MATHEW WAGNER - Saturday, October 25, 2014
Fabian Johnson and Mönchengladbach face a huge test, while Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt continue their march toward promotion.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bayern Munich
Fabian Johnson and Mönchengladbach will look to pull Bayern Munich back to the pack when they play host to the league leader in a top-of-the-standings matchup.
After struggling with some Achilles tendon issues, Johnson could start once again on the left wing for the Fohlen.
Mönchengladbach has enjoyed much success to start the season, not recording a single loss across all competitions so far, and in the Bundesliga, the Fohlen sit in second place with 16 points. The problem has been that although they have allowed just four goals, the Fohlen have picked up four ties, which has put Mönchengladbach four points behind Munich.
Bayern has picked up where it left off the past two seasons, taking over first place early and looking like the team will once again run away with a Bundesliga title. Not only have the Bavarians not lost a match in the league yet, but they also shellacked Roma on the road in th Champions League, 7-1, to add to their confidence.
Munich will be missing Holger Badstuber with a thigh injury, Javi Martinez with a torn ACL, Bastian Schweinsteiger with a patella tendon injury and Thiago with a knee injury.
Mönchengladbach, meanwhile, is not reporting any injuries.
FC Ingolstadt 04 - FC Heidenheim
Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt could give themselves an even bigger cushion atop the German second division when fourth-place Heidenheim comes to town on Sunday.
Morales should start in central midfield for the Schanzer, as he has done all season long.
Ingolstadt has yet to lose a match so far in the 2.Bundesliga, and after struggling early, the Schanzer have started to string together wins, recording victories in six of their last eight matches. Because of this, the Schanzer are enjoying a three-point advantage over second place and a six-point advantage over Heidenheim in fourth place.
After winning the 3.Liga last season, Heidenheim has had quite the successful start to life in the German second tier. It sits in fourth place, just two points out of the promotion-playoff position, and Heidenheim has scored the most goals in the 2.Bundelsiga, averaging two goals per match.
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.
Timo Berrmann, Adriano Grimaldi and Patrick Mayer are out for Heidenheim with a thigh injury, an undisclosed injury and a shoulder injury.
SV Sandhausen - Erzgebirge Aue
Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen square off with Aue on Sunday hoping to end a three-match losing streak.
Wooten could start as an attacking midfielder as he did in last week's loss coming out of the international break.
Sandhausen seems to be a streaky team this season, its third consecutive in the 2.Bundesliga. After a rough start, the team had won three consecutive 1-0 matches before starting the current losing streak. Because of these struggles, Sandhausen sits in the relegation-playoff spot on goal differential.
Aue is one of the teams tied on points with Sandhausen but above it thanks to a superior goal differential and a win over 1860 Munich last weekend. The Veilchen (German word for viola) have picked it up recently, picking up points in four of their last five matches.
Sandhausen will be without Manuel Riemann because of a shoulder injury, Robert Zillner and Ranisav Jovanovic because of torn ACLs, Fabian Müller because of a knee injury and Nicky Adler because of a groin injury.
Aue will not have Solomon Okoronkwo, Thomas Paulus and Nils Miatke available with a groin jury, a thigh injury and a bruised shin, respectively.
Chemnitzer FC - Holstein Kiel
Marc Heider and Kiel will attempt to stretch their long unbeaten run when they tracel to Chemnitz on Saturday in 3.Liga action.
Heider should start as the right outside midfielder for the Storks in their 4-4-2 formation.
The Storks have put together a string of results in the league, going five unbeaten. Three of those five matches ended in three points, all against teams below Kiel in the league standings, but the team also recorded a goalless tie with first-place Wiesbaden to begin the streak.
Outside of Wiesbaden, Chemnitz could prove to be the Storks' biggest test recently. Chemnitz is in the middle of a crowded promotion race with 24 points, but it has struggled as of late, losing three of its last four matches.
Marcel Gebers is the lone player unavailable for Kiel, as he is dealing with some Achilles tendon issues. Chemnitz, meanwhile, will be without Ronny Garbuschewski and Markus Ziereis because of a concussion and a knee injury, respectively.
Stuttgarter Kickers - Energie Cottbus
Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers will hope to bounce back from an embarrassing loss when they host Cottbus on Saturday.
Fennell should start in central defense for the Kickers, as he has done all season long.
The Kickers went from a promotion position to sixth place following a four-goal defeat to crosstown rival VfB Stuttgart last weekend.
It proved that the Kickers cannot even play on a neutral field, as the match took place 30 kilometers outside of the city of Stuttgart, but this weekend, they return to the friendly confines of Stadion an der Kreuzeiche, where they hold the league's best home record.
Cottbus will test the Kickers' home record of 6-0-1 when they travel to Stuttgart. Energie boasts the German third division's second-best away record, recording 12 points and, perhaps more importantly, have snatched three wins.
The Kickers will be without Marco Calamita and Vincenzo Marchese because of a torn hip muscle and a knee injury, while Cottbus is not reporting any significant injuries.
SpVgg Unterhaching - VfB Stuttgart II
Jerome Kiesewetter and Stuttgart hit the road following a big win to take on Unterhaching on Saturday.
Kiesewetter should start on the right wing for Jürgen Kramny's men.
The Roten had a horrible start to the season, but they have really turned things around in the last seven matches, when Stuttgart II have recorded four wins and just one loss. During that stretch, the Roten have accumulated 14 of their 18 points this season.
Unterhaching has struggled for most of the season, going seven winless in which it lost six of those matches. While getting four points over the last two matches points to the team turning the corner, Unterhaching is not out of the woods just yet, as the team sits only five points above the relegation zone.
Robin Yalcin and Erich Berko will miss the match for Stuttgart with knee injuries, while Jonas Hummels is out for Unterhaching with a torn ACL.
As he continues to recover from a knee injury, Joe Gyau will not be available for Borussia Dortmund's Saturday match against Hannover.
John Anthony Brooks should dress for Hertha BSC, which hosts Julian Green and Hamburg on Saturday. Green should also make the 18 for the Dino.
Tim Chandler will miss Eintracht Frankfurt's home match against Stuttgart on Saturday with a minor abductor injury, according to coach Thomas Schaaf.
Terrence Boyd was a late substitute for RB Leipzig on Friday, when the Roten Bullen beat Bochum by a 2-0 score in 2. Bundesliga action.
Bobby Wood should be on the bench for 1860 Munich coach Markus von Ahlen when the Sechziger host Braunschweig on Sunday.