After an entertaining first week that saw Marco Reus get his first goal for Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt beat Bayer Leverkusen, we enter the second week of Germany’s top division. TheHardTackle previews all the games to be played this weekend.
Mainz vs Greuther Fürth
Fürth’s first appearance in the Bundesliga didn’t go as they would have liked it to, but expecting much from a game against the most successful side in Germany was unreasonable in the first place. This week they travel to Mainz, to renew a battle that has been synonymous with the Bundesliga 2. On paper, Mainz may seem favourites but only because of their prior experience in the top flight of German football.
We are yet to see all that Fürth have to offer and this week could be the one where Mike Buskens’ blows Mainz away. History has been against Mainz in this fixture as they have won just five out of their twenty two games against Fürth.
This could well be the game of the week. Mainz will look to be the more dominant side and have to kill the game early. But Fürth’s counter attacks may prove too hot to handle for this weak Mainz defense. Brace yourselves for the first upset of the week.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Freiburg
The season began on a dull note for Sascha Lewandowski and Sami Hyypia’s men as they were shocked by newly promoted Eintracht Frankfurt last week. Leverkusen will be glad to be returning to home soil this week, but Andre Schürrle’s possible departure from the BayArena could greatly hurt them. The good news for Leverkusen is that Sidney Sam should be back to training on Friday, making him available for this tie.
Freiburg, under Christian Streich, have been incredibly disciplined and hard to break down. This surely isn’t going to change this week, but the absence of Daniel Caligiuri, Jan Rosenthal and Mensur Mujdza is a major worry for Streich. Will we see a repeat of last season’s 2-0 result to Freiburg?
Freiburg will be incredibly resolute and scoring a lot against them seems very unlikely. Also, Leverkusen aren’t the most confident side around. A boring draw.
Nuremberg vs Borussia Dortmund
Der Club started well in the post Wollscheid-era with a slim one goal victory over Hamburg last week. There will be a great deal of positivity amongst Dieter Hecking’s men and the coach will be doing all he can to keep this optimism going into their mammoth task of hosting Dortmund. The likes of Alexander Esswein and Hiroshi Kiyotake will have to be at their best and take complete advantage of Dortmund’s defensive rustiness.
Jurgen Klopp will be going into this game with utmost confidence. Taking the three points shouldn’t pose any problem whatsoever in their first away fixture of the season. With Lukas Piszczek back on the right side of defense, BVB should feel a lot more solid at the back as well.
Nuremberg will put up a fight, but stopping Dortmund seems almost impossible. This will be a tight game, but Reus and co should take it in the end.
Schalke vs Augsburg
Champions League hopefuls Schalke got off to a somewhat sluggish start last week, but the prospect of facing a completely out of sorts Augsburg side should be most delightful. The Royal Blues have also managed to get Ibrahim Affelay from Barcelona, and the Dutchman should be in line to start against Augsburg on Saturday. Huub Stevens must be one of the calmest managers going into this week’s games.
Markus Weinzerl’s career at Augsburg got off to a woeful start as they were swept aside by Fortuna Düsseldorf. The new coach needs to figure things out quickly, but Schalke really doesn’t seem the game where he can do so.
This should be an extremely comfortable win for Schalke. Hopefully the game won’t finish too early.
Hoffenheim vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Hoffenheim kicked off their campaign on a bit of a sour note, with a narrow 2-1 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach. The likes of Roberto Firmino and Boris Vukcevic were most impressive last week and will be instrumental if Hoffenheim are to pick up their first points of the season this week.
Armin Veh’s side will still be euphoric after their sensational victory over Leverkusen last week. Kevin Trapp will surely have to be at his best once again, while a lot will depend on Takashi Inui in the attacking third.
Choosing a winner seems almost impossible. A thrilling draw seems the safest bet.
Werder Bremen vs Hamburg
The Nordderby adds that extra bit of spice to this gameweek. These two sides have fought it out on ninety four occasions in the Bundesliga, with Bremen winning thirty two and Hamburg enjoying twenty nine wins.
Bremen will be coming into this game as favourites, and their closely fought encounter against Dortmund will have given them truck loads of confidence. All their new signings seem to have a lot to offer and an easier opponent like Hamburg seems just the place for them to showcase their brilliance.
Hamburg were most disappointing last week , but their transfer market activities should help boost morale and quality. With Petr Jiracek being brought in and Rafael Van der Vaart probably returning to the Imtech Arena, the Red Shorts will be a worrying force for the rest of the Bundesliga.
Tempers will flare in this edition of the Nordderby. Goals will be aplenty. And Bremen will be victorious.
Fortuna Düsseldorf vs Borussia Mönchengladbach
The new boys in the Bundesliga will be high on life following their opening day antics. The cunning Norbert Meier will be looking to pull some more strings from the bench after his inspired substitution helped Düsseldorf to their first Bundesliga win in fifteen years.
Gladbach got off to a solid start in the Bundesliga with a convincing 2-1 win over Hoffenheim, but their elimination from the Champions League has been an early setback to their season. Luuk De Jong is yet to show the German fans his true colours, while Patrick Herrmann hasn’t been given much playing time yet. Once again, Juan Arango will be most instrumental in their away fixture at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
Düsseldorf’s high flying start to the Bundesliga should continue this week, but picking up the three points will be a very hard job. Yet another entertaining draw this week.
Wolfsburg vs Hannover
Felix Magath’s new look Wolfsburg got off to a slow but efficient start last week, but will have to be a lot better if they are to keep Hannover at bay. Bas Dost and his fellow new signings will have to bring their A-game this week and Magath might have to tinker around tactically to get the best out of his squad.
Hannover’s attacking prowess has been at full show over the last week as they netted two goals against Schalke and five over Slask Wroclaw. The likes of Jan Schaludraff and Didier Ya Konan will be their most potent threats at the Volkswagen Arena.
Magath’s side looks good on paper, but is yet to gel completely. Going up against a well oiled Hannover side may prove too hard for them this early in the season. A slim victory to the visitors.
Bayern Munich vs Stuttgart
Morale at the Bayern camp will be soaring high after they were drawn into a fairly easy group in the Champions League. Also, their new signings have looked well at home in the early games this season and they are looking more and more like the favourites to win domestic titles. Jupp Heynckes needn’t worry for the time being.
Stuttgart’s first game of the season was well summarized by Vedad Ibisevic’s disastrous penalty in the dying minutes of the game, and fans will be hoping that this isn’t a sign of things to come. Like Magath, Bruno Labbadia will have to toy around with his system and figure out something different for their monstrous fixture against Bayern.
Nothing can stop the high flying Bavarians at the moment, and a thrashing of Stuttgart is surely on the cards.