MATHEW WAGNER - Thursday, October 4, 2012
Danny Williams, Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim look to spoil Bayern's party, while Steve Cherundolo and Hannover can make a statement against the Bundesliga back-to-back champions.
Bayern Munich - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Travelling to the heart of Bavaria in the middle of Oktoberfest, Danny Williams, Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim hope to spoil the party and Bayern's perfect Bundesliga record Saturday.
After a rough start with three losses, Hoffenheim has recovered with seven points from its last three games. The team jumped from last to ninth place in the Bundesliga thanks to this turnaround.
Bayern, meanwhile, has had a perfect start to the Bundesliga season- six wins in six games- and has recorded a league-high 19 goals. Based on the start and the fact that this is Bayern's Oktoberfest game, it looks as though it could be a trap game for the German giants, but after a loss in the Champions League to BATE Borisov in the midweek, Bayern will have something to prove.
Hoffenheim will be without goalkeeper Tim Wiese because of a tear in the adductors and midfielders Sejad Salihovic and Boris Vukcevic because of a red card and a horrific car accident, respectively.
Mario Gomez and David Alaba will miss for Bayern, as the two continue to rehabilitate from offseason injuries.
Hannover 96 - Borussia Dortmund
Steve Cherundolo will captain Hannover in its biggest game of the young Bundesliga season, hosting champion Dortmund Sunday.
Although one of the biggest surprises in the German top division, Hannover has cooled off a bit lately. Still, the team sits in fifth place in the Bundesliga and could use this game to show that it is a title contender this year.
Dortmund comes into the game with a chip on its shoulder, having tied Manchester City in the Champions League during the midweek. The team felt it outplayed the English champions and could vent out its frustration on Hannover.
Midfielders Adrian Nikci and Leon Andreasen will miss for Hannover due to meningitis and a cruciate ligament tear, respectively, while defender Mats Hummels is questionable for Dortmund due to a hip injury.
Hertha Berlin - TSV 1860 Munich
John Anthony Brooks, Alfredo Morales and Hertha Berlin take on fellow promotion rival TSV 1860 Munich Friday.
Recently named to the U.S. Under-20 roster for the Marbella Cup, Brooks returns to Berlin's starting lineup, while Morales will hope to make Hertha's bench for the game.
Both teams are coming into the game on hot streaks. After losing their second game, the Berliners haven't lost in their last six, including a win against fifth place Aalen and a tie against fourth place Kaiserslautern.
Munich hasn't lost a game yet this season. The Lions have set a goal to make it back into the German top division for the first time since the 2003-2004 season, and with the team sitting in third place already, this goal looks possible.
Berlin has a plethora of injuries and suspensions, including defenders Felix Bastians, Roman Hubnik, Maik Franz and Levan Kobiashvili, who is still serving a seven-and-half month suspension from the end of last season.
The Lions are not reporting any injuries at this time.
1. FC Saarbrücken - Preußen Münster
Matt Taylor and Münster will try to cement their top position in the 3.Bundesliga standings against Saarbrücken Saturday.
Taylor and Münster are on fire. The team is riding a nine-game unbeaten streak in the league, including four wins in a row. Two of those wins came against second place Osnabrück and fourth place Bielefeld.
Unlike Münster, Saarbrücken has not been so consistent. The team has won five and lost six, only having back-to-back similar results with losses to Karlsruhe and Erfurt before and after September's international break.
Münster will be without defender Dominik Schmidt because of a knee operation. Midfielders Kevin Maek and Ufuk Özbek will miss for Saarbrucken because of a calf problem and a foot contusion, respectively.
Alemannia Aachen - SV Darmstadt 98
Preston Zimmerman and Darmstadt look to end a two-game losing streak against Aachen Saturday.
The Lilies have struggled to score this season, and their placement in the standings show it. Darmstadt is in 18th place, and if the season were to end today, the Lilies would be relegated into the German fourth division.
Darmstadt isn't the only team limping into this game. Before last week's win at Chemnitz, Aachen had lost four games in a row, and because of that streak, the team dropped into 14th place.
Darmstadt is not reporting any injuries at this time, while Aachen will be without midfielder Sascha Rösler because of a cruciate ligament tear.
Jermaine Jones is once again questionable for Schalke against Wolfburg Saturday, as he continues to struggle with an ankle injury.
Goalkeeper David Yelldell should feature for Leverkusen against Stuttgart Sunday.
Jared Jeffrey will not make Mainz's lineup against Düsseldorf Saturday.
American Joe Gyau should start on St. Pauli's bench against 1. FC Union Berlin Friday.
Andrew Wooten will hope to feature for Sandhausen against Aalen Sunday.
Royal-Dominique Fennell will miss his first game of the season because of yellow card accumulation, when the Stuttgarter Kickers travel to Rot-Weiß Erfurt Saturday.
Forward Jerome Kiesewetter could make an appearance for Stuttgart II against Heidenheim Saturday.