Thursday, 28 November 2013

Bundesliga Matchday 14 Preview: Bayern hopes to expand lead, Leverkusen in self confidence crisis

The Bundesliga resumes play this weekend, with Bayern enjoying a four point lead, Leverkusen, second three points ahead of Dortmund, which is head of fourth place Borussia Moenchengladbach by three points.  

With international week and Champions League competition out of the way, the Bundesliga gets back to a fight for the top spot and or attempts to move out of the relegation zone.  Germany's DFB Team was successful with their friendlies, defeating England 1-0 and achieving a draw against Italy.

During Champions League competition, Dortmund and Bayern had positive results, while Schalke managed a draw and Leverkusen needs to rebuild its confidence after a 5-0 trouncing lesson from Manchester United.

The top contenders, on paper, have relatively easy matches on Saturday.  Bayern hosts 17th placed Eintracht Braunschweig, while Leverkusen hosts taillight 1.FC Nuernberg and Dortmund travels to Mainz.  While Braunschweig should not create too many problems for Munich, especially in the Allianz arena, the second last club can provide some difficulty and a win is not a given.  Nuernberg is a force to contend with, despite their last place standing.  A draw against Dortmund is definitely in the cards for Mainz.  For Leverkusen a contest against Nuernberg could be problematic.  Leverkusen is suffering a self-confidence crisis, after their lackluster performance last weekend and the absolute collapse against Manchester United.  Will Bayern expand its lead or can Leverkusen and Dortmund hold pace?  This will be answered on Saturday.

Wolfsburg currently in fifth spot with 22 points hosts Hamburger SV on Friday evening.  The Hanseaten had a difficult start into the season and desperately need a win to move them up from their current 14th spot.  The odds are certainly in favour of Wolfsburg.

The remaining three matches on Saturday match Hoffenheim against Bremen, Berlin hosts Augsburg and Schalke takes on VFB Stuttgart. Both Hoffenheim and Bremen need more success stories and this match could be filled with plenty of goals, but again, come down to the wire.  Berlin had a great start to the season and Augsburg is a fiesty young side, which is hungry.  While Berlin has home team advantage, the side is not guaranteed three points. Either way the match should be a delight for spectators in the Olympia Stadium.  Schalke and Stuttgart are separated by five points in the league standing and both teams need a victory to maintain in contact with the top six.   Schalke has the home team advantage and the home crowd should create hell for the Schwaben.  This should be another good match for spectators.

On Sunday Hanover hosts Eintracht Frankfurt and Borrusia Moenchengladbach welcomes SC Freiburg.  Both Frankfurt and Freiburg hold 15th and 16th spot respectively and desperately need a success story.  Gladbach is in fourth spot, trailing Borussia Dortmund by just three points.  You can bet your bottom dollar that Gladbach will be working hard to get the three points at home.  Hanover has been in a slump lately with a 4-2-5 record and needs a success to move up the ladder.  Both matches should be interesting and close contests.

As Bundesliga play gets underway this weekend, one thing is certain, the fixtures will be sold out and there will be plenty of entertainment along with surprises.  While there are many decisions ahead of the winter break, the club hierarchies must be looking forward to a break.

29 November

VfL Wolfsburg vs Hamburger SV   1-1

 30 November

Bayern München vs Eintr. Braunschweig       
Bayer Leverkusen vs 1. FC Nürnberg       
1899 Hoffenheim vs Werder Bremen   
FSV Mainz 05 vs Borussia Dortmund       
Hertha BSC vs FC Augsburg       
Schalke 04 vs VfB Stuttgart   

1 December
Hannover 96 vs Eintracht Frankfurt       
Bor. Mönchengladbach vs SC Freiburg


1--------FC Bayern Muenchen-------13---11----2-----0------30-7-------35
2--------Bayer Leverkusen------------13---10----1-----2-----28:14------31
3--------Borussia Dortmund----------13----9----1-----3------33:13------28
4--------Borussia M'gladbach---------13----8----1-----4-----30:16------25
5--------VFL Wolfsburg---------------14----7----2-----5-----20:16-------23
6--------FC Schalke 04----------------13----5----3-----5-----25:27-------21
7------- Hertha BSC Berlin-----------13----5----3-----5-----20:17-------18
8-------Mainz 05-----------------------13----6----1-----6-----20:25-------19
10------VFB Stuttgart------------------13----4----4-----5-----24:23-------16
11----- FCAugsburg-------------------13----5----1-----7----15:23--------16
12------Werder Bremen----------------13----4----3-----6----15:23--------15
13------Hannover 96-------------------13----4----2-----7-----15:22-------14
14------1899 Hoffenheim--------------13----3----4-----6-----28:30-------13
15------Eintracht Frankfurt------------13----2----5-----6-----17:24--------11
16------SC Freiburg--------------------13----2----5-----6-----14:24---------11
17------Eintracht Braunschweig------13----2----2-----9------8:24----------8
18------1. FC Nürnberg----------------13----0----8-----5-----16:26----------8

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