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Score One For the Bundesliga!

bT*xJmx*PTEyNDIyNzg1NDY*MjUmcHQ9MTI*MjI3ODU1NjgzMSZwPTQzNzA4MyZkPSZnPTEmdD*mbz*4YWM*MWU1Nzg2ODE*NzU2OWI2MDUzY2ZjYzJmM2JlMyZvZj*w Score One For the Bundesliga!

Have goals ever been so important? With two games remaining, points are only marginally more important than goal difference in the hunt for survival, Europe and even the Meisterschaft.

Wolfsburg silenced the critics and showed their professionalism by keeping their outstanding home-form (remember the only points dropped at the VW were back in August) by crushing the hottest team in the Bundesliga: Dortmund. Despite the imminent departure of trainer Felix Magath, Wolfsburg showed that they are the team to beat in the Bundesliga. The 4-1 win was even more significant because Magath’s abandoned men lead Bayern on goal difference alone. With two more goals than the Bavarian giants, the Wolves seem destined for their first championship with weak opposition in the final two matches.

But just as I said Wolfsburg could afford a loss at Stuttgart and still carry the title, the margin of that loss (3 goals) means they could win their two remaining games and still lose the title. Two one goal wins and Bayern only need to wallop Hoffenheim at home and scrape by Stuttgart to pull off another championship. However TSG is back on form and Stuttgart is probably the best team in the Bundesliga at the moment.

With one point separating them from Bayern and Wolfsburg, one would think their inferior goal difference might count the Swabians out. But a big win at home to lowly Cottbus and it could take as little as a two goal win at the Allianz (and betting against the possibility would be as foolish as having picked Schalke to win the title this year) if Wolfsburg stumble as well. However unlikely, Stuttgart’s goal difference still plays a part. With one point separating them a Hertha in 3rd, Stuttgart’s eight point lead in that category could be the difference between the fiscally wealthy Champions League and the lower middle class Europa League.

Speaking of the poorer but funner European competition, Hamburg lead Dortmund for the final spot by three points; however, Jurgen Klopp’s side has a vastly superior goal difference. A slip-up by the Dinosaurs and Dortmund could snatch Europe from Martin Jol because his forwards weren’t up to the task.

Finally at the bottom of the table, Cottbus are hampered by poor goal difference. Without a win, they can’t avoid relegation. Even a draw would level them on points with Bochum, but they would still face a relegation playoff on goal difference. Arminia need a win as well to avoid the playoff. However with Bochum’s poor form, they could get a draw and catch Bochum on goal difference which is only 3 goals in favor of VfL at the moment. Gladbach could only be drawn back into the relegation zone with no points and an Arminia win or two by Cottbus. But even in that worst case scenario, they have Bochum as a cushion and would have to lose both of their final matches significantly.

This year, more than ever, goal difference matters.

6 Responses to Score One For the Bundesliga!

  1. Juliet says:

    What an exciting season! It’s really going to come down to the wire for the Deustchemeister. I’m glad M’gladbach is nearly assured of safety.

  2. John says:

    “A slip-up by the Dinosaurs and Dortmund could snatch Europe from Martin Jol because his forwards weren’t up to the task”. I don’t think you can say this, considering the ridiculously good form Ivica Olic has been in most of the season, Paolo Guererro has been in lately, and Petric was in for most of the start of the season. I don’t think players like Trochowski have contributed enough goals from midfield, and Hamburg in general have only been content with winning games by 1 or two goals.

    I don’t think anyone with confidence can predict the winner of the league this season. About the only thing assured is Karlshrue being relegated!

  3. diana says:

    Agreed, John. After the Hannover match in midweek, we can more or less say a farewell to Karlsruhe.

    ‘This year, more than ever, goal difference matters.’
    True. Uli Hoeness was right when he is worried how Bayern have not found the back of the net more often in the wake of the win over Bayer Leverkusen. For all they know, it may come back to (gasp!) haunt them.

    I forgot what footballing conversation I used to have my father (this was ages ago) but, he used to point something out like 1-0, 3-0 or even 10-0, it is still three points in the bag. But then it looks like this time for all we know, the Bundesliga title race could be decided by the goal difference.

    ‘I don’t think anyone with confidence can predict the winner of the league this season.’
    Now to look back, who back then had the balls to predict Schalke taking the ‘salad bowl’ prior to the start of this season? Looking at you, DP… :P

    Even I myself do not have the balls to predict my club Stuttgart will do it, despite the run we are having. They had performed way beyond my expectations. Unless we see how it is like after Saturday. Like how I say at the Bundesliga Offside, a European spot is now the best reward for me. To imagine before the run under Markus Babbel, I was actually dreading relegation. Honest.

  4. FanZine says:

    Wow, what a season it has been in the Bundesliga. When you look from the start, Ralf Rangnick really got Hoffenheim flying. I would rate them as the success story of European football this season. If Stuttgart wins the league, I will be really impressed with Markus Babbel.

  5. Double Pivot says:

    “I don’t think you can say this, considering the ridiculously good form Ivica Olic has been in most of the season, Paolo Guererro has been in lately, and Petric was in for most of the start of the season. I don’t think players like Trochowski have contributed enough goals from midfield, and Hamburg in general have only been content with winning games by 1 or two goals.”

    Trochowski has contributed 5, which is decent for a midfielder. Schweinsteiger has only had 5. The fact that he hasn’t been aided by goals by any other midfielder is an issue. But they set up with two holders, Pip and Troch. Pip and Troch are the only two that could and there job is more as set up, so it comes down to the forwards finishing their chances.

    Wolfsburg has no contribution outside of their two forwards. But Misomivic sets them up and Grafite and Dzeko do their part. Meanwhile Guererro is a streak player and Olic is a grafter. Olic is a hard worker, but in the long run, he’s a poor man’s Dirk Kuyt. Lots of endeavor and the odd goal. They needed one clinical finisher and they wouldn’t have had a +2 GD.

  6. John says:

    I’d take Olic over Kuyt any day!

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