before last weekend's win over Unterhaching, Fortuna had lost five matches in a row - all to teams in the top half of the standings - and it sits in 19th place with seven points in nine matches.
Dortmund will be without Jeremy Dudziak, Steffen Göcke, Oguzhan Kefkir and Nick Weber because of a shoulder injury, a broken hand, an ankle injury and a torn Patella tendon. Lars Bender will miss the match with a broken metacarpal bone.
Tim Chandler should dress for Eintracht Frankfurt's Saturday matchup in Gelsenkirchen against Schalke.
Terrence Boyd will miss another match for RasenBallsport Leipzig when the Rote Bullen head to the German capital to take on Union Berlin on Sunday.
Jerome Kiesewetter should dress for Stuttgart II when die Schwaben host first-place Chemnitz on Saturday in 3.Liga action.