The Hard Tackle presents you a brief overview of Matchday 8 of the 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign including Bayern Munich’s much-awaited fixture against Wolfsburg.
After the conclusion of the international break, the Bundesliga is set to resume on Friday as Eintracht Frankfurt host newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Defending champions Bayern Munich will look to bounce back to winning form against Wolfsburg on the following day while Bayer Leverkusen face Hannover 96, who secured their first win of the campaign by beating Stuttgart in their last game.
Speaking of Stuttgart, they will look to cause an upset this weekend as they host league leaders Borussia Dortmund, once again decimated with injuries while Hoffenheim travel to Nuernberg. RB Leipzig, on the other hand, will be keen on continuing their excellent form as they face high-flying Augsburg before Schalke lock horns with Werder Bremen in the topspiel.
On Sunday, Hertha Berlin will be going up against lowly SC Freiburg, who are coming on the back of an impressive 0-0 draw with Leverkusen. And to wrap the matchday, 1.FSV Mainz will head straight to the Borussia Park to face Borussia Monchengladbach.
Here’s a brief overview of the pick of the matches from matchday 8!
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Fortuna Dusseldorf
Coming on the back of a three-game winning run in all competitions, Eintracht Frankfurt will be touted as favourites when they host Fortuna Dusseldorf on the Friday night encounter. The Eagles have fared pretty well in their last few matches, especially after the return of Croatian superstar Ante Rebic, who has been already involved in four goals in just four matches, making him one of the players to watch out for this week.
As for Dusseldorf, they will need to appear much more resolute in defence, having conceded at least two goals in each of their last three matches. Offensively, they will rely on the services of Rouwen Hennings, a former Burnley striker who scored his first goal this season in the defeat over Leverkusen last month.
A win for Dusseldorf could potentially lift them out of the relegation scrap while a victory for Eintracht could help them move closer to the top six.
VfL Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich
In what will be one of the most important games for Bayern Munich this season, they will face Wolfsburg on Saturday as they look to get back to winning ways. The Bavarians are winless in their last four matches in all competitions and more importantly, they have slipped to the sixth spot on the league table, which is no short of a humiliation for a club as big as Bayern.
However, the international break has given Niko Kovac’s men some ample time to gather themselves up and return with a bang against Wolfsburg, who are winless in their last five matches, during which they have conceded nine goals.
One should definitely keep an eye out on Robert Lewandowski, who famously scored five goals in nine minutes against the same opponents just over three years ago. That being said, Wolfsburg will be more than wary of his threat, knowing a defeat this weekend could drag them into the wrong side of the table.
VfB Stuttgart vs Borussia Dortmund
Despite an amazing start to the campaign, Borussia Dortmund will head into this fixture with a plethora of problems. Indeed, the Black and Yellows will miss out on the services of Manuel Akanji and Marcel Schmelzer while the likes of Christian Pulisic, Marco Reus, Shinji Kagawa, Raphael Guerreiro and Marius Wolf are doubtful. Akanji has been the latest addition to their injury list with the Swiss international being ruled out for about three weeks.
Stuttgart, on the other hand, will be excited to have Markus Weinzierl as their new coach. The former Schalke boss will now aim for a swift recovery following a disastrous start to the campaign that saw his new side secure only five points in their seven matches.
Paco Alcacer is definitely the danger man in this contest, having scored six goals in just three league outings. The Spaniard has also netted three goals while on international duty with Spain, meaning he’s definitely one of Europe’s hottest strikers this season.
RB Leipzig vs FC Augsburg
RB Leipzig have been in red-hot form, of late, winning all of their last four matches in all competitions. During that period, Die Roten-Bullen have scored 13 goals whilst conceding only twice. Their most recent victory came against Nuernberg when the East Germany giants thrashed the newly promoted club 6-0 at the Red Bull Arena.
However, they will have a stern test against FC Augsburg, who have been one of the most impressive mid-table clubs in the Bundesliga this season. Despite standing tenth in the league table, the Bavarians have raised a lot of eyebrows, notably for their performances against Bayern and Dortmund and thus, they will be confident of their chances against Leipzig this weekend.
Marcel Sabitzer and Timo Werner are the ones to look out for while Yussuf Poulsen has also impressed this season, scoring four goals in seven matches. As for Augsburg, Alfred Finnbogason will surely provide a massive threat in front of goal, having scored four goals in two matches since returning to full fitness last month. He scored the first hattrick of this new season and has looked in good shape recently.
FC Schalke 04 vs Werder Bremen
Two of Germany’s biggest traditional clubs in the shape of Schalke and Bremen will go head to head in this weekend’s topspiel at the Veltins Arena.
Following a disastrous start to the campaign, Schalke have done quite well, securing three wins in their last three matches. Bremen, on the other hand, have also won three of their last four matches, making this a well-balanced encounter as both teams desperate fight for the three points at the Ruhr valley this weekend.
Guido Burgstaller will pose an obvious threat to the Bremen defence. But, the Green and Whites have always been known for their attacking prowess and they certainly won’t have any shortage of it this weekend, with the likes of Max Kruse, Davy Klaassen and Florian Kainz leading their attack. It will be interesting to see what measures does Domenico Tedesco take in order to prevent the dangerous Bremen attack, which has already plundered 13 goals this season.
Borussia Moenchengladbach vs 1.FSV Mainz 05
Borussia Moenchengladbach arguably pulled off the biggest upset of the season when they humiliated champions Bayern Munich 3-0 in front of their own fans, earlier this month. And thus, very few would expect the Foals to suffer any negative result when they host FSV Mainz at the Borussia Park on Sunday.
Indeed, Gladbach have looked like a complete team this year boasting a disciplined defence further solidified by the presence of Matthias Ginter, a reliable midfield consisting of gifted players like Denis Zakaria and Christoph Kramer and a dynamic offence led by one of the best summer signings in the shape of Alassane Plea.
At the same time, Mainz are notoriously known for their unpredictability and you certainly wouldn’t bet anything against a club which boasts a speedy counter-attack, which, in fact, can be deemed as one of the best in the league.