Borussia Dortmund travel to Hannover, Bayern Munich face Stuttgart and much more in store as we take a look at the pick of the games in Matchday 2 of Bundesliga.
Following an exciting opening week full of intriguing results, Matchday 2 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season kicks off on Friday night with Borussia Dortmund travelling to Lower Saxony to face Hannover 96.
Defending champions Bayern Munich will face a stern test against the tricky VfB Stuttgart in the late evening fixture on Saturday. Other games this weekend include Bayer Leverkusen hosting VfL Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim hosting SC Freiburg while FC Augsburg entertain Borussia Monchengladbach.
Newly promoted teams in 1. FC Nurnberg and Fortuna Dusseldorf will be coming up against 1. FSV Mainz 05 and RB Leipzig respectively. Eintracht Frankfurt will also host SV Werder Bremen on Saturday before FC Schalke 04 wrap things up by travelling to the capital to face Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Hannover 96 vs Borussia Dortmund
By far the most in-form team coming into this matchday, Borussia Dortmund registered an impressive 4-1 win over RB Leipzig in their opening fixture. But, things could be tricky against a Hannover side who are more than capable of pulling off a huge upset.
During the week, the Black and Yellows have signed Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer on a season-long loan deal and it will be interesting to see if he can make the bench this weekend. One thing is for sure – coach Lucien Favre will expect his defence to be sharp against a Hannover side known for their quick counter-attacking prowess.
All eyes will be on club captain Marco Reus, who scored Dortmund’s fourth goal against Leipzig to cap off a truly remarkable display. But, we can expect Maximilian Philipp to once again lead the line for the Ruhrpott giants with Reus and Pulisic deployed on the flanks. Mahmoud Dahoud was excellent last week and will undoubtedly play a key role in this fixture.
Hannover, on the other hand, will be handed a huge boost as Bobby Wood will be available for selection after serving his one-match suspension. The former HSV striker will add more firepower up front, especially with Genki Haraguchi also pushing for a spot in the starting lineup.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Hannover 96
1899 TSG Hoffenheim vs SC Freiburg
TSG Hoffenheim pulled off a stunning effort to keep Bayern occupied throughout the course of the game in their opening fixture, only to be denied by a couple of individual mistakes in the dying embers of the game. But, Die Kreichgauer will look to avoid making the same errors when they face a far less inferior opponent in SC Freiburg.
That being said, the club from the black forest is unpredictable under the leadership of Christian Streich and it remains to be seen if they can pull off an upset this weekend. They did, however, attempt 22 shots against Eintracht Frankfurt last week, which could serve as a warning sign for Julian Nagelsmann though the figure could significantly decrease against a much more compact Hoffenheim side.
Prediction: Hoffenheim 2-1 SC Freiburg
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Werder Bremen
When Eintracht face off against Werder Bremen, it is about tradition more than anything else as two of Bundesliga’s oldest and most prestigious club go head to head in order to outdo each other.
In this one, Eintracht have the upper hand, however, after securing a 2-0 win against Freiburg in their opening fixture. Sebastian Haller was pivotal, assisting the opener whilst scoring the second. He also made it to the Whoscored team of the week and thus, could provide serious trouble for Werder Bremen – a side notoriously known for their shambolic defence.
Die Grunweiss, along with Hannover played out the only draw of the opening matchday of the 2018-19 Bundesliga last week. But, given Eintracht’s form, a point would be rather welcome for Florian Kohfeldt’s men.
Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 Werder Bremen
Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach in the opening fixture and were one of the most disappointing teams during the corresponding matchday. But, beating VfL Wolfsburg could give them a much-needed boost and confidence as they aim for a place in the Champions League next season.
The Wolves, however, were one of the most impressive teams, having outclassed last season’s runner-up Schalke in their opening fixture. Often being deemed as one of the most mediocre sides in the German top flight of late, we can expect Wolfsburg to put up a competent performance against a Leverkusen side likely to retain possession for the most part of the game.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 VfL Wolfsburg
VfB Stuttgart vs Bayern Munich
After a nervous start against TSG Hoffenheim, Bayern Munich will look to bounce back with a strong performance against VfB Stuttgart this weekend.
Robert Lewandowski looked quite blunt and ineffective in the opening fixture and his missed penalty shows the fact that the Polish international certainly needs a boost in morale. Elsewhere, Bayern will be without the services of Kingsley Coman, who has been ruled out for a few weeks after suffering an injury against Hoffenheim.
As a result, the fabled offensive trio of Lewandowski, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben could be in action this weekend against Stuttgart. Die Schwaben will need to be very nifty if they are to contain the mighty Bayern Munich. But, given Tayfun Korkut’s hard-working philosophy, it is likely that midfield dynamo Santiago Ascacibar could play a vital role in this encounter.
Bayern, meanwhile, could demote Jerome Boateng to the bench after his horrible performance against TSG Hoffenheim. It seems as if a move away from Allianz Arena could still be a possibility for the German international. Fortunately, the Bavarians have an able replacement in the shape of Niklas Sule.
Prediction: Vfb Stuttgart 0-1 Bayern Munich
FC Schalke 04 vs Hertha Berlin
In the final match of this weekend, FC Schalke will take on Hertha Berlin, where, much to the delight of the Royal Blues fans, we could witness new signing Sebastian Rudy making his debut for the club.
The former Bayern Munich superstar moved to Ruhrpott during the week after he was deemed surplus to requirements at Allianz Arena. His calmness and composure in the middle of the park could be a huge boost for Schalke, who have had to deal with the departure of Max Meyer earlier this summer.
Hertha, on the other hand, were far from impressive in their opening day fixture against Nurnberg. Despite snatching a narrow win, the Old Lady conceded a penalty while only one of their attacker in the shape of Valentino Lazard was up to the challenge.
Prediction: Schalke 04 1-0 Hertha Berlin