The Hard Tackle presents you a brief overview of Matchday 10 of Bundesliga as Bayern Munich aim to dethrone Borussia Dortmund at the top.
Matchday 10 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season might just turn out to be the most important one yet, with Bayern Munich being presented with a slim chance of overtaking league leaders Borussia Dortmund, should they lose against VfL Wolfsburg this weekend.
Eintracht Frankfurt will kickstart the matchday as they face bottom club VfB Stuttgart, who will be looking to avoid yet another humiliating defeat. The Saturday games will see Hannover 96 travelling to FC Schalke 04 as both teams search for a much-needed win while Bayern Munich will host a tricky SC Freiburg side.
In-form Bayer Leverkusen will lock horns with TSG Hoffenheim, coming on the back of a 4-0 win over Stuttgart as well as a big cup win. Augsburg will also look to extend their winning run to two games as they face newly promoted Nurnberg. And finally, in the topspiel Hertha Berlin will be facing RB Leipzig in what promises to be a heated encounter between two of the most aggressive teams in Bundesliga.
On Sunday, Borussia Monchengladbach will be keen to return to winning ways following a shock defeat to Freiburg last weekend as well as Bayer in the DFB Pokal Cup, before 1. FSV Mainz and Werder Bremen wrap up this week’s round of fixtures at the Coface Arena.
VfB Stuttgart vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Bottom club VfB Stuttgart will look to avoid further humiliation when they face high-flying Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend. Their new coach Markus Weinzierl hasn’t had the best of starts after replacing Tayfun Korkut earlier this month, tasting back to back defeats by a four-goal margin.
As for Eintracht, they will be hoping to get back to winning ways following a disappointing draw with Nurnberg in their last game. Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic are the ones to look forward to in this encounter, having 13 goals between them in the league this term while Ante Rebic will also look to extend his scoring tally this weekend.
Meannwhile, Stuttgart will be relying on the services of Mario Gomez up front, with the veteran striker netting three goals in the league this season.
Bayer Leverkusen vs 1899 TSG Hoffenheim
Bayer Leverkusen are currently the most in-form team in the division, having scored eleven goals in their last two matches. Following an uneventful start to the campaign, Heiko Herrlich’s men have turned it around in sensational fashion with Karim Bellarabi playing a key role behind their renaissance.
He will be the definite danger man for Leverkusen against a Hoffenheim side, who have struggled with inconsistency. But, the visitors are coming on the back of a 4-0 win over Stuttgart and will thus, be confident of their chances against Die Werkself. Arsenal fans will be keen observers of Reiss Nelson, who has raised a lot of eyebrows thanks to a series of impressive performances this season.
FC Schalke 04 vs Hannover 96
Schalke will look to escape from the relegation scrap as they face fellow strugglers Hannover on Saturday. The Royal Blues have failed to win in their last couple of league matches but a midweek triumph against 1. FC Koln could give them the much-needed confidence.
Hannover, on the other hand, have won only one game thus far, even though they are one of the most prolific teams in the bottom half of the table with 11 goals to their name. Their defence has let them down this season and coach Andre Breitenreiter will be expecting his side to remain resolute against a Schalke attack which has faltered, at times, this campaign.
Bayern Munich vs SC Freiburg
Bayern Munich will be desperate to collect all three points this weekend, knowing that they have a slim chance of overtaking Borussia Dortmund at the top, should the Black and Yellows lose against Wolfsburg.
However, their opponents this weekend, SC Freiburg are arguably one of the most unpredictable teams in Bundesliga and are also coming on the back of a morale-boosting 3-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend.
Christian Streich’s men will undoubtedly defend in deep-blocks as they often do against big clubs. Thus, Bayern will be facing a stern challenge of breaking down Streich’s signatory 4-4-2 with two blocks defending deep and breaking the rhythm of play while two hard-working attackers try to disarrange Bayern’s build-up by using their cover-shadow.
VfL Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund
Following an astounding start to the campaign, Borussia Dortmund’s excellent form has started to dissipate a little, with the Black and Yellows evidently struggling in the last couple of matches. And amid a crammed schedule which is coupled with a long injury list, Lucien Favre’s men will be facing a difficult task of overcoming VfL Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena this weekend.
However, the Wolves haven’t fared well this campaign, floating in mid-table with three wins from nine games. Star striker Wout Weghorst though, could cause some serious trouble for the Dortmund backline, who will be missing out on the services of key defenders in Abdou Diallo and Manuel Akanji.
On a positive note, Paco Alcacer is expected to return to the starting eleven after missing out the last couple of games. The Spaniard will play a key role in attack along with Marco Reus, who has been involved in 15 goals in all competitions this season.
FC Augsburg vs 1. FC Nurnberg
FC Augsburg will be presented with an excellent opportunity to extend their winning run to three games in all competitions when they face Nurnberg at the WWK Arena on Saturday. Nurnberg have registered only two wins this campaign and are languishing at the wrong end of the table, although they are unbeaten in their last two matches in all competitions.
Hertha Berlin vs RB Leipzig
Following a strenuous meeting with Borussia Dortmund last weekend, Hertha Berlin will brace themselves for yet another stern test as they face RB Leipzig in this weekend’s topspiel. The Berliners are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions and their defensive solidity could cause a host of issues for Leipzig, who have failed to score in two of their last four matches.
In addition, Hertha have significant firepower in the attacking department, boasting the likes Salomon Kalou, Javairo Dilrosun and Ondrej Duda, who has already plundered six goals this campaign. Leipzig, on the other hand, will be hoping for their offensive duo of Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen to click this weekend.
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Fortuna Dusseldorf
Borussia Monchengladbach suffered a shock 3-1 defeat over SC Freiburg last weekend, which was followed by an equally humiliating 5-0 defeat to Bayern Leverkusen in midweek, ultimately knocking them out of the DFB Pokal. But, they will be presented with a golden opportunity to return to winning ways as they host struggling Fortuna Dusseldorf.
The visitors have secured only one Bundesliga this term, although a strong 5-0 success against SSV Ulm 1846 in the midweek cup tie should lift their confidence going into this game. Marvin Ducksch will be one to look forward to, with striker scoring twice in midweek. As for Gladbach, they will be relying on their offensive trio of Alassane Plea, Thorgan Hazard and Lars Stindl.
1. FSV Mainz 05 vs Werder Bremen
Werder Bremen will look to regain their winning form on their travel to Mainz on Sunday. Die Grunweiss suffered an embarrassing 6-2 loss at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen last weekend with Sebastian Langkamp scoring two own goals.
Fortunately for Bremen, key defender Niklas Moisander is all set to return from his injury while Martin Harnik could also start alongside Max Kruse and Florian Kainz in attack. Mainz, on the other hand, will be relying on their solid defence to contain the Bremen attack, which has already plundered 17 goals this season.