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Monday, December 15, 2008

German Bundesliga Halfway Review and Findings

Last night German Bundesliga had reached the halfway mark and now having the 6-week winter break. Now I would like to share some finidings and reviews in the 17-week matches. Last week I have 6 correct tips and 1 correct score within it. Now here's my findings:

Magic Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim is surprising everyone in the first half of the season. Their performance is so well that they are deserved to be at the top of the table, even only win by the goal difference. This is a metaphor that the new power in the Bundesliga is impacting the old traditionals. Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 are the first two teams being impacted and they had a poor performance. At the same time, Bayern München is being challenged greatly from the excellent performance from Hoffenheim. Furthermore, Hoffenheim's performance can show themselves to the fans that they can win the Bundesliga as same as Kaiserslautern in Season 1997-1998, who they won the Bundesliga as a new comer.

Great decline

On the other hand, teams such as Werder Bremen, Schalke 04, and VfB Stuttgart are having the great crisis during the first half of the season. They are facing the different issues such as fragile defense, injuries and suspensions, as well as lack of attacking style. These reasons impacted those teams very much and they were struggling to deal with these. Werder Bremen for example, they are facing a decline in attacks and the defense (they have conceded 28 goals in 17 games), so they are stand at disappointing 8th position in the table. Schalke at the same time their poor attacking form always let them down, even they can defend well, they only managed scored 24 goals in 17 games, which is below the average, which is 25.67 goals. Together with the new power, te Bundesliga this season is changed rapidly.

Close relegation fight

Maybe Hoffenheim's performance catch too much attentions, there is not many fans concern about the relegation fight. In fact, the relegation fight is quite in tense. Energie Cottbus is the weakest team once again in the beginning of the season, but their performance is improving so they are now standing on 16th. Borussia Mönchengladbach is very disappointing, which their "Swiss cheese" defense, they conceded 35 goals and led them to lost 12 games and only had 11 points in 17 games. Together with slump from Hannover 96 and Karlsruher, and the usual weak teams like Arminia Bielefeld and Bochum, the relegation fight within each other will be very close after the winter break.

All out attack

Teams are keen on attack so far this season, no matter teams at the top or at the bottom. The average number of goal scores is 3.02 each match, and Hoffenheim, the team scored most, scored 42 goals from 17 games, which is 2.47 goals each games already. Bayern München and Werder Bremen have also scored 39 goals, which scored 2.29 goals each game. These high number of goal scores proved that teams are keen on attacks, and believing "scoring one more goal than you" tactics will bring them success. This finding also proved the reason why Schalke 04 failed to climb up the table, as well as Energie Cottbus are now straying at the bottom of the table, which Cottbus only scored 12 goals in 17 games, 0.71 goals in average.

Bosnian power

Bosnian players played very well in the first half of the season. No need to mention much, Bosnian Vedad Ibisevic from Hoffenheim had scored 18 goals in 17 games can prove he is the scoring machine in Bundesliga. Meanwhile, not so many fans can see that, he had 7 assists as well. It can prove that he is the key member of Hoffenheim. Besides, the top 4 assist players are all Bosnian, they are Zvjezdan Misimovic from VfL Wolfsburg (10 assists), Sejad Salihovic from Hoffenheim (8 assists), Edin Dzeko from VfL Wolfsburg (7 assists) and Vedad Ibisevic from Hoffenheim (7 assists). It can prove that the Bosnian players are more and more important in Bundesliga.

Young guns

More teams in Bundesliga are keen on using young players. Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, and Hoffenheim are main examples. Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels from Dortmund are the starting centre back and they are just 19. Also, Leverkusen's top goal scorer Partick Helmes is only 24, and he had scored 12 goals in 17 games. Hoffenheim on the other hand, the main starting force, such as Marvin Compper and Tobias Weis are only 23, and they are available to play for Germany U23 as well. It is also beneficial to the Germany national team apart from the team itself. The other players like Benedikt Höwedes from Schalke 04 is the young gun that we need to watch out for.

So, this is the findings and the reviews! Later I will analysis the teams one by one.

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