MATHEW WAGNER - Thursday, February 12, 2015
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha BSC will look to win a second match under their interim coach, while Andrew Wooten and Alfredo Morales will square off in Ingolstadt.
Eintracht Frankfurt - FC Schalke 04
Tim Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt will look to end a long winless run when they host Schalke on Saturday.
Chandler should start at right back for the Adler.
Frankfurt has been in a bit of rut, going winless in its last six matches in the league. Because of this, the Adler sit just five points above the relegation zone, but they are also in ninth and seven points out of a European spot.
Schalke, meanwhile, comes into the match on a five-match unbeaten streak, including a draw against 10-man Bayern Munich and a win over Champions League-chasing Mönchengladbach last weekend. With the Champions League starting back up in the midweek, the Königsblauen are hoping to carry that momentum over the weekend and into their match against Real Madrid.
The Adler will be without Carlos Zambrano and Constant Djakpa because of a yellow card suspension and a torn ACL, respectively. Schalke has a laundry list of injuries, including first-choice Ralf Fährmann with a knee injury, Julian Draxler with a right hamstring injury, Jefferson Farfan with ruptured cartilage, Klaas Jan Huntelaar with a red card suspension, Chinedu Obasi with a shin injury and Sidney Sam with undisclosed muscular issues.
Hertha BSC - SC Freiburg
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha BSC will try to build off a win last week when they host Freiburg on Sunday.
Brooks could start in central defense for the Old Lady after getting his second start of the Rückrunde last weekend.
Hertha fired its coach last week and chose former player Pal Dardai to take over on an interim basis. The Old Lady began his reign on a good note with a 2-0 win in Mainz last weekend, which ended a three-match losing streak, and the team will hope the new-coach bump will continue, as Hertha sits just two points above the relegation zone.
One of the team in the relegation zone is Freiburg, which seems to be in serious trouble this season after years of managing to just stay up in the German top division. The Bresigau-Brazilians have the third-worst home record in the league, and they're even worst on the road, having recorded just one win.
The Old Lady won't have Fabian Lustenberger, Johannes van den Bergh, Alexander Baumjohann and Änis Ben-Hatira available because of a red card suspension, a torn adductor muscle, a torn ACL and an injury to a metatarsal joint in his foot, respectively. As for Freiburg, American Caleb Stanko still hasn't recovered from his knee injury, while forward Nils Petersen will miss with a right knee injury and, Admit Mehmedi with a an ankle injury and Stefan Mitrovic with a thigh injury.
Fortuna Düsseldorf - Erzgebirge Aue
Bobby Wood and Aue continue their tough start out of the winter break when they travel to Düsseldorf on Friday.
Wood should start his second consecutive match for Aue after transferring to the team at the end of the winter transfer window.
The Veilchen needed some serious help during the winter break to turn around their season, sitting in last place in the 2.Bundesliga and having gone nine league matches winless. Aue managed to pick up a big win over promotion-chasing Leipzig, but although the win moved the team out of last place, the Veilchen still have some work to do, as they are one point away from safety.
Düsseldorf is just two seasons removed from the German top tier when the team fell apart in the Rückrunde en route to relegation to the 2.Bundesliga. Düsseldorf finds itself in the same position as last season, when it finished sixth in the league, although it is just two points out of the top three positions in the standings.
Arvydas Novikovas and Dorian Diring will miss the match for Aue with yellow card accumulation and a knee injury, respectively. Düsseldorf will be without Christopher Avevor and Christian Gartner because of ankle injuries, Bruno Soares because of yellow card accumulation and Heinrich Schmidtgal because of a knee injury.
FC Ingolstadt 04 - SV Sandhausen
Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen will hope to slow Alfredo Morales and high-flying Ingolstadt on Saturday.
Wooten should start at striker for the Hardtwälder, while Morales should play in central midfield for the Schanzer.
Sandhausen has spiraled toward the relegation zone in the 2.Bundesliga thanks to a four-match winless run. During that stretch, the Hardtwälder have scored just one goal and have recorded two goalless draws, including one to last-place St. Pauli last weekend.
Turning it around in Ingolstadt might prove to be difficult. Leading the German second division by eight points, the Schanzer boast the league's best home record, picking up 24 out of a possible 30 points at Audi-Sportpark so far this season.
Kevin Kratz and Marco Thiede are out for Sandhausen with torn stomach muscles, while Robert Zillner will miss with a torn ACL. For Ingolstadt, Danny da Costa will miss as he continues to recover from a lower leg break.
Jahn Regensburg - VfB Stuttgart II
Following a week off because of adverse weather conditions, Jerome Kiesewetter and the Stuttgart II will get back to the field on Saturday in Regensburg.
Kiesewetter should start for the Schwaben.
Like the first team, Stuttgart II has struggled in its league. The Schwaben are on a seven-match winless streak that has seen them drop into 14th place in the 3.Liga, six poins above the relegation zone.
Regensburg might be just what the doctor ordered for Stuttgart II. The home team sits in last place in the league with just 16 points through 24 matches, and it holds the worst goal differential at -21.
Regensburg will be without Matthias Dürmeyer, Daniel Franziskus because of knee problems, Sebastian Nachreiner, Lukas Sinkiewicz because of a torn tendon, Oliver Hein because of an ankle injury and Thomas Kurz because of yellow card accumulation.
Julian Green likely won't dress for Hamburg when the Dino travels to Munich to play his parent team, Bayern Munich, on Saturday.
Fabian Johnson will probably be a bench option for Mönchengladbach on Saturday when the Fohlen take on Köln in the Rhein Derby.
Terrence Boyd will miss RasenBallsport Leipzig's match with FSV Frankfurt as he continues to recover from a knee injury.
Joe Gyau is unavailable for Dortmund II's trip to Mainz II on Friday as he recovers from a second knee surgery.
Royal-Dominique Fennell should dress for the Stuttgarter Kickers' Saturday match at Chemnitz.