Bundesliga Weekend Preview: Round 11 – Big Games For Americans In Germany

Hannover vs Dortmund and Gladbach vs Bayern are some of the headline matches of the weekend.
Friday (all times local)
20:30 Schalke – St Pauli


15:30 Borussia Moenchengladbach – Bayern Munich
15:30 Eintracht Frankfurt – Wolfsburg
15:30 Hamburg – Hoffenheim
15:30 Nuernberg – Koeln
15:30 Freiburg – Mainz


15:30 Hannover – Borussia Dortmund
17:30 Bayer Leverkusen – Kaiserslautern
17:30 Stuttgart – Werder Bremen

Schalke – St Pauli

After losing to Leverkusen and barely earning a draw with Hapoel Tel Aviv, Schalke enter this weekend in woeful form. Felix Magath’s side are desperate for a positive result as they prepare to take on St Pauli. American Jermaine Jones is expected to return, leaving only Christian Pander, Levan Kenia, and Tim Hoogland sidelined.

Though they began their season in fine form, successive losses to Stuttgart and Frankfurt have left St Pauli in the lower half of the table. They now face struggling Schalke in a deceptively tricky clash. Gerald Asamoah is suspended for the match, and will join injured pair Richard Sukuta-Pasu and Charles Takyi in the stands

Borussia Moenchengladbach – Bayern Munich
After losing 3-0 to Kaiserslautern, Michael Bradley and Gladbach sank to last place in the Bundesliga standings, with six points and a dismal -16 goal difference after 10 games. Die Fohlen have a difficult task on the horizon as they face Bayern, and their work wll be made more difficult by the unavailability of unfit contingent Logan Bailly, Karim Matmour, Jean-Sebastian Jaures, Dante, Christian Dorda, and Tony Jantschke, as well as suspended pair Juan Arango and Thorben Marx.

They may have had just three outfielders available on the bench in their Champions League clash with Cluj, but Bayern still managed an emphatic 4-0 victory in Romania. The in-form defending champions will hope to build more momentum this weekend, but will have to do without Ivica Olic, Mark van Bommel, Diego Contento, Miroslav Klose, Arjen Robben, and Breno.

Eintracht Frankfurt – Wolfsburg
Riding the outstanding form of Bundesliga top-scorer Theofanis Gekas, Frankfurt have won five of their last six matches in all competitions. Currently fifth in the table, die Adler are flying high, and cannot be considered underdogs heading into this weekend. Skipper Chris has been ruled out of the match, and will join Zlatan Bajramovic, Sebastian Rode, Alexander Meier, and Marcel Titsch-Rivero in the stands while American Ricardo Clark is still searching for a regular spot on the pitch.

Edin Dzeko broke his scoring duck with a brace in last week’s 2-0 victory over Stuttgart, a result that was encouraging for a faltering Wolfsburg side. Coach Steve McClaren will hope his side can propel itself towards the league summit with a victory this weekend. The English is expected to have nearly a full squad available, with only Arne Friedrich set to miss out on the action.

Hamburg – Hoffenheim

In what is arguably the highlight match of the round, Hamburg are capable of catching up to Hoffenheim in the league table. Ahead of the match, Marcell Jansen has called for his team not to use their injury list as an excuse, even if it is a sizeable one. In addition to Jansen, Mladen Petric, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Frank Rost, Colin Benjamin, Dennis Aogo, Dennis Diekmeier, Eljero Elia, Miroslav Stepahek, Tunay Torun, and Romeo Castelen have been ruled out.

Following last week’s 4-0 victory over a Hannover side that had been quite formidable, Hoffenheim are full of confidence. The Sinsheim outfit could move to within striking distance of Mainz with a victory over Hamburg, and will be encouraged by a slim injury list that only includes Josip Simunic.

Nuernberg – Koeln

Nuernberg’s climb to mid-table continued with last Saturday’s comeback win in Bremen. The Bavarians now host a new-look Koeln side that has been similarly impressive recently. Ahead of the match, only Albert Bunjaku and Rubin Rafael Okotie have been confirmed as absentees.

In their first Bundesliga match under new coach Frank Schaefer, Koeln earned an impressive 3-2 victory away to Hamburg. Milivoje Novakovic, who was reintroduced to the starting XI under the new boss, netted a hat trick in that match, and will look to build on his sparkling form. Missing from the Koeln squad on Saturday will be Faryd Mondragon, Petit, Kevin McKenna, Sebastian Freis, and Manasseh Ishiaku, all of whom are unfit due to various injuries.

Freiburg – Mainz

Having lost their last two matches, Freiburg have hit a bit of a rut in form. The Breisgau remain in mid-table, however, but now have a very difficult task ahead as they face Mainz. Due to injuries, Jonathan Jaeger, Johannes Flum, Simon Pouplin, Heiko Butscher, Pavel Krmas, and Tommy Bechmann have been omitted from what has become a rather thin squad.

October was a rough month for Mainz, who lost to Hamburg and Dortmund in the Bundesliga, and also were knocked out of the DFB Pokal by Alemannia Aachen. Still second in the Bundesliga on 24 points, the Oh Fives will hope to rediscover their form in November. Heinz Mueller and Eugen Gopko have been ruled out, but Thomas Tuchel will otherwise have a full squad on hand.

Hannover – Borussia Dortmund

Last weekend was one to forget for Steve Cherundolo and Hannover, who were third in the table before losing 4-0 to Hoffenheim. Still sixth, die Roten just might be able to take points from Dortmund, but that will be a very big ask. Manuel Schmiedebach is suspended for the match, and will join injured trio Emanuel Pogatetz, Leon Andreasen, and Carlitos in the stands.

For the second time this year, Dortmund rose to the summit of the Bundesliga table, thanks to last week’s 2-0 victory away to Mainz. The Ruhr side look like worthy title contenders, but absolutely have to win matches like their upcoming tie with Hannover. Patrick Owomoyela, Sebastian Kehl, Tamas Hajnal, and Florian Kringe are all unavailable due to injuries, but Juergen Klopp should have an otherwise fully fit squad.

Bayer Leverkusen – Kaiserslautern

After edging Schalke in their most recent domestic match, Leverkusen are tied on points with Hoffenheim, but have a thick pack of opponents in hot pursuit. As he prepares for Sunday’s clash, coach Jupp Heynckes will have to do without Sami Hyppia, Stefan Kiessling, Michael Ballack and Domagoj Vida.

It took more than 70 minutes to break through the Gladbach defense, but Kaiserslautern ultimately rounded off a 3-0 victory in their last match, during which the Red Devils celebrated the 90th anniversary of Fritz Walter’s birth. They face a difficult task in Leverkusen, and will have to manage without the services of Rodnei, Jan Simunek and Chadlj Amri.

Stuttgart – Werder Bremen

Though Jens Keller has replaced Christian Gross as coach of Stuttgart, the Swabians have continued to struggle to find their form. Last week’s 2-0 loss to Wolfsburg left them back in the relegation zone, and the reds will hope to turn around their fortunes with a positive result on Sunday. Johan Audel is fit once more, but Khalid Boulahrouz, Stefano Celozzi, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Phlipp Degen and Daniel Didavi will miss the match due to injuries.

Successive losses to Nuernberg and Twente have made the last seven days a very disappointing period for Werder Bremen. Desperate for points, Thomas Schaaf’s men head to Stuttgart for a bit of a crisis summit. Missing from the Werder matchday squad will be Petri Pasanen, Tim Borowski, Christian Vander, Naldo and Clemens Fritz.

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