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Saturday’s Bundesliga Preview: Schalke Host Bayern Munich

Mario Gomez: Will He Be The Scourge Of Schalke?

Round fifteen of the Bundesliga kicked off in unspectacular fashion on Friday night with St. Pauli beating Kaiserslautern by one (own-goal) to nil. Hopefully Saturday’s games, though, should be full of action. Werder Bremen hosts Wolfsburg, and Bayern Munich travels to Schalke in two of the bigger games of the weekend. Let’s get to it.

Borussia Monchengladbach v Hannover 96

Relegation-bound Gladbach will be looking to head into the winter break on a positive note, and that means three points here against Hannover. Gladbach are three points away from safety, but they’ll need more than that to leapfrog Stuttgart and Koln who will not want to get too accustomed to being in the bottom three for very long. Frontzeck’s side are definitely up against it in terms of their survival chances for this season, but a win here might give them the boost they need. Hannover, on the other hand, are challenging for a European place after some stellar early-season form. Currently sitting in 4th place, Mirko Slomka’s side will be hoping to thump their opposition and continue to push for a place in Europe’s elite club competition: the Champions League. They’re just a single point behind third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, so if they win here they have every chance of breaking into that coveted top three spot this weekend.

Eintracht Frankfurt v Mainz

Frankfurt haven’t been their bullish best of late, and they’ve allowed themselves to slip all the way down to 9th in the Bundesliga table. Despite their position, they’re still only a few points behind the other Bundesliga sides vying for European qualification, so they’ll be looking to end the year on a positive note and there’s no better place to start than at home against Mainz. Tuchel’s side have been the surprise package of the season and they definitely won’t go down easy, but they’ve not been at their early-season best for a few weeks now and Frankfurt might just be able to take advantage of that. Still, Mainz are second in the league and they’ll want to stay there, so there’s no way they’ll head into Frankfurt with a losing mentality. It’s going to be a good game! Theofanis Gekas will definitely get his chances in front of goal for the home side, and Lewis Holtby will be looking to shine again for Mainz.

SC Freiburg v Hamburg SV

These two sides are tied on 21 points, so the loser here will be dealt a heavy blow in terms of their chances of qualification for European competition. Hamburg under Armin Veh have been nothing spectacular, but Ze Roberto has been near his creative best under the German tactician and Hamburg will look to the Brazilian veteran at every opportunity. Freiburg, meanwhile, can boast one of the Bundesliga’s top scorers this season in the form of Papiss Cisse. Unfortunately, the Senegalese striker has just come off the pace a little bit after scoring so many goals earlier in the season. Still, Hamburg’s defense hasn’t been very convincing, and if there’s anyone who can take advantage of that it’s him.

VfB Stuttgart v TSG Hoffenheim

It’ll be completely devastating if Hoffenheim were to lose this. Stuttgart have been, for me, the worst side in the Bundesliga this season and they’ve deserved their misfortunes so far. They’re second bottom and they look ripe for the taking here. They’re coming off a 4-2 loss they suffered in midweek against Young Boys in the Europa League, so they’ll be tired and rubbish. They’ve got a decent squad, but they’ve been unable to perform on the pitch with any consistency at all. They need a win, but it’s unlikely that they’ll get it against a Hoffenheim side who are full of pace and creativity up front. Dark days could be on the horizon for Stuttgart…

VfL Wolfsburg v Werder Bremen

This is going to be intense. Wolfsburg have been nothing to write home about under Steve McClaren but the English tactician is probably still getting to grips with the Bundesliga and there’s definitely going to be more to come from them. Werder Bremen, on the other hand, managed a very impressive 3-0 win over St. Pauli last weekend but they still look a shambles in defense. There’s going to be goals here. If Dzeko gets decent service, he’s going to torment that Werder Bremen back-line. This is a Wolfsburg win for me, but it could be a 4-3 or something. I’m sensing lots of goals. Hugo Almeida – who scored a hat-trick against St. Pauli – will miss out for Werder Bremen after receiving a straight red card last weekend.

Schalke 04 v Bayern Munich

Oh man. Felix Magath versus Louis van Gaal. This is going to be intense. Bayern Munich have a much stronger midfield, and I think that will, in the end, win them this game. Still though, you can only imagine what this fixture might throw up. Raul, Huntelaar, Farfan, Schweinsteiger, Gomez, Ribery… I could go on. This fixture is going to be a showcase of the Bundesliga’s most talented players. Even though neither side has hit the kind of consistent form they would have hoped for by this stage in the competition, it’ll still be a cracking game and one that no Bundesliga fan will want to miss. It’s a Bayern Munich win for me, but really, anything could happen here.

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  1. Diriye

    December 5, 2010 at 3:15 am

    At the start of the season I predicted Tolga Cigerci to force himself In Wolfsburg’s first eleven. He has started the last two games and they look more solid in the middle. If he keeps up his work rate he could go far.

    Dzeko for Real? I can’t wait.

  2. Ross

    December 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Degen, Niedermeier and Harnik started both games with Degen and Harnik off in the first before the 75th minute. The others (Pogrebnyak, Molinaro and Kuzmanovi? were all subbed with 32 or less minutes to go). The case wasn’t there for their legs, and their form while bad, has been improving (as clearly shown today).

    Thanks for the Bundesliga updates, seriously, but be sure to address corrections and counter-views with respect as opposed to deleting opposing (non-offensive) comments.


  3. Ross

    December 4, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    So Dylan, do all comments that you don’t agree with get deleted or only the ones that point out errors in your analysis?

    Stuttgart did not play their starting line up on Wednesday so they would not be tired for today’s game, which they tied 1-1 BTW.

    • Dylan Thomas

      December 4, 2010 at 10:11 pm

      Does it really matter pal? Stuttgart’s squad isn’t the deepest in terms of quality. They rotated and lost handily in midweek, and they only managed a point on the weekend. Whether they were tired or not is irrelevant. Are you just an angry Stuttgart fan?

      And sorry, it’s a preview. Relax.

  4. Felix

    December 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Wolfsburg v Werder: “There’s going to be goals here”

    • Dylan Thomas

      December 4, 2010 at 5:59 pm


      • Felix

        December 5, 2010 at 12:42 am

        Couldn’t help myself, sorry! Haha.
        Was a fair assumption on your part though.

        Great blog, keep it up!

  5. allieeya

    December 4, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Interesting matches for tonight.

    I think Hoffe can take Stuttgart for a win too!

    Frankfurt-Mainz should be really interesting, looking forward to that. Mainz’s defence has been quite disappointing lately, that could be their downfall.

    Schalke-Bayern… HAHA, this could be a hard-fought battle or Schalke’s going to get whipped again. Either case, I think Bayern should win it.

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