Team of the week – Match day 20

Fans of FC Bayern München are breathing a sigh of relief as the Bavarian juggernaut get somewhat back on track with a less-than-impressive 2-0 win over VfB Stuttgart. Elsewhere Werder Bremen are getting on their best run of form in over five years; FC Augsburg played their first draw of the season; the most-anticipated match of the weekend ended in 1-0 win for Roberto Di Matteo’s defensive minded Royal Blues; and Borussia Dortmund finally returned to winning ways, at least for one match day.

Goalkeeper

Lukas Kruse – The Billy Goats may not have the best attack in the league, but struggling Paderborn had to soak up some pressure in order to get a point on the road. Their keeper pulled off four saves during the match, most crucially in the 44th and 89th minutes.

Defence

Ricardo Rodriguez – The defender has established himself as one of the best left backs in Europe over the last few seasons. Against Hoffenheim, he was as instrumental as ever in the Wolves 3-0 win.

Neven Subotic – Dortmund’s defensive displays so far this season have been riddled with flawed performances and mistakes. In the BVB’s win over Freiburg, Klopp’s team finally managed to keep a clean sheet. The Serb managed finally to deliver a great performance this season. He won a staggering 73% of his tackles and 64% of his ariel duels.

John Anthony Brooks – The American defender had a crucial tackle in the box. Additionally he won 75% of his ariel duels, in addition to making six interceptions and eight clearances. Hertha’s interim coach Pal Dardai can, in large part, thank Brooks and the rest of the Hertha defence for getting their act together to help get a win in his debut.

Joel Matip – Roberto Di Matteo’s playing style is certainly an eyesore for fans of attack-minded football, but it yields results. Against Gladbach, Joel Matip had a great day at the office and showed how he can solidify the Schalke defence.

Midfield

Andre Schürrle – The World Champion managed to find his feet fairly quickly at Wolfsburg. Against Hoffenheim, the 23-year-old managed two assists and showed the Bundesliga fans why they have missed him.

Kevin de Bruyne – The ball boys of the league may not like him, but Kevin de Bruyne is quickly turning into a candidate for the player-of-the-season award. Against Hoffenheim, he put in another man-of-the-match performance and added two more goals to his already impressive tally.

Halil Altintop – The contract of the Turk is up at the end of the season, and he showed against Frankfurt why Die Fuggerstädter are so keen to extend his stay. Back when Altintop joined Augsburg on a free transfer, most of the pundits laughed. These days, he’s considered to be one of the most instrumental midfielders in the league.

Karim Bellarabi – Bremen won Sunday’s match at the Weserstadion, but the Green and Whites were very fortunate to walk away with all three points. The most-exciting player to watch on the day was the German international, who taught the Werder defence a few lessons in terms of speed, agility, and technique. All that was missing from Bellarabi’s performance was a goal or an assist.

Attack

Alexander Meier – The striker has maintained that he won’t win the Torjägerkanone (the trophy for the top scorer of the league) at the end of the season, but if he keeps scoring like this, it is going to be difficult anyone catch him. In the match against Augsburg, he forced the Augsburg defence into making a mistake ahead of the first goal and he scored the second himself.

Pierre-Emrick Aubamayeng – If there is one Dortmund player who hasn’t had a completely disappointing season so far, it would Aubamayeng. The Gabonese striker added two more goals to his goal-scoring tally in addition to cueing up Marco Reus for the first goal of the match. Aubamayeng has been involved in eleven of Dortmund’s 21 goals so far this season.

Honourable mentions: Ragnar Klavan, Alexander Meier, Jaroslav Drobny, Finn Bartels, Bas Dost, Dominic Maroh, Uwe Hünemeier, Jens Hegeler, Shinji Kagawa, Marco Reus, David Alaba, Xabi Alonso, Manuel Neuer, Zlatko Junuzovic

Goal of the week – David Alaba

Bayern fans weren’t treated to champagne football by their team, but David Alaba’s free kick was simply sublime and, without any question, our goal of the week.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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