• Thursday, 16 September 2010

    Bundesliga round 4 previews

    Eintracht v Freiburg
    Bayern v Cologne
    Bremen v Mainz
    Stuttgart v Monchengladbach
    Wolfsburg v Hannover
    Kaiserslautern v Hoffenheim
    St Pauli v Hamburg
    Schalke v Dortmund
    Leverkusen v Nurnberg

    Derby time in Germany this week. The big one sees in-form Dortmund go to Schalke whose season got even worse during the week with a Champions League defeat to Lyon, a game in which Benedikt Howedes put through his own net for the only goal of the game (since credited, generously, to Michel Bastos) and was sent off for kicking Jimmy Briand in the heart. Raul cut an isolated figure last week, but if the pressure is on Felix Magath, he's not showing it. Dortmund looked pretty handy in beating Wolfsburg last week and should enjoy their day out in Gelsenkirchen.

    It's derby day in Hamburg as well, St Pauli the hosts for the still unbeaten Hamburg. After a win on opening day, St Pauli have lost their last two while Hamburg remain third despite not being all that convincing while doing it. Wolfsburg, bottom and winless, are at home to Hannover in a Lower Saxony derby. If they're going to get a win anywhere, it really should be here. They need to start defending if they're going to progress though. Hoffenheim continue to lead the way with echoes of the football they played in storming the first half of the 2008/9 season and they face local rivals Lautern this week where another win should be quite straightforward.

    Mainz, in second, face Bremen who looked in equal parts awful and brilliant in their Champions League draw with Spurs in midweek. Bayern got a much-needed win in midweek against Roma and need to replicate that form in the league before they find themselves adrift of the leaders. They're at home to Cologne this week and that shouldn't be a problem, even if they are missing Arjen Robben and involved in a seemingly intractable tussle with the KNVB about whose fault it is. Frieburg have had a decent start and go to Frankfurt to face Eintracht who got their first win last week. Stuttgart, at the bottom and playing miserable football, take on Gladbach while Leverkusen - sans the injured Michael Ballack - are at home to Nurnberg.

    No comments: