December 11, 2017

Bundesliga MatchDay 14: Midweek Madness

(The Bundesliga Fanatic neither endorses or claims responsibility for the writings and lifestyle of Dr. Splitter).

As much as I love the Bundesliga. these midweek domestic matches tend to mess me up, creating a certain madness as I don’t have enough time to really dope out the upcoming fixtures with my usual thoroughness.  Generally, at this time of the year, you’ll find me midweek slumming at Hollywood Park, chatting up hot walkers, farriers and touts for some additional insight into the weekend action or studying NBA stats and tendencies to make a killing before really getting down to analyzing the Bundesliga MatchDay in Thursday and Friday.  But when Bundesliga football calls, I always answer, and for my friends at the Bundesliga Fanatic I’m willing to share some quick thoughts on outcomes of the matches for you, dear reader.

Tuesday’s matchups

Borussia Dortmund at home against Fortuna Düsseldorf.  Check this one off as a win for Kloppo’s boys, without a doubt.  F95 regulars Jens Langeneke and Tobias Levels got banged up in Friday’s match against HSV, and F95 are bringing up two players from their youth sides to fill the void.  I felt good about BvB in this match before the Fortuna injuries;  with Lewandowski red-hot this is a lock.

Why does the DFL not like Hannover?  The 96ers have made Europe twice now, made the AWD Arena a hotspot of German football, and the DFL rewards Slomka’s boys by having them play away at the Allianz Saturday following their Thursday Europa League match.  Conspiracy?  I’ve seen plenty in my day, not sure if this is one, but I don’t like it.  Hannover will get a result against Greuther Fürth Tuesday, but only because it is a Cloverleaves ghostship that they are playing.

HSV host Schalke Tuesday.  No way Schalke doesn’t win this one.  Both teams dropped points this weekend, but Hamburg are now without the injured Rafael van der Vaart at least until winter break.  HSV deeply offended the footballing gods Friday by wearing that powder blue kit, and you can see how quickly the gods reacted, with their star player succumbing to injury barely a half hour after kickoff.  DO NOT WEAR POWDER BLUE KIT….unless you are UNC, who’ve worn it for years and are one of THE POWERS of college hoops, or Citeh who were total losers until their big money influx.  HSV will be lucky to win another game before the holidays.

Eintracht Frankfurt-Mainz.  This might be a close one, but I give the edge to Die Adler in that they have yet to lose at home this season whereas Mainz have only picked up 5 points in seven matches away from the Coface.  I’ll be watching this match with intent as I believe it will be a tell as to how these two clubs perform up until winter break.

Wednesday’s Matchups

Bayern Munich have become road warriors in league play this year, earning 16 of 18 points away from the Allianz while allowing only ONE goal in those six road games, a huge improvement from the last two seasons…. I credit Sammer for this upswing.  And Freiburg’s record at the Mage Solar Stadion isn’t much better than their road record…. So Bayern should win big, right?  Wrong.  This is gonna be a close one, as Jupp’s men will have Saturday’s upcoming meeting with BvB weighing heavily on their minds.  Plus, I have a soft spot for the Black Forest club, having made the acquaintance of a beautiful young lady attending university there back in the Cold War 1970s, so I think Freiburg may get a point, or lose by a one goal margin at worst.  I may have to rethink this one, though, as I’m playing my heart instead of my head, and still hold a grudge against Uli for banning me from the Allianz just because he overheard me say that Klopp and Zorc are building a dynasty at Dortmund while feasting on a Bayern spread in the hospitality suite.

Werder Bremen host Bayer Leverkusen Wednesday.  Bremen will be without Lukas Schmitz, who was ejected from Saturday’s draw in Wolfsburg.  I like Leverkusen in this one…..they’re 3-1-3 away from home this season, and don’t be fooled by their loss Thursday against Metalist Kharkiv…..Hyypia and Lewandowski started a lot of youngsters in that one.  Die Werkself are in good form, and although Thomas Schaaf’s team is improving, they don’t match up well against Leverkusen’s veterans.  Plus they carry the burden of those blasphemous green/orange shirts, which should be all gathered up and burned IMMEDIATELY.

Gladbach v. Wolfsburg.  Hmmmm, this is a toughie to figure.  Gladbach have already allowed as many goals in 13 league fixtures as they did in the ENTIRE 2011/2012 season.  Say what you want about them missing Reus and Neustadter, they mostly miss the presence of the magical Dante.  Wolfsburg, 3-1-1 plus a Pokal win since the departure of Felix.  Ok, great, and Bas Dost is playing like he’s just been let out of solitary confinement, but something about a team quitting on its coach rubs me the wrong way.  Maybe it’s a result of spending my teenage years in a Southern military academy, but duty is duty.  I know Felix lost the plot, and out-Felixed himself, but I like the guy despite, or perhaps somewhat because, of his medieval ways.  Felix needs to be out of football awhile.  I suggested he volunteer for the Sea Shepherd crew to check Japanese whalers in the Antarctic — it would be good karma for his soul.  He has yet to return my email, though.  But I digress.  I can’t figure out a good angle on this game, and mark it as a tossup.

Stuttgart-Augsburg.  Man, Stuttgart have been absolutely the pits at home this season, with only one win and two draws in six home matches.  Despicable.  And with 16 points so far, they are equidistant from both the last European spot in the table and the playoff relegation spot.  Then again, Augsburg are terrible wherever they play, and I was not shocked when Patrick Herrmann got that late goal for Gladbach to rob them of their three points.  This outcome of this fixture is wholly dependent on which Stuttgart side shows up….the inspired side that put the hurt on Steaua Thursday or the wimps who were overrun by Christian Streich’s club Sunday.  I want to like Augsburg, and respect how they played last Spring under Jos Luhukay, but when your big attacker signing of the offseason is Aristide Bance, you deserve to be in the cellar.  Getting Sascha Mölders back helps, but not enough.

Finally, Nurnberg host Hoffenheim.  Zzzzzzzz.  One of the league’s worst offenses against the league’s worst defense.  What could be more depressing?  A 0-0 result is as likely as a 5-4 final scoreline, this being the Bundesliga.  Both Dieter Hecking and Markus Babbel wonder if they’ll still be employed by Christmas and this match could be as much of a downer as the aftermath of beating the pants off of table full of dour East German pols in high stakes poker, and then trying to escape with your winnings (I did, but only because I had a case of good Kentucky bourbon in the trunk of my car, which I used to get the top dogs drunk, paid off the more sober party officials in US dollars, and narrowly made my escape west.   The good ol’ days).  I give the edge to the village club, but only because I hope Babbel will be smart enough to start Eren Derdiyok and Sven Schipplock instead of bringing them on in the second half.  The operative word here is hope.

That’s it for now…..but the Doctor is going to let you in on a secret….Dortmund will prevail at the Allianz Satuday.  Mark my words.

 

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