Yesterday’s halloween-themed matches were full of surprises, and Sunday promises to be just as mental with first-placed Mainz hosting second-placed Borussia Dortmund, and Hoffenheim taking on surprise package Hannover 96, who, with a win, could move into Champions League contention.
Mainz v Borussia Dortmund
Thomas Tuchel’s Mainz side hold a two-point lead over their opponents, and a nine point lead over Bayern Munich, albeit with a game in hand. With a win, they will put themselves give ahead of second place, and twelve away from the reigning champions. That kind of breathing space is golden. If Mainz can pick up one or two reinforcements in January so that their squad is deep enough to last all season, then they can use this win as a springboard to a genuine title challenge. For Dortmund, the story is the same. If they defeat Mainz, they’ll go one point ahead of the leaders at the top of the league. Jurgen Klopp, and his counter-part Thomas Tuchel, will be furious with their respective sides’ DFB Pokal defeats, and will want to bounce back here in this behemoth of a game. It’s the biggest game of the season for both of these teams, and it’s going to be a fantastic match. Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp are two of the best young managers in the game, and it’ll be interesting to see how both of their styles clash. I can’t wait!
TSG Hoffenheim v Hannover 96
96 can move into third place with a win here against Hoffenheim, and they’ve certainly got the weapons in their arsenal to get that win. Hoffenheim’s Demba Ba has been on hot goalscoring form recently, though, and if he has anything to do with it Hannover may have alot more to do here than they’d like. Hoffenheim have been strong at home this season, and with Hannover winning most of their matches by a margin of just a single goal, they may be in some trouble here against a Hoffenheim side who can create so many chances. It’ll be a big test for Hannover, but the reward is massive. Putting themselves into European contention is far more than they would have hoped for at the start of the season, so they’ll be right up for this one.
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