• Thursday, 4 March 2010

    Bundesliga round 25

    Cologne v Bayern
    Wolfsburg v Bochum
    Freiburg v Hannover
    Eintracht v Schalke
    Hamburg v Hertha
    Bremen v Stuttgart
    Dortmund v Monchengladbach
    Nurnberg v Leverkusen
    Hoffenheim v Mainz

    Bayern hit the top last week, but were hit by an injury to Martin Demichelis in the international friendly against Germany. The Argentine international suffered a broken jaw as his side beat a below-par German side 1-0. With his experience absent, Holger Badstuber gets the chance to stake a claim and maybe a late berth on the plane to South Africa. One thing Badstuber doesn't suffer from is the brain farts that occasionally blight Demichelis's game and while the defence may not suffer immediately, the reduction in depth might. They face Cologne this week and a lot of focus lately has been on Cologne's ex-Bayern striker Lukas Podolski. He's stinking the place up and hasn't scored in 1400 minutes of play now. Another dispiriting international performance has really put the spotlight on the ex-Pole. If ever there was a time for him to begin to deliver, it's now.

    Bayern went top after Leverkusen drew for the eleventh time this season a week ago, though they remain unbeaten. They take on Nurnberg this week, the side that, while still struggling at the foot of the table, drew with Bayern a couple of weeks ago. Schalke remain in the hunt and they go to Eintracht.

    The rest are some distance away from the top three. Hamburg head the chase and take on rock bottom Hertha this week. The Berliners are getting closer and any slip from Hamburg will be seized upon now. Dortmund are in a battle of the Borussias with Gladbach, a game which promises entertainment as does Stuttgart's trip to Bremen. Both sides have picked up lately, Stuttgart after an atrocious start and Bremen after a wobbly middle. The form of Mesut Ozil is a worry for both Bremen and the national side - it's disappeared - but the likes of Marko Marin and Aaron Hunt have come to the fore while he's been out of sorts. Ozil is too good a player to be in poor form for long and when he fires, he's tremendous to watch. Hoffenheim seem to be going in the right direction and they welcome Mainz to the Rhein-Neckar Arena and it's Mainz's away form that is stopping them from being realistic European contenders. Bochum go to Wolfsburg who seem to have found their mojo. Way too late for a title push, of course, but there's an outside chance of European football should they continue current form.

    The big six-pointer at the bottom sees Hannover go to Freiburg as the worst side in the league on current form. Freiburg are outside of the bottom three, but that can all change in a heartbeat.

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