MATHEW WAGNER - Thursday, February 26, 2015
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha BSC will hope to get out of the relegation zone, Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen face a relegation six-pointer.
Hertha BSC - FC Augsburg
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha BSC will look to get out of the relegation zone when they host Augsburg at Olympiastadion in Berlin on Saturday.
Brooks should make his fourth consecutive match in central defense for the Old Lady.
Hertha has struggled as of late, losing five of its last six matches, and it can't really afford to keep at it, as the team is two points out of safety and three points ahead of last place. The Berliners have already changed coaches to try and buck the trend, but after winning Pal Dardai's opening match against Mainz, Hertha have lost its last two matches.
If there's any team that understands how to escape relegation, it's Augsburg, but the Fuggerstädter find themselves on the other end of the standings than their opponent. Augsburg is pushing for not only for a spot in Europe, but also for a Champions League position, as the team sits in fifth and is tied with fourth-place Schalke on points.
Hertha's Valentin Stocker is suspended for the match because of yellow card accumulation. Augsburg, meanwhile, will be without Jeong-Ho Hong because of a foot injury, captain Paul Verhaegh because of a calf injury, Alexander Esswein because of a thigh injury and Tim Matavz and Sascha Mölders because of ankle injuries.
Eintracht Frankfurt - Hamburger SV
Tim Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt will try to bounce back from a loss to their rival when they host Hamburg on Saturday.
Chandler should start at right back for the Adler. Julian Green won't dress for Hamburg as he will play for the Dino's under-23 team.
Frankfurt has had some mixed results in recent weeks, drawing top-four contenders in Wolfsburg and Augsburg and beating another Champions League-chasing team in Schalke, but the Adler also lost to Mainz last week, 3-1. The Adler sit comfortably in the middle of the Bundesliga standings, but they are only six point above the relegation.
Hamburg is in a more precarious position than Frankfurt, as the Dino holds a two-point advantage ahead of the relegation-playoff spot. Hamburg's confidence took a hit two weeks ago in an 8-0 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich, but the team gained some of it back in home draw to Mönchengladbach the following week.
Frankfurt will be without Constant Djakpa because of a torn ACL, Carlos Zambrano because of a red card suspension and Haris Seferovic because of yellow card accumulation. Hamburg will not have available Marcell Jansen, Cleber, Ivica Olic and Pierre-Michel Lasogga with torn thigh muscles, Valon Behrami and Marcelo Diaz with knee injuries and Lewis Holtby with a broken collarbone.
SV Sandhausen - VfR Aalen
Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen host Aalen on Saturday in a 2.Bundesliga six-pointer.
Wooten should start either on the wing or at striker for Hardtwälder.
Sandhausen has been on a solid run since the German second division restarted after the winter break, as the team is unbeaten in 2015, and that includes a win over first-place Ingolstadt two weeks ago. Because of this, the Hardtwälder are five points above the relegation zone, although they are just two places above it.
Aalen, meanwhile, cannot boast such optimism heading forward. The team is winless in its last six matches, and it sits in 17th place with just 19 points in 22 matches.
Robert Zillner is out for Sandhausen with a torn ACL, while Aalen will be without Adnre Hainault because of an adductor injury, Nejmeddin Daghfous because of a torn ACL, Dominick Drexler because of a knee injury and Andreas Ludwig because of yellow card accumulation.
FC Ingolstadt 04 - 1860 Munich
Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt will hope to turn around a rough couple of matches when they host 1860 Munich on Monday.
Morales should start in central midfield for the Schanzer.
Ingolstadt has suffered a bad couple of results against relegation candidates in recent weeks, including its first home loss of the season to Sandhausen. Those matches have seen the Schanzer's lead atop the German second tier to six points, but the team is still a favorite to earn automatic promotion.
Munich, meanwhile, has climbed out of the relegation zone, at least for a week, following four points in its last two matches. The Löwen have had another tumultuous season in which they are on their third coach, and they are trying to avoid a relegation that could cripple a team that is already in financial difficulty.
Munich will be without Eduaro Bedia because of a shin bone injury, Rodrigo Rios Lozano because of groin issues and Moritz Volz because of a torn adductor muscle. Ingolstadt is not reporting any injuries at this time.
1. FSV Mainz 05 - VfB Stuttgart II
Jerome Kiesewetter and Stuttgart II travel to Mainz on Saturday to take on struggling Mainz II.
Kiesewetter should start at right midfield for the Schwaben.
Of all the under-23 teams in Germany, Stuttgart II sits highest in the standings and in the German pyramid. The Schwaben are comfortably above the relegation zone with an eight-point cushion with 13 matches to go.
The team that Stuttgart II holds that advantage over is Mainz II. The Mainzer haven't helped their cause recently, going winless in their last six matches and recording just one win in their last 10.
Daniel Vier will miss the match for Stuttgart II with a knee injury, while Michael Falkenmayer is out for Mainz II as he continues to recover from an undisclosed injury.
Fabian Johnson should be a bench option for Fohlen coach Lucien Favre when Mönchengladbach hosts Paderborn on Sunday.
Bobby Wood will miss Erzgebirge Aue's big match at St. Pauli on Sunday with a knee injury.
Terrence Boyd's torn ACL will keep him out of RasenBallsport Leipzig's Sunday match against Union Berlin.
Joe Gyau's knee injury will keep him out of Dortmund II's 3.Liga match on Saturday against Chemnitz.
Royal-Dominique Fennell will dress but probably won't start for the Stuttgarter Kickers against Fortuna Köln on Saturday.