Yesterday, Bayern Munich reversed their fortunes and picked up three points away to Hoffenheim by a nervy and dramatic 1-2 scoreline. Mainz held their position at the top of the table with a 2-0 win at home over Koln through a brace from Lewis Holtby, and Hannover thumped a hapless Werder Bremen side by a scoreline of 4-1. Today’s matches will also carry their own significance and storyline. Bayer Leverkusen host Frankfurt, Dortmund host promoted side Kaiserslautern, Gladbach host St. Pauli in what could be a relegation six-pointer, Hamburg host Wolfsburg in one of the biggest games of the week in terms of title aspirations, Nurnberg host Stuttgart, and Freiburg host Schalke.
Bayer Leverkusen – Frankfurt
Bayer Leverkusen played out a drab 0-0 draw at home to Nurnberg on Sunday, and will definitely be looking to improve their fortunes tonight. Frankfurt will know they are up against, and especially after their very disappointing 1-0 loss at home to Freiburg on Friday. Leverkusen will be without both Patrick Helmes and Stefan Kiessling, as well as veteran midfielder Michael Ballack. Eren Derdiyok will lead the line, and Leverkusen may have a hard time finding the back of the net in the midst of this injury period. Despite that, 1-0.
Borussia Dortmund – Kaiserslautern
Dortmund have been on fine form, but manager Jurgen Klopp is not totally satisfied yet. He has a young side full of promise and potential, and they do look like they’re beginning to deliver this season. Klopp will be urging his side to remain consistent and keep their form up, and they’ll need to break down what has proven to be a sturdy Kaiserslautern back-line tonight to continue their form. 3-1.
Borussia Monchengladbach – St. Pauli
Gladbach have conceded 11 goals over two games without scoring one, and against a St. Pauli side who can now boast the attacking talents of Gerald Asamoah, that is not good news. I expect Gladbach to struggle here. They will be without first-choice defender Dante, and I can’t see them coping with a strong St. Pauli attack. St. Pauli haven’t been scoring as regularly as they’d like to be, but I can see them hitting at least a couple past Gladbach here. 0-2.
Hamburg SV – VfL Wolfsburg
Hamburg have lacked a creative spark in their midfield as of late, and have had a hard time breaking down difficult defenses. It will get no easier against Wolfsburg, who finally picked up their first points of the season on the weekend against Hannover. I can see it being a fairly close match, and I think it’ll end in a draw. McClaren will need to beat the big teams to force a Champions League spot, but I don’t think Wolfsburg will make it to the top this season. 1-1.
Nurnberg – Stuttgart
Nurnberg’s defense will be severely tested here against a Stuttgart side who put seven past Gladbach on the weekend. In-form striker Pavel Pogrebnyak brings a triple threat to Stuttgart’s attack, and he will look to test the Nurnberg back-line at every opportunity. I don’t see Nurnberg being able to hold Stuttgart off here, despite holding Leverkusen on the weekend. 0-3.
SC Freiburg – Schalke 04
Schalke’s shocking start to the season has continued, and they remain pointless at the bottom of the table. Will they be able to turn their fortunes around away to Freiburg? Highly unlikely. Freiburg will know there is no pressure on them at all here, the pressure is all on Schalke to be able to pull off a result. Freiburg will play their game and remain patient, and will likely rip right through what has been a shambles of a back-line so far for Schalke. 2-1.
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