Bundesliga Matchday 23 Preview


Hertha Berlin vs. SC Freiburg

Hertha come into this game looking to build on a good away win at Stuttgart last weekend, where they scored their 1500th goal in the Bundesliga, a game in which Levan Kobiashvili became their oldest ever scorer in the Bundesliga at 36, thanks to his fifth minute opener. Die Alte Dame, however, will have to do without Sandro Wagner for the game, the man who grabbed Hertha’s 1500th goal, as in his 11 minute cameo role at the weekend he won the game and then got sent off. Freiburg on the other hand have been looking a little nervous in recent games after losing two games on the bounce and conceding eight goals in the process. The Breisgau-Brasilianer fell into the relegation places in the last round of fixtures so will be looking ahead here to escape their predicament.


FC Augsburg vs. Hannover 96

Markus Weinzierl’s Augsburg are continuing to have an impressive season as they keep moving up the table, in what is only their third season in the Bundesliga. The Fuggerstädter are currently in third position in the form table after a run of fine performances and are now up to 8th, so you wouldn’t be surprised to see a very buoyant performance by the home side. Hannover are trotting through a very average season without a care in the world, it would appear. They appear comfortable despite having had a tough run of games of late, so now is the time they will want to start progressing after facing four of the top six in their last five games.

Borussia Dortmund vs. 1. FC Nürnberg

This game looks to be a tasty encounter between two of the in-form teams in the Bundesliga. Nürnberg have enjoyed their time against Dortmund in recent occasions with a win and two draws in the last five meetings between the sides. Gertjan Verbeek has been working hard recently to help the Bavarian side slowly creep up the table, earning 13 points from a possible 18 in their last six matches. Dortmund suffered a shock defeat last time out against Hamburg when they were trounced 3-0, but they will be looking to rectify that when they head back to the home comforts of the Signal Iduna Park. They will head into the game with some confidence restored though after an impressive 4-2 victory at Zenit St. Petersburg, in the Champions League last Tuesday.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs. 1. FSV Mainz 05

Leverkusen  are currently sitting 2nd in the Bundesliga, but their form has hit a stumbling block and they just can’t seem to get going, just like they were in the first half of the season. Sami Hyypiä will certainly be focusing on domestic affairs now after his side were outdone in the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain with a 4-0 deficit to drag to the French capital against PSG in the second leg.  Mainz are in an opposite situation to Leverkusen; they are coming through nicely at this period in time with strong form after securing an important away draw at Schalke 04 on top of an excellent performance. A win for the Carnival Club could see them jump into 6th position in the standings.

SV Werder Bremen vs. Hamburger SV – The 100th Nordderby

On the back of a stunning 3-0 thrashing of high-flyers, Borussia Dortmund, Mirko Slomka’s Hamburg look to the Nordderby as a way to escape the clutches of relegation. Hamburg are sitting 16th in the league and a win could see them move as high as 13th, leapfrogging their arch rivals and opponents on the day. Bremen are another team seriously struggling for form in the German top-flight and haven’t managed a win since before Christmas. Robin Dutt has a lot of work to do to galvanise his side and improve morale, but there is no better occasion to do this then in the match against their bitter rivals.

Eintracht Braunschweig vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach

The Bundesliga’s basement side will look once again towards their next game as an opportunity to move off the bottom, but face a very difficult task against Gladbach. Torsten Lieberknecht’s side have been quite unlucky recently, losing by the narrowest of margins, but have been showing signs of improvement. They could be coming to play Borussia Mönchengladbach at just the right time as well, as Lucien Favre’s side have struggled to pick up a win recently and have severely dropped in form. Die Fohlen did thrash Braunschweig 4-1 earlier in the season, so they will be hoping for a similar result this time around to get their season back on track.

FC Bayern München vs. FC Schalke 04

Pep Guardiola’s steamrolling Bavarians are having fun (as per usual) dominating the Bundesliga. They sit comfortably at the top of the form table with 18 points from 18 and, coincidentally, a goal difference of +18 in that period.  The next team in the form chart is Bayern’s opponents on Saturday, Schalke 04. However, in the last five meetings between the two sides, Schalke have failed to score and Bayern have scored 14. What won’t have helped Jens Keller’s side was their humiliating midweek 6-1 home defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League, so morale could be low. This game might not be what they wanted to see next on the fixture list.


1899 Hoffenheim vs. VFL Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg appear to making a sneaky run for the Champions league as they continue on an impressive run. Dieter Hecking will be determined to put the Wolves into Europe’s elite competition for the upcoming season, as it has been a while since they last held a place within it. They will be facing Hoffenheim in the early kick-off on Sunday, a team who will want revenge after they were dumped out of the DFB Pokal by the Lower Saxony side. Markus Gisdol’s side could also be dragged into the relegation scrap this season but they are steadily pulling themselves away as the ‘best of the rest’.

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. VfB Stuttgart

The game could be a very interesting matchup with Stuttgart seriously down in the mire currently. The Reds have been unable to pick up a win in some time and are currently rock bottom of the form table and only out of the relegation zone on goal difference. Eintracht Frankfurt, though, aren’t in great shape either but they are looking considerably stronger than the Swabians, not that it means much right now. After yesterday’s 3-3 draw against Porto in which Eintracht were knocked out of the Europa League on away goals late in the game, Armin Veh is probably quite disappointed to how the season has turned out, especially after Frankfurt’s 6th place finish last season. However, with no more midweek matches to think of, Eintracht will now be able to fully concentrate on the league and looking to improve their form.

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Liam Carson

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