The Hard Tackle presents you with the preview of Matchday 14 of the 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign including Bayern’s tie with Nurnberg as well as the Revierderby.
Only a couple of weeks remain before the Bundesliga goes into mid-season hiatus, meaning clubs will be looking to end their Hinrunde campaign on a positive note.
And here, the Hard Tackle brings you a brief preview of the pick of the matches from Matchday 14 of the 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign, with Werder Bremen and Fortuna Dusseldorf kicking things off on Friday night.
On Saturday, the big one awaits, as Borussia Dortmund meet FC Schalke in the highly anticipated Revierderby, which is regarded as the biggest derby in German football. Bayern Munich, on the other hand, will look to bridge the gap to league leaders Dortmund as they host 1.FC Nurnberg.
RB Leipzig will travel to Freiburg, looking to climb up the Bundesliga ladder while Bayer Leverkusen look to bounce back to winning form against FC Augsburg. As for TSG Hoffenheim, they will face a stern test against VfL Wolfsburg before Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha Berlin collide in Saturday’s topspiel.
1.FSV Mainz 05 will take on struggling Hannover 96 on Sunday evening before Borussia Monchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart conclude this weekend’s round of fixtures at the Borussia Park.
Werder Bremen vs Fortuna Dusseldorf
Following an extraordinary start to the campaign, Werder Bremen have struggled a little, of late as the Grun-Weissen are yet to win any of their last five matches in the Bundesliga. They were defeated by Bayern Munich in their last game and coach Florian Kohfeldt will be hoping to rectify his side’s defensive errors when they face Dusseldorf.
Speaking of whom, the newly promoted outfit have been on a decent run, securing four points in their last three matches, one of which came in the 3-3 draw with champions Bayern. The visitors will once again rely on Dodi Lukebakio, who will be keen on exploiting Bremen’s faulty backline in order to maintain his excellent form.
FC Schalke 04 vs Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund have enjoyed a stunning start to the season so far while their arch-rivals Schalke have suffered for the most part.
But, form hardly matters when these two teams collide at the big stage. As a matter of fact, Dortmund have failed to defeat Schalke in their last five meetings in all competitions whilst also failing to win any of their last four meetings at the Veltins Arena.
That being said, the Royal Blues are on a miserable run, securing only 14 points in 13 games and coach Domenico Tedesco will be hoping that his side can show more potency in attack against a Dortmund defence that has conceded only 13 goals this season.
Paco Alcacer and Marco Reus will lead the charge for the Black and Yellows, looking to maintain their fiery form this season while Nabil Bentaleb will remain a force for Schalke in midfield.
Bayer Leverkusen vs FC Augsburg
Following a miserable start to the campaign, Bayer Leverkusen have been on a steady run of form, of late. But, they were stopped in their tracks by Nuernberg last weekend and thus, securing a win against Augsburg could be imperative as they look to climb up to the top half of the league table.
Having said that, Augsburg are no pushovers even though they have been on a bitter run of form in recent weeks. They lost 1-0 to Stuttgart last weekend but on a positive note, there is hope that star striker Alfred Finnbogason will return to full fitness as he looks forward to his 100th Bundesliga appearance this weekend.
Bayern Munich vs 1.FC Nuernberg
Back in the days, Nuernberg used to be one of Bayern’s fiercest competitors. But, times have changed and while Bayern have managed to remain one of the powerhouses of German football, Nuernberg have cluttered into the lower ranks of the footballing division.
However, Der Klub are still a fierce bunch, filled with commitment and enthusiasm, which could be useful against a Bayern side that has failed to preserve a single clean sheet in any of their last nine Bundesliga matches.
On the flip side, the Bavarians will be delighted to have the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Kingsley Coman back to full fitness, although Franck Ribery will most likely be ruled out this weekend.
Hertha Berlin vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt’s astonishing run of form was ended last weekend as they tasted a narrow defeat to Wolfsburg. But, the Eagles will be looking to bounce back once again as they face Hertha Berlin at the Olympiastadion.
The Berliners secured their first win in seven matches last weekend in a 2-0 triumph over Hannover. However, coach Pal Dardai will be fully aware of Eintracht’s strength in attack, with both of their main strikers in Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic scoring at least nine goals each. In fact, the duo has scored only three goals less than what Hertha have managed as a whole this season.
But, Berlin’s attacking efficiency coupled with their tenacity and work-ethic in midfield might just help them prevail against Eintracht in this one.
Borussia Monchengladbach vs VfB Stuttgart
Only Borussia Monchengladbach have looked on par with league leaders Borussia Dortmund this season and it is important that the Foals continue their excellent as they host VfB Stuttgart this weekend.
Gladbach are coming on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Leipzig in their last game and could face a host of problems, especially with Jonas Hofmann and Matthias Ginter ruled out due to injury. However, Thorgan Hazard, Alassane Plea and Lars Stindl have been consistent and their performance will likely dictate Gladbach’s fate in this crucial encounter.
As for Stuttgart, they are on a positive curve, having won two of their last three matches and a win on Sunday could potentially help them pull out of the relegation zone.