MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, October 31, 2014
Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt face a top of the 2.Bundesliga clash in Düsseldorf, while Marc Heider and Kiel face a big test in Bielefeld.
Karlsruher SC - SV Sandhausen
Riding a four-match winless streak, Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen travel to Karlsruhe on Friday evening looking to get something positive.
Wooten should start at forward for Sandhausen.
For the second time in a three-season span in the German second division, Sandhausen finds itself in the middle of a relegation battle. It sits outside of the relegation zone thanks to a superior goal differential, but after the team has lost three of its last four matches, Sandhausen needs some points to get some breathing space.
Although just five points ahead of Sandhausen in the standings, Karlsruhe sits in seventh place in the middle of a wide-open promotion race at the moment. KSC sits just three points out of a promotion spot, and a win could vault the team into the thick of things.
Sandhausen will be without Manuel Riemann because of a shoulder injury, Robert Zillner and Ranisav Jovanovic because of torn ACLs and Nicky Adler because of a groin injury.
Defenders Philipp Klingmann and Sascha Traut and midfielder Gaetan Krebs are out for Karlsruhe with calf problems, a torn ACL and a torn thigh muscle.
Fortuna Düsseldorf - FC Ingolstadt 04
Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt can solidify their spot as a promotion favorite when they travel to second-place Düsseldorf on Friday.
Morales will start in central midfield as he has done all season for the Schanzer.
Ingolstadt is flying high at the moment, winning four straight 1-0 matches and recording victories in seven of its last nine matches. The Schanzer currently sit atop the 2.Bundesliga standings with a five-point cushion.
The Schanzer could add to that lead if they manage to beat Düsseldorf. The Flingeraner have gone eight matches unbeaten and sit in second place with 20 points, leading a pack of four teams that are separated by just one point.
Ingolstadt will be without Ralph Gunesch and Christian Eigler while recovering from knee surgeries, Leon Jessen and Stefan Lex because of ankle injuries and Almog Cohen because of a shin injury.
Oliver Fink and Mathis Bolly are unavailable for Düsseldorf with a torn ACL and a leg muscle, respectively.
Holstein Kiel - Arminia Bielefeld
Marc Heider and Kiel will put their six-match unbeaten run on the line against 3.Liga leader Bielefeld on Saturday.
After manning one of the wings for much of the season, Heider should start at forward for the Storks this weekend.
Kiel isn't exactly in the middle of the promotion race, but the Storks aren't too far off thanks to recording 12 of a possible 18 points in the last six matches. While three of those wins have come against teams in the basement of the German third tier, the Storks have managed two draws against the second- and third-place teams in the standings.
A trip to Bielefeld will be Kiel's biggest test so far, though. The Arminen are coming off a DFB Pokal second-round win over Bundesliga-team Hertha BSC in the midweek, and they have won six of their last nine 3.Liga matches.
Kiel will be without Fabian Wetter, Saliou Sane and Marcel Gebers with hip problems, adductor problems and an Achilles tendon injury.
Bielefeld is not reporting any significant injuries.
VFB Stuttgart II - Borussia Dortmund II
Jerome Kiesewetter and Stuttgart II will look to assert their dominance as the best second team in German soccer when they host Dortmund on Sunday.
Kiesewetter should start on the right wing for the Schwaben.
For the longest time, Stuttgart II owned the title of the best second team in Germany, as it was the only Bundesliga club to have its Under-23 team to play in the third division. However, Dortmund II took that title away from the Schwaben last season by finishing above them in the standings.
This season, Stuttgart II has reclaimed its title, sitting nine points above the Schwarzgelben, who have struggled this year. Dortmund II hasn't recorded a win in 11 matches, with the last win coming on August 9th. The first-team injuries have taken a toll on the second team, as many of the best players have filled in for the first team early this season.
Robin Yalcin and Erich Berko will miss the match for Stuttgart with knee injuries.
American Joe Gyau is out for Dortmund II as he continues to recover from surgery on his left meniscus, while Marian Sarr and Jeremy Dudziak will also miss the match with shin and should injuries, respectively.
Tim Chandler should be on the bench for Eintracht Frankfurt coach Thomas Schaaf when the Eagles travel to Hannover on Saturday.
Julian Green should dress for Hamburg when the Dino hosts Bayern Leverkusen on Saturday.
Fabian Johnson should be in the 18 for Mönchengladbach on Sunday when the Fohlen host Johnson's former team, Hoffenheim, on Sunday.
John Anthony Brooks will dress for Hertha BSC in Paderborn on Sunday.
Bobby Wood has been demoted to the second team following an outburst at practice last Friday and will not participate in 1860 Munich's Sunday showdown in Bochum.
Getting back into the swing of things, Terrence Boyd should still be on the bench when RB Leipzig welcomes Kaiserslautern to Red Bull Arena on Monday.
Royal-Dominique Fennell may be on the bench when the Stuttgarter Kickers travel to Dresden on Saturday.