• Friday, 12 March 2010

    Bundesliga round 26

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

    Felix Magath, wily old master that he is, continues to play down title talk where his Schalke side are concerned. Yes, they're still in financial trouble and rely on goals from unlikely sources (i.e. Kevin Kuranyi), but they're second and will go top, for a day at least, if they beat Stuttgart at home in the Friday game. This time last season, Magath was playing down the chances of his Wolfsburg side winning the title and we all know what happened then. Bayern will probably go back to the top regardless on Saturday as they're up against lowly Freiburg. The Bavarians were lucky to get through in Europe in midweek, another Arjen Robben screamer to thank - that and a linesman not spotting Miro Klose being at least three yards offside in the first leg - and they've not been fluent in the last few weeks. Leverkusen, coming off the back of their first loss, face Hamburg. That's not going to be easy. Hamburg won well in Europe in the week and are going pretty well. How the erstwhile league leaders react to defeat is key.

    Massive game at the bottom for Hertha who have been drinking in the last chance saloon for so long now that they have their own stool and tankard behind the bar and the barman doesn't even have to ask what they're drinking. Nurnberg are their opponents this week and it's they that they need to overhaul if they're to get out of trouble. By the same token, a Nurnberg win will see them pull away, for now at least. Hannover are in rank form and face Eintracht this week. While the Frankfurters aren't a great side, they should have too much.

    Elsewhere, it's jockeying for position in mid-table. Bochum have a nice gap back to the bottom four and they take on European hopefuls Dortmund. Wolfsburg are putting a decent run together, at last, and face Gladbach. Mainz are at home to Cologne and there's an intriguing clash at the Rhein-Neckar Arena between Hoffenheim and Bremen.

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