The Bundesliga season is less than a month away now, and friendly matches mark the training camp season. Although friendlies are somewhat without meaning, they do give some indication of how well newcomers will fit into their new clubs and the level of competition of the league.
Over this past weekend, Werder Bremen beat and drew with West Ham United in back-to-back matches. Johannes Eggestein scored the winner for the green-whites in the first match, beating WHU veteran James Collins to get off his shot. In the second game, the clubs drew 2-2 as Luca Caldirola scored on a header from a Florian Kainz FK, while newcomers Ludwig Augustinsson and Zhang Yuning combined for a late equalizer, with the former providing a cross for the latter. The bad news for Werder Bremen came earlier in the week, as defender Niklas Moisander was injured and is out probably until October.
RB Leipzig also played two matches in the Emirates Cup this weekend. They lost the first to Sevilla 1-0 but bounced back Sunday for a 2-0 win over Benfica. The Leipzig goals came from defenders Marcel Halstenberg and Marvin Compper, while young newcomers Bruma and goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo were impressive, although frankly Mvogo had little to do against the Portuguese club. Still, a good win for RB Leipzig, and a confidence booster looking ahead to the Champions League with a shutout win over a club annually involved in European play.
Bayer Leverkusen had a good showing earlier in the week against Turkish side Antalyaspor, but were flatter than Grandma’s pancakes Sunday, losing to SS Lazio as Die Werkself couldn’t contain the Italian club’s attacking duo of Ciro Immobile (2 goals) and Felipe Anderson (1 goal). The good news is that Jonathan Tah, injured much of last season, started on the backline for Heiko Herrlich’s side, while the bad news was that the defense looked shaky, including Bernd Leno, and the attack sputtered. In the Antalyaspor friendly, Stefan Kießling suffered a muscle injury after a rough clattering in a very rough match for a friendly. Meanwhile, Jamaican winger Leon Bailey came in for praise from Rudi Voller.
Borussia Mönchengladbach eked out a 2-1 win over Spanish side Malaga CF Sunday. The Foals were wasteful through a scoreless first half, with Patrick Herrmann barely missing on a fine FK while also off-target on a chance in front of goal, and goals by Lars Stindl and Thorgard Hazard denied because of a foul and an offside. The wastefulnes continued in the second half, and Malaga took the lead before Gladbach came back on a headed goal by West Ham United loanee Reece Oxford from a Ibrahima Traore CK and a late, harsh PK drawn and converted by Raffael. Newcomer Denis Zakaria, who came over from Young Boys, showed signs of the speed and elusivenss that may find him a success in Bundelsiga competition.
In other German footballing news, after the first two 3.Liga matchdays, SV Wehen Wiesbaden lead the league with 6 points and a +5 goal differential. Fortuna Köln is the only other 3. Liga club that won its first two matches. In Bundesliga 2, 1.FC Nurnberg were the big winners of MatchDay 1, with a 3-0 victory over visiting 1.FC Kaiserslautern. And in the biggest disappointment of the weekend, the German women lost out on their chance to earn an eighth Women’s Euro trophy, as they were upset by Denmark 2-1.
Below is a list of upcoming matches to be streamed and televised this week ,the Champions League playoff draw, the Bundesliga 2 on Fox Soccer MatchPass and some new episodes of quality podcasts.
The German SuperCup featuring Borussia Dortmund hosting Bayern Munich comes up Saturday at 2:30pm EDT on your local Fox station. The match will also be streamed on Fox Soccer MatchPass live.
- MatchDay 1 of the Bundesliga 2 season concludes Monday with Fortuna Dusseldorf – Eintracht Braunschweig streamed on Fox Soccer MatchPass at 1:20 pm. On Tuesday, FSMP will stream Part 2 of its Bundesliga Special featuring a number of clubs and their history and prospects for the upcoming season, at 4:30 pm. On Friday, Bundesliga 2 MatchDay 2 kicks off with a triple header of contests streamed on FSMP at 11:30 am, and on Saturday they stream the FC Heidenheim-Eintracht Braunschweig at 8:30 am, the match abandoned this Sunday because of wet grounds.
- On Tuesday, ESPN 3 will stream the Borussia Dortmund-Atalanta friendly at 12:30 pm. On Saturday August 5, the streaming service will bring RB-Leipzig-Stoke City at 9:45 aand Werder Bremen- Valancia at 11:00 am.
- BeIN Sports will televise the Borussia Dortmund-RW Erfurt friendly Sunday at 11:00 am EDT. The network will also replay the Borussia Mönchengladbach – Malaga CF and FC Schalke 04 – ED Eibar matches twice earlier in the upcoming week, check listings in your area.
- The draw for the playoff round of the Champions League will be made Friday. Hoffenheim will be one of the five clubs making the playoff through the league route, and they are rated 5th behind Sevilla, Napoli, Liverpool and Sporting CP. The draw for the playoff round, which begins August 15-16 with 20 clubs involved, will be streamed on ESPN 3 Friday.
- New editions of the RFW Podcast on all things Werder Bremen and the 2017/2018 debut of the Challengers Bundesliga Podcast on all things Bundesliga have been posted in the last few days. Also, there is a summer edition of the English language Borussia Monchengladbach podcast vollraute abroad…. and, a new Gegenpressing Podcast from the Futbolgrad family of footy reporting and podcasts . This episode includes a talk with RB Leipzig Coach Ralph Hasenhüttl …Give a listen and enjoy !!!
- SC Freiburg will play its 2nd leg Europa League playoff match Thursday at 3:05 pm EDT against Slovenian side NK Domzale. Christian Streich’s club go into the away match with a 1-0 aggregate lead. Hopefully our Randall Hauk will have the opportunity to livetweet the match on our @bundesliga4u Twitter account.
- Header photo courtesy of Werder Bremen FB page