Bundesliga action continues with four matches Tuesday and five Wednesday as the midweek MD 16 will quickly be followed by MD 17 this coming weekend, and then the winter break, which will last until the weekend of January 13. We preview the MD 16 fixtures below.
Wolfsburg vs RB Leipzig
It has been a disappointing weekend for both teams, as they were only able to gather a single point in their respective games. Leipzig not only blew a lead twice against Mainz, they also drifted 8 points behind Bayern.
Ralph Hasenhüttl had this to say after the game
“We didn’t start well, but improved as we went on and scored two good goals. We dropped off in the second half though and gave two points away.”
Tough week for his team!
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) December 9, 2017
The first game of Tuesday promises a fierce contest between two solid sides. Wolfsburg who had to settle for a 0-0 draw against Hamburg will look to make their home advantage count against a Leipzig team who are no longer formidable. Martin Schmidt who praised his team’s strong mentality after the Hamburg game knows the same has to be replicated against the 2nd placed visitors.
I’m going for a draw.
Freiburg vs Borussia M’gladbach
Freiburg will go into this game at the back of a remarkable 4-3 win against Cologne. Christian Streich’s men had to battle not only heavy snow but also a 3-0 setback after only 30 minutes to finally come out victorious.
Gladbach could only muster an unlucky draw against Schalke on Saturday, despite dominating the game for most of it. Christoph Kramer’s return, who was man of the match against the Royal Blues, will galvanize the Foals and they hope to collect all 3 points on Tuesday’s game but a tie is more likely, as Freiburg have been tough at home, collecting 11 of their 15 points there.
Hamburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt
‘’He had the wrong kit on. For the 17 other Bundesliga clubs, that would have been a red card.” These are the words of Frankfurt’s sporting director Fredi Bobic after Arturo Vidal wasn’t sent off following his challenge on Marius Wolf. Frankfurt who lost the game 1-0 will face 15th placed Hamburg in their next game.
It will be a daunting task to break down Hamburg, who are unfathomably sporting a three match run of clean sheets. Wolfsburg who were held to TWO shots by HSV witnessed that on Saturday, but Frankfurt’s excellent away record – 15 points gained is second behind Bayern – can see them prevail on Tuesday.
Mainz vs Borussia Dortmund
Peter Stöger is Dortmund’s new manager and his first game will be against the zerofivers. Although, to put it mildly, there are doubts about hiring a manager who hasn’t won a single Bundesliga game all season and whose previous team endured the worst start in the history of the Bundesliga, Stöger is an experienced manager who achieved a lot in the past. He was also among the leading candidates to replace Thomas Tuchel in the summer, but actually declined the offer, because he wanted to see out his project in Cologne.
The injury list at BVB, which has grown with the news that neither André Schürrle, nor Jadon Sancho will make the trip, won’t make his start any easier but with quality players still available he can lead the Black and Yellows back to winning ways.
Peter Stöger will be serving as head coach of Borussia Dortmund until next summer. We may see a different BVB side soon. Stöger may prefer a rather conservative approach to stabilise the team. That said, Stöger has proven his all-around qualities in the past, e.g. at FK Austria.
— Constantin Eckner (@cc_eckner) December 10, 2017
Mainz’s draw at the weekend will be a huge lift for a team who looked to be losing its way of late. Sandro Schwarz’s troops certainly won’t be an easy opponent for BVB but an away win is a possibility. Especially, when considering the fact that Mainz are also running out of bodies, with captain Stefan Bell missing another game alongside, Leven Öztunali, Kenan Kodro and Yosninori Muto.
Hoffenheim vs Stuttgart
Both teams have lost on match day 15. Stuttgart tasted their first home loss of the season at the hands of Leverkusen and Hoffenheim weren’t able to build on their 4-0 win against Leipzig, putting up a tepid display in the snow against Hannover 96.
Hoffenheim, who currently reside in 6th place, can bounce back with a home win and solidify their position in search of European football. And with the Swabians far from impressive away record Naglesmann’s men should do just that.
Hertha Berlin vs Hannover 96
Hannover are back to winning ways. Having endured a rough patch which interrupted their remarkable and unexpected start to the season, the newly promoted side were back with a bang as they recorded a 2-0 win against Hoffenheim thanks to two superb Felix Klaus set pieces and great work from Salif Sané and Martin Harnik.
Hertha were lucky to grab a late draw against Augsburg and Salomon Kalou was the hero of the day. Back in the capital Hertha are expected to put on a much better performance. They lost their last home tie to Eintracht Frankfurt but they can at least grab a draw in this one.
Bayern Munich vs Cologne
Bayern are once again fall champions or Herbstmeister if you prefer. Arturo Vidal’s 4th goal in as many games was enough to seal a precious 3 points at the Commerzbank Arena. Interestingly, Bayern were dead last in numerous statistical categories, including just 6 shots and 1 on target, but don’t mention that to Vidal! And in front of their own fans they are expected to sweep aside a Cologne side low on confidence and out of ideas. The Billy Goats will have an easier task finding the penalty spot in a snow-covered field than 3 points at the Allianz Arena.
Joshua Kimmich played his 100th Bundesliga game on Saturday and is developing into a world-class right back for the Bavarians, who by the way will face Besiktas in their opening knockout series of the UEFA Champions League in February.
Schalke vs Augsburg
It’s 3rd vs 7th in arguably the best game of the match day. Two teams who are on top of their game and who are seeking a return to European football will lock horns at the Veltins Arena. Augsburg managed to finish above Schalke in the 2014/15 season. Can they do it again? If they continue in the form they are in at the moment there is no reason why not.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Werder Bremen
Bayer Leverkusen extended their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 10 games after their 2-0 win against Stuttgart on Friday. They are also the only side who managed to score in every league game this season and they are up to 5th in table. It certainly is a wonderful time in the Pill City.
Despite their 2-1 win at the Signal Iduna Park last Saturday Bremen are the underdogs against Leverkusen. However, that’s not to say they will be pushovers. With Max Kruse leading the line they will offer a huge challenge but ultimately B04 will have the firepower to defeat the Green and Whites, who will be without Zlatko Junuzovic and Fin Bartels (potentially gone for the season with a terrible Achilles injury), but hope to have Lamine Saé back in the squad.