The Hard Tackle presents you a brief overview of Matchday 7 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga campaign including Bayern Munich vs Borussia Monchengladbach.
Matchday 7 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga campaign will get underway on Friday night, as, for the first time this season, Borussia Dortmund will be leading the table instead of Bayern Munich.
The Black and Yellows, however, will have a daunting task of overcoming high-flying FC Augsburg as they look to maintain their place at the top of the table while Werder Bremen will open the matchday with an entertaining Friday night matchup against VfL Wolfsburg.
Hannover, on the other hand, will be looking for their first win of the campaign as they face fellow strugglers Stuttgart while Fortuna, coming on the back of a 3-0 defeat against Nurnberg, will host Schalke, revitalized after two back to back wins in all competitions. Also on Saturday, Hertha Berlin will lock horns with FSV Mainz before defending champions Bayern Munich entertain Borussia Monchengladbach in the topspiel.
Sunday, this time, will offer us three exciting games as SC Freiburg and TSG Hoffenheim face Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt before Nurnberg wrap up the matchday by travelling to Leipzig.
Werder Bremen vs VfL Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg will be keen on ending their winless run as they face an unpredictable Werder Bremen side on Friday night. Following a promising start to the season, the Wolves have stuttered a little, winless in their last four Bundesliga matches with their last victory coming against Bayer Leverkusen at the start of last month.
They definitely need to be wary of Bremen’s offensive duo of Max Kruse and Martin Harnik, especially given the fact that they have only kept one clean sheet in the Bundesliga this season. As for the attack, coach Bruno Labbadia will hope that new signing Wout Weghorst will be able to continue his scoring form as well as Renato Steffen, who scored an excellent goal last weekend.
Hannover 96 vs VfB Stuttgart
Hannover are the only club yet to register a single win in the Bundesliga so far this season. And it’s only obvious that the Lower Saxony giants are currently lavishing at the bottom of the league table. But, a matchup against Stuttgart, fellow strugglers with just one win in six matches, could give them an ideal opportunity to get their season back on track.
However, Andre Breitenreiter certainly needs to rectify his side’s defensive flaws, having conceded a plethora of unnecessary goals throughout the course of the season. As for Stuttgart, they will rely on the qualities of Anastasios Donis, who has looked very promising in the early parts of the campaign, despite scoring just one goal.
Fortuna Dusseldorf vs FC Schalke 04
Following a disastrous start to the campaign, with five consecutive defeats, Schalke seem to have found their winning formula, registering two narrow victories against Mainz and Lokomotiv Moscow respectively.
That being said, their offensive woes remain, having plundered only two shots on target in the game against Mainz. Although overcoming newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf might not be a daunting task for the Royal Blues, they certainly need to find their attacking mojo if they are to push for a strong comeback in the Bundesliga Ruckrunde.
Breel Embolo could play a vital role in this encounter, having started in the win over Lokomotiv in midweek. But more importantly, Domenico Tedesco will hope that his side can maintain their defensive solidity after clinching two back to back clean sheets.
1. FSV Mainz 05 vs Hertha BSC
Highly flying Hertha Berlin will be regarded as favourites as they travel to Coface Arena to face FSV Mainz this weekend. The Berliners are coming on the back of a strong and comprehensive 2-0 win over defending champions FC Bayern, which will certainly boost their confidence ahead of their clash against Mainz, who tasted a bitter 1-0 defeat against Schalke in their last game.
The likes of Ondrej Duda, Valentino Lazaro and Javairo Dilrosun could once again star for the visitors. But, on the other hand, Mainz do possess significant counter-attacking threat with Jean-Philipe Mateta leading the line.
Borussia Dortmund vs FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund are apparently the most in-form team in the division, having secured three consecutive wins in all competitions, during which they have scored 14 goals whilst conceding only twice. What has made them such an appealing team is the fact that they have looked much more solid defensively and are yet to lose a single game under new coach Lucien Favre this season.
However, they will be facing a daunting task of overcoming another high-flying team in the shape of FC Augsburg. The Bavarian outfit became the first club, this season, to take points off their fellow Bavarians, FC Bayern last week and followed that up with a convincing 4-1 win over SC Freiburg in their last game.
In attack, the returning Alfred Finnbogasson could be Augsburg’s perfect answer to Dortmund’s dangerous attacking trio of Marco Reus, Paco Alcacer and Jadon Sancho. Finnbogason scored the season’s first ever hattrick in the win over Freiburg.
But, it’s Sancho who will attract a lot of attention this weekend, having performed exceptionally well in the past few weeks, which, in turn, earned him his maiden call-up for the England national team as well as being rewarded with a new long-term contract at Dortmund.
Simply put, this could be a fascinating contest between two sides who have not only shown impressive attacking potency upfront but have also been very solid at the back.
FC Bayern vs Borussia Monchengladbach
After failing to secure a win in any of their last three fixtures in all competition, FC Bayern coach Niko Kovac could be an in a spot of bother should his side fail to win against Borussia Monchengladbach in Saturday’s topspiel. The Bavarians’ last mishap came against Ajax in midweek, when they were completely outplayed by the Dutch giants, ultimately mustering a lucky 1-1 draw.
Gladbach, on the other hand, have had a mixed start to the campaign even though they are standing fourth in the league table. The Foals will be looking to take advantage of Bayern’s lack of form to cause an upset this weekend, though chances of that are almost non-existent, especially if their front-man Alassane Plea fail to continue his excellent scoring run.
SC Freiburg vs Bayer Leverkusen
After being on the receiving end of an extraordinary comeback from Borussia Dortmund last week, Leverkusen managed to replicate a similar comeback this week against AEK Larnaca in the UEFA Europa League. Only this time, they emerged as the winning side after conceding the opener in the first half.
Thus, Heiko Herrlich’s men will be keen on building on that momentum when they face SC Freiburg on Sunday. The men from Breisgau will primarily look to avoid any humiliation after conceding four goals against Augsburg last weekend.
TSG Hoffenheim vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Hoffenheim will host an unpredictable Eintracht Frankfurt at the Rhein-Neckar Arena this weekend, in what promises to be one of the most fascinating encounters of this matchday.
Frankfurt have been the “New Sevilla” of the Europa League this season, pulling off back to back wins against Lazio and Marseille in their first two group games but at the same time, faltering big time, in the domestic campaign. The Eagles have already been knocked out of the DFB Pokal earlier this season and are struggling at the wrong end of the Bundesliga league table, making them the underdogs against Hoffenheim.
Speaking of Hoffenheim, the factory giants were very unlucky not to clinch at least a point against Manchester City in midweek. A tactical masterclass from Julian Nagelsmann almost caught the Premier League champions by surprise before Leroy Sane’s late winner saved their blushes.
RB Leipzig vs 1. FC Nuernberg
And finally, RB Leipzig will wrap up matchday 7, hosting newly promoted Nuernberg at the Red Bull Arena. The Bundesliga giants have had a pretty topsy-turvy start to their league campaign. But, wins against Stuttgart, Hoffenheim and Apollon Limassol should give them the much-needed boost as they look to continue their excellent winning run.
Nuernberg, on the other hand, aren’t one of the most challenging sides in the division. But, it’s fair to acknowledge the fact that they are tenth in the league table and are coming on the back of a convincing 3-0 win over fellow promoted side Fortuna Dusseldorf last weekend. Therefore, they will be certainly confident of their chances against Die Roten-Bullen.