Previously in the Bundesliga: Bayern keeps marching on while the chasing pack keeps dropping points. The relegation battle is heating up and is far from being decided. Mitchy Batshuayi and Ademola Lookman started their Bundesliga adventures on a high. Can Match Day 22 live up to the thrill of the previous week?
In order to answer that question let’s take a closer look at the weekend games.
RB Leipzig vs Augsburg
The Match Day kicks off with an intriguing encounter between two sides that got all three points the previous week. Leipzig’s new starlet Ademola Lookman grabbed the headlines after coming off the bench to score the winner against Borussia Mönchengladbach. His glorious debut was further magnified because his parent club, Everton, was getting hammered 5-1 by Arsenal at the same time. It looks like the youngster has come to the right place.
Augsburg got a bounce in their step after a resounding 3-0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt. Michael Gregoritsch’s smartly taken goal, his 9th of the season, was the icing on top of the cake. A team that everyone had in the relegation places at the start of the season is punching above its weight under the tutelage of Manuel Baum.
I’m excepting a tight affair and that’s why I’m predicting a draw.
Bayern Munich vs Schalke
Saturday’s blockbuster is between two DFB Pokal semi-finalists.
After their 2-0 win against Mainz, Bayern thumped Paderborn in the cup and are looking to secure the domestic double. The Bavarians may not be as good as their 18 point lead at the top of the table shows or perhaps not as entertaining as the Pep Guardiola team, but they are getting the job done.
The 21 games Bayern Munich since Jupp Heynckes returned – 19 wins, 1 draw [won on penalties], 1 defeat. 54 goals scored. Pretty dominant that.
— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) February 6, 2018
After a disappointing loss to Bremen, Schalke got back to winning ways against Wolfsburg in the Cup. However, the Royal Blues only have 5 points from their last 5 league games. They also haven’t won at the Allianz Arena since 2010.
Bayern, on the other hand, won all of their last 5 league games. They are also unbeaten in 16 games against Schalke and have won 13 of those games. I guess we all know where this is going.
Bayern to win!
Borussia Dortmund vs Hamburg
Positivity is back in Dortmund. Batshuayi grabbed a brace in his first game to help the Black and Yellows to their first victory of the New Year. Marco Reus is also on his way back from his lengthy injury, although he might not be available for this weekend’s game. The other good news for Borussia Dortmund fans is that Maximilian Philipp has started training with the ball.
Maybe life isn't pointless pic.twitter.com/EY9VPdiHQL
— Bog¹³ (@ironicguerreiro) February 7, 2018
Hamburg is currently in 17th place and four points off of safety. Despite a 1-0 win in the 2014/15 season and a 4-1 triumph in 2012/13, Hamburg’s recent record at the Signal Iduna Park is not positive. The Dinos have lost their last four meetings against BVB and conceded 14 goals in the process.
BVB to pile more misery on Hamburg by a comprehensive victory!
Bayer Leverkusen vs Hertha Berlin
Perhaps Leverkusen’s attackers were saving the goals for their Cup tie as they drew 0-0 away to Freiburg. Against Werder Bremen, Die Werkself came back from 2-0 down to book their place in the Semi-finals. Julain Brandt grabbed two of the four goals Bayer scored on the night.
Hertha has three draws from the last three league games. The side is yet to win in 2018 and the Bay Arena is a tough place to go to at the moment.
A win for Leverkusen!
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Cologne
Frankfurt’s 3-0 loss at the hands of Augsburg on Sunday was a surprise. The Eagles, however, put that behind them to beat Mainz by the same score-line on Wednesday. For two years in succession, they have reached the Semi-Finals of the DFB Pokal.
The Billy Goats saw their unbeaten run of four games halted by BVB last week. Despite being seven points behind of the relegation play-off spots, Cologne won’t be throwing in the towel. With the poor performances of Hamburg and Bremen, coupled with Cologne’s new found confidence and scoring run- there is room for optimism in the Cathedral city.
Despite all of the changes they’ve made from their early season struggles, Cologne will face a tough challenge at the Commerzbank Arena.
I am going for a Frankfurt win!
Hannover vs Freiburg
It’s 10 vs 12 in this mid-table clash.
Freiburg’s impressive form helped them to stop Leverkusen’s potent attack as they drew 0-0 last week. The frontline is in good hands with Nils Petersen, who has 10 Bundesliga goals this season.
What did the managers say before the game?
Freiburg’s manager Christian Streich :
“We need to play with the ball as much as possible. We need to be creative and more precise.”
Hannover coach Andre Breitenreiter: “If we get our best possible performance, we’re hard
I am predicting a win for Freiburg!
Hoffenheim vs Mainz
Mainz is on a downward spiral at the moment. The Nullfünfer’s Pokal display in which they made a series of catastrophic defensive errors is a cause for concern. It may be Carnival time in the city, but the club is showing no signs of festivity.
Among the reasons I continue to believe in #effzeh salvation is on display in Frankfurt right now. Mainz is a mess.
— Effzeh in English (@GeissbockUSA) February 7, 2018
Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz had this to say about his side’s current form:
“We go through the highs and lows of the game together. We put our sweat and blood into this club, just as the fans do.”
Hoffenheim got a point last week, after two consecutive defeats, and striker Mark Uth can return this weekend. And it is understandable that Julian Nagelsmann is feeling optimistic about the next game. The manager is happy after what he saw in training and reckons it will be transformed on to the pitch.
Hoffenheim to win!
Stuttgart vs Borussia Mönchengladbach
Tayfun Korkut managed to get a point away at Wolfsburg last weekend, the same amount of away points Hannes Wolf managed until his firing. The new manager needs to maintain his side’s solid home form to shrug off Gladbach.
Hecking’s side will want to make amends to their loss against Leipzig in order to keep their aspirations of qualifying for Europe alive. BMG is currently in 8th spot with 31 points.
A win for Borussia!
— Gladbach (@borussia_en) February 6, 2018
Werder Bremen vs Wolfsburg
Florian Kohfeldt, is steadying the ship in Bremen. The green-whites have pulled themselves out of the relegation zone after their remarkable last-minute win against Schalke. The 35-year-old is yet to lose a home Bundesliga game this season. Such type of solid home form will prove vital in their battle against the drop.
Wolfsburg, only four points ahead of their opponents, needs to avoid a loss in this game so as to prevent being dragged into the relegation fight.
It’s a mouth-watering six-pointer between the two sides.
I am predicting a draw!