Thanksgiving: an American holiday celebrated every fourth Thursday of November, declared as a day of selflessness, cooperation and sharing for friends, family and lovers of feasts and gratuitous amounts of turkey.
Ironically, the next day embodies perhaps the exact opposite. Retail stores all across the States open at absurdly early hours of the morning with clearance sales and promotional offers galore. Countless Americans from all walks of life flock to the discounts; wait outside for hours to be the first inside their favourite store; kick and scream to beat the other shoppers to their 20% marked down item of choice—all of this madness causing Black Friday [as it has come to be known] to be the country’s number one shopping day of the year, one day after a celebration of altruism.
While we at Bundesliga Fanatic do not have any bargains worthy of waking at ungodly hours for you, we do have a set of predictions for our beloved Bundesliga’s 14th matchday of the season for you to buy into. Of course, we add—buyer beware.
1. Goals will abound at the RheinEnergieStadion between Köln and Gladbach
Marco Reus and his Fohlen are in superb goal scoring form. Gladbach are fresh from putting a five spot past Werder Bremen last weekend and have scored a total of nine goals in their last three matches. All the while, Lukas Podolski-led Köln have been no strangers to bulging the twine themselves, having netted five goals between their last two Bundesliga outings. Considering current form and last season’s pair of fixtures resulting in ten goals between the Rhine River rivals, tuning in with a view to witness a handful of markers would not be the worst way to spend Friday evening. (NH)
2. Hoffenheim and Freiburg to produce more fouls than even the big derbies
While they are not contesting a derby match on Saturday—despite both calling Baden-Württemberg home—Hoffenheim and Freiburg will be playing out the most corporeal fixture of the weekend. Both play a physical game and are prone to frustration infractions; and as such, Hoffenheim have committed the 2nd most fouls in Bundesliga this season, while Freiburg rank 6th. It’s not Dortmund-Schalke, but this one has the potential to get just as contentious. (NH)
3. Nil-nil draw, thy name is Nürnberg-Kaiserslautern
Anemia in front of goal embodied, the boys from Nürnberg and Kaiserslautern have combined for a measly 23 goals on the season. That’s right—between the two of them they average .885 goals for per game. Sure, strikers can get gun shy in the area sometimes, but for two full teams to have that much trouble hitting pay dirt? If any fixture produces little to no scoring excitement this weekend, it will be this one. (NH)
4. Hannover vs. Hamburg shaping up to be most interesting tactical battle
Both managers are astute students of the game and both are two of the only remaining coaches in the Bundesliga to stick to the 4-4-2, but with different executions. While Hannover prefer and specialize in counterattacks, Hamburg take a more possession oriented approach; but both coaches heavily emphasize wing play, making for an interesting match up with the likes of Töre and Jansen and Schlaudraff and Stindl going up against each other. The two teams are also some of the most booked sides in the league with Hannover amassing more cards (35) than any other team in the league and Hamburg not too far behind (31). (CN)
5. Dortmund vs. Schalke, the most fierce match of the week
Both Schalke and Dortmund have managed to manifest their position at the top of the table in recent weeks. Schalke have only lost one match in ten under Huub Stevens, while Dortmund just come from an impressive away victory against Bayern Munich. These matches are always a pleasure to watch, with some of the finest football on offering, paired with the physicality of the biggest hate match in the Bundesliga. All this will happen in front of some of the loudest fans German football has on offer. If you are attending this match, we’d advise you to bring ear plugs if your country’s health care system doesn’t provide you with a free hearing aid. (NW)
6. Augsburg vs. Wolfsburg, school boys taking on puppies
Wolfsburg have so far this season only managed to take four points away from home. Not an impressive balance. Augsburg have on their hand played some decent football in recent weeks, but have been punished for their school boy errors at the back time and time again. If you are deciding to watch this match, we’d advise you to bring patience since the quality of football you are hoping for won’t unfold in front of your eyes. (NW)
7. Hertha vs. Leverkusen, Bayer finally “Dutty dancing”
Hertha have been a mediocre team going by results so far this season, but the way The Old Lady has been playing has at times been impressive. Now they are facing Leverkusen who have won their last two away matches and are through to the next round in the Champions League. This is going to be a tough game for the boys from Germany’s capital—breaking down the Leverkusen defense might give them a headache. We’d suggest aspirin. (NW)
8. Werder vs. Stuttgart, the fight to stay in the Euro zone
Both Werder and Stuttgart have had a decent start to the season. Bremen want to get into Europe, so do Stuttgart. This should be a tense affair, and with Bremen’s take no prisoner attitude it wouldn’t surprise us if we had a goal fest at our hands. This is potentially the most entertaining match of the two Sunday fixtures. (NW)
9. Mainz vs. Bayern, Motzki taking on Osram
Thomas Tuchel has so far this season made a name for himself because of his constant complaints about referees and other circumstances Tuchel feels screwed up for Mainz. This unattractive character flaw displayed by the young manager has earned him the name „Motzki” in the German press (can be roughly translated to „constant nagging machine”). Heynckes on the other hand has been known to get red in the face when angry ever since he started coaching. If things get heated on the pitch, we expect tempers to fly high on the side line. (NW)
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