PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Tim Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt host Bayern Munich, while Terrence Boyd could get his first start of the season for Leipzig.
Eintracht Frankfurt - Bayern Munich
Tim Chandler and Frankfurt face a tough test when league-leading Bayern Munich comes to town on Saturday.
Chandler should start at right back for the Adler.
Frankfurt started off the season strong, but it has trailed off in recent weeks. The Adler have lost four consecutive matches across all competitions with defense being an issue, as they lost by a combined scoreline of 11-6.
There's really nothing to say about Bayern Munich that hasn't been said about the team the past couple of seasons.
Favorite to win the Bundesliga and the Champions League, the Bavarians haven't lost a single match in any competition so far this season, and they hold a four-point lead in the German top division with a goal differential of 20.
The Adler will be without Kevin Trapp because of an ankle injury, as well as Constant Djakpa, Carlos Zambrano, Nelson Valdez because of knee injuries.
As for Bayern, Holger Badstuber and Claudio Pizarro, Javi Martinez, David Alaba and Thiago and Bastian Schweinsteiger are out with thigh injuries, various knee injuries and Patella tendon problems.
SV Sandhausen - 1. FCN Nuremberg
Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen will look to turn things around when they host Nuremberg on Friday in 2.Bundesliga action.
Wooten should start as the lone striker for Sandhausen as he has since catching fire in September. The German-American forward hasn't scored since a 2-1 loss to Braunschweig on September 26.
Sandhausen seemed to have turned a corner following a slow start, winning three straight 1-0 wins in September, but since then, the team has gone five matches winless. Because of this, Sandhausen now sits in the relegation-playoff position with 12 points.
Nuremberg has struggled in its return to the German second tier after being relegated from the Bundesliga last season. Der Club sits in 11th place with 14 points, just two points above the relegation zone.
Sandhausen will be without Florian Hübner because of a torn thigh muscle, Robert Zillner with a torn ACL and Stefan Kulovits because of yellow-card accumulation.
Nuremberg will not have Jürgen Mösser and Peniel Mlapa available because of knee injuries and Timo Gebhart because of an adductor injury.
SV Darmstadt 98 - RasenBallsport Leipzig
Terrence Boyd could make his first start of the season and for Leipzig in Darmstadt on Saturday.
Dealing with a knee injury he picked up in the preseason, Boyd has made four consecutive substitute appearances in the league and DFB Pokal, with each one lasting longer. Finally, he could make a start for the Roten Bullen.
Saturday's matchup pits two teams in the thick of the promotion race, as both teams are tied on points with 20 and sit just one point out of an automatic-promotion spot. Leipzig currently holds the promotion-playoff spot over Darmstadt because of a better goal differential of 8 to 7.
Leipzig's Ante Rebic is out with a shoulder injury, while Darmstadt is not reporting any injuries.
FC Ingolstadt 04 - 1. FC Union Berlin
Sitting pretty atop the 2.Bundesliga, Alfredo Morales and Ingosltadt welcome Union Berlin to Audi-Sportpark on Sunday.
Morales should start in central midfield for the Schanzer, as he has done in every match this season.
The Schanzer have distanced themselves from the pack in the German second division to start the season, boasting a five-point advantage of second place through 12 matches. The Schanzer have yet to lose a league match this season, and their defense has really stepped it up as of late, posting five straight shutouts.
Union Berlin shouldn't trouble Ingosltadt's defense much, if season trends hold. Union has recorded more points (13) than goals (11), with the goal total third-worst in the league.
Ingolstadt will be without Ralph Gunesch and Christian Eigler while recovering from knee surgeries, Leon Jessen and Stefan Lex because of ankle injuries and Almog Cohen and Danny da Costa because of shin injuries.
Mario Eggimann and Abdallah Gomaa are out for Union Berlin with an ankle injury and an undisclosed one, respectively.
Hansa Rostock - VfB Stuttgart II
Jerome Kiesewetter and Stuttgart II will attempt to extend their five-match unbeaten streak when they travel to Rostock on Saturday.
Kiesewetter should start on the right wing for the Schwaben.
During its current five-match unbeaten run, Stuttgart II has recorded more than half of its season total of points with 13 of 24. The Schwaben have had just one shut out during that span, but the offense has been on fire, scoring 12 goals.
While Stuttgart comes into the match flying high, Rostock is quite the opposite. The Hanseaten have gone six matches winless, which put them one place above the relegation zone thanks to a better goal differential over Sonnenhof Großaspach.
Robin Yalcin and Erich Berko will miss the match for Stuttgart with knee injuries. Rostock will be without Sebastian Pelzer, Martin Pett, Shervin Radjabali-Fardi and Halil Savran because of an undisclosed injury, a thigh injury, a torn ACL and a shoulder injury.
Fortuna Köln - Holstein Kiel
Marc Heider and Kiel will hope to build off a big win last week when they head to Cologne on Sunday.
Heider should start on either the right or left wings for the Storks.
The Storks have been on fire recently, going six matches unbeaten. While a majority of those matches came against teams toward the bottom the 3.Liga standings, the Storks picked up a huge win last week against Bielefeld, which was in first place in the league. Still, Kiel sits four points out of a promotion place.
Fortuna Köln sits about where the team is expected after earning promotion into the 3.Liga. The team has 18 points through 16 matches with a four-point cushion above the relegation zone, but a three-match winless streak has Köln inching closer toward it.
Kiel will be without Fabian Wetter, Saliou Sane and Marcel Gebers with hip problems, adductor problems and an Achilles tendon injury. Jan-Andre Sievers is out for Fortuna with ankle problems.
John Anthony Brooks will likely be on the bench when Hertha BSC hosts Hannover on Friday.
Julian Green will hope to make the 18 for Hamburg in Wolfsburg on Sunday.
Fabian Johnson should dress for Mönchengladbach in the battle of the Borussen on Sunday in Dortmund.
Bobby Wood probably won't dress for 1860 Munich when the Sechziger play Düsseldorf on Monday.
Joe Gyau is unavailable for Dortmund II's Friday showdown against Cottbus.
Royal-Dominique Fennell should be a bench option when the Stuttgarter Kickers host Preußen Münster on Saturday.