CLINT WADDELL - Thursday, April 8, 2010
Michael Bradley will be in Gladbach's starting line-up when the Foals take on Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt while Steve Cherundolo will likely be on the back line when Hannover 96 does battle with Schalke 04.
Borussia Mönchengladbach – Eintracht Frankfurt
Michael Bradley and Borussia Mönchengladbach will try to get back to their winning ways on Friday when they face Ricardo Clark and the surprise team of the season Eintracht Frankfurt.
The last-minute loss last week against VfB Stuttgart hasn't changed Gladbach's situation in the standings that much. It would have been the perfect chance to create even more space between them and the bottom of the standings, but as it is, they are still in 12th place and nine points above the relegation play-off spot.
Eintracht Frankfurt on the other hand has been one of the many surprises in this year's Bundesliga season and has now moved within striking distance of European competition.
This run has made it even more difficult for Ricardo Clark to get any playing time as coach Michael Skibbe has relied heavily on his regulars and has chosen not to make any unnecessary changes.
The American midfielder arrived during the winter transfer window and hasn't seen a minute of playing time yet.
Gladbach lost Canadian forward Rob Friend this week to injury, but head coach Michael Frontzeck will otherwise have a complete squad to choose from.
Frankfurt will be without league bad boy Maik Franz, who is serving a one-game suspension after picking up his 10th yellow card last week.
The team will likely be missing midfielder Pirmin Schwegler, who has had a stomach bug this week and long-time absentee Ioannis Amanatidis is still recovering from knee surgery.
Hannover 96 – FC Schalke 04
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 will have their work cut out from them when they host second-place Schalke 04 on Saturday.
This game represents a tale of two teams in the Bundesliga. Schalke 04 is in second-place, just one point behind leaders Bayern Munich in the standings and looking to keep the pressure on their rivals from the South.
Sitting in second to last place, Hannover 96 represents the other side of the spectrum. Last week's draw against Hamburg SV showed what the team could accomplish and head coach Mirko Slomka will be expecting the same effort this week when his current team meets up with his former team.
Hannover is in desperate need of a win as the season boils down to a relegation dogfight. The team had a bit of good news this week as winter signings Elson and Arouna Kone returned to training and should be ready for the game.
The team also welcomes back Hanno Balitsch from suspension but will still be missing players at nearly every position. Midfielder Jacek Krzynowek and all-rounder Constant Djakpa are sidelined with knee injuries.
Jan Rosenthal is still recovering from a hip problem and Altin Lala and Mikael Forssel are still in rehab. Additionally, Sal Zizzo is still missing as he continues to recover from an ACL injury suffered during the fall.
Schalke is still without American midfielder Jermaine Jones, who has yet to return to training following his broken leg last year.
The team is also without defender Marcelo Bordon, who picked up a red card in last week's match and is serving his one-game suspension.
Midfielder Vasilios Pliatsikas is still recovering from a knee injury and Levan Kenia is still working his way back from injury.
Alemannia Aachen – TuS Koblenz
David Yeldell should be in goal for Koblenz as the team plays on the road Friday in Aachen.
The bad news is that even with the win last weekend, the team from Koblenz is still in the relegation zone. The good news is that a win this weekend could potentially move them into the relegation play-off spot and out of the cellar for the first time in months.
Aachen is currently in 12th place in the standings with 37 points. The team is in the middle of the pack and one more win might solidify their place in the second league next year.
Koblenz is still without Philipp Langen who is out with a hand injury, but otherwise has a full squad.
Aachen is without defender Lukasz Szukala, who had his tonsils removed, midfielder Kevin Kratz who with an ankle injury, midfielder Florian Müller and forward Manuel Junglas who are both still recovering from knee injuries.
Jared Jeffrey might make the bench for Mainz when takes on Dortmund at home on Saturday.
Defender Daniel Williams will be looking to get back into the mix for SC Freiburg when the team travels to Bremen on Saturday.
Luis Robles will watch from the bench when Kaiserslautern host FC Union Berlin on Saturday.
Matt Taylor will be looking to make the bench when Frankfurt hosts Oberhausen on Sunday.