PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Andrew Wooten will hope to see the field for FSV Frankfurt, and Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers will look to continue their hot streak.
Stuttgarter Kickers - VfL Osnabrück
Royal-Dominique Fennell and the high-flying Stuttgarter Kickers put their hot streak on the line against promotion-chasing Osnabrück on Saturday in 3.Liga action.
The Kickers are on a roll, unbeaten in their last five matches and recording six wins out of their last nine matches. The streak has catapulted them from out of the relegation zone to 10th place in the German third division and, perhaps most importantly, ahead of city rivals VfB Stuttgart II.
Keeping up that run against Osnabrück should prove to be difficult, as the Lily Whites are just four points away from the promotion-playoff position. Promotion is the goal for Osnabrück, which yo-yoed between the German second and third tiers during the first decade of the 21st century but have been stuck in the 3.Liga for three seasons.
The Kickers will be without Marc Stein because of a knee injury, Marcos Alvarez because of damaged cartilage and Daniel Engelbrecht because of a heart condition. Osnabrück's Jeremy Karikari is out with a torn lateral meniscus.
Preußen Münster - SV Elversberg
In a relegation six-pointer, Matt Taylor and Münster need goals when they host Elversberg on Saturday.
In the three matches since returning from the winter break, Münster hasn't scored a single goal, recording a tie and two losses. That stretch has dropped the Eagles into 16th place in the standings, just one point above the relegation zone.
Taylor could find himself dropped to the bench, as coach Ralf Loose looks for something to spark the offense. Although tied for the team lead with six goals, the last time the 32-year-old American found the back of the net came in a 1-0 win over the Stuttgarter Kickers on November 23.
Elversberg sits just one point ahead of the Eagles in 14th place, but Elversberg can hardly afford to slip up more. Out of the teams in 14th to 18th place, Elversberg has the worst goal differential (-10), and it has just two positive results in its last seven matches.
Fabian Hergesell is out for Münster with yellow-card accumulation, while Elversberg will be without Marc Gross and Jeff Gyasi because of red-card suspensions and Muhittin Bastürk because of a torn cruciate ligament.
Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt had little trouble in dispatching a poor 1860 squad in their 2-0 victory in Ingolstadt on Friday evening.
Steve Cherundolo was not available for Hannover on Friday for the Reds' 2-0 loss at Mainz because of persistent knee problems.
Fabian Johnson should dress for Hoffenheim in the team's match against Stuttgart on Saturday.
Tim Chandler began his long return from a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee earlier this week and will not be available for Nürnberg until mid-April.
For the first time in two months, John Anthony Brooks could make the 18 for Hertha BSC when the Old Lady hosts Wolfsburg on Sunday.
Despite Andrew Wooten's prolific numbers (six goals in six halves), FSV Frankfurt coach Benno Möhlmann seems content to keep Wooten on the bench again when the Bornheimer host Dresden on Saturday.