This weekend German Bundesliga has reached 21st match week. The title race has been further heated up as Hertha Berlin has reached to the top. There are only 4 points different between 1st to 5th in the table. Hertha Berlin, Hoffenheim, Leverkusen, and Hamburger are facing the great challenge while Bayern München is facing a relatively easy challenge. Now here's the tip of this week:
Schalke 04 (9th) vs Borussia Dortmund (8th) - Friday: A Ruhr derby starts this match week. Schalke is quite surprising for me that they lost to Bochum last Saturday. Their attacking problem again made the team down. Jefferson Farfan did not contribute at all and Ivan Rakitic had not reached his peak form yet. Plus, since Fabien Ernst had left for good, the midfield defense had been weakened. Borussia Dortmund at the same time their attacking form had reached their low. Alexander Frei and Nelson Valdez could not help the team to win against Energie Cottbus even. The key of this match is how they finish the attack. A low scoring draw is predicted as both of them cannot convert the attack into goals well.
Last matchup: Match draw 3-3
My tip: Match draw 1-1
Energie Cottbus (16th) vs Werder Bremen (10th) - Saturday: Energie Cottbus seemed they were improving in a solid way. They had 4 game points in last 3 games led them to crawl back up of the table. The new signings had helped the team to improve, at least the team became more competitive in attacking and looked more solid in defense. Even this time they face Werder Bremen, I believe they can push them to the limit. Werder Bremen at the same time they were in poor form in Bundesliga. They only had 1 game point in 3 games, it mainly was because the absence of Diego and Claudio Pizarro. This match they will be back to action so there are more variety and creativity in attack. However, their defense keeps making fans worried as they lack of discipline. Per Mertesacker cannot lead the defense line, and the side backs cannot do their job. This match I believe it will be a draw as Cottbus can hold on.
Last matchup: Werder Bremen win 3-0
My tip: Match draw 1-1
Borussia Möchengladbach (18th) vs Hannover 96 (12th) - Saturday: Gladbach seemed they have improve their performance slowly, but is it too late for them now? It seems 1 point is not enough for them in the match and they must keep winning. Rob Friend still cannot find his form now, so Alexander Baumjohann and Marko Marin are the most important players in attack. Tomas Galasek will be the most important player in defense. The only hope of Gladbach now is keeping the high morale and pray for the miracle. Hannover on the other hand they lose their morality. However, they can picked up the morality on time as they snatched a draw against Stuttgart last week. Jan Schlaudraff is rated doubtful and Mikael Forssell will be very important now. They key of this match is who has higher morale.
Last matchup: Hannover win 5-1
My tip: Möchengladbach win 2-1
Karlsruher SC (17th) vs Eintract Frankfurt (13th) - Saturday: Karlsruher last week were unable to score goal and held out a draw. They are still in the cold streak even they won against Hamburger 2 weeks ago. Marco Engelhardt is still suspended this match so the midfield defense is their weakest link still. Sebatian Freis at the same time he will be the most important player in this match as he is the main source of the goal scorin. Frankfurt on the other hand they lost their morality and they even lost to Wolfsburg at home. They must pick up the morality on time as they are not safe from relegation yet. I believe this match will end up with draw because I cannot see any of them are able to win the match and they will cancel each other out.
Last matchup: Frankfurt win 2-1
My tip: Match draw 1-1
VfL Wolfsburg (6th) vs Hertha Berlin (1st) - Saturday: Wolfsburg is pretty surprising for me that they won away from home last week. Eden Dzeko keeps the great form in the league, even they have lost to PSG in UEFA Cup. This week they are back at home, I believe their performance will significantly improve and bring lots of threats to Hertha Berlin. Zvjezdan Misimovic will be the most important midfielder and I believe he can break through the Hertha Berlin defense. On the other hand, it is very encouraging for Hertha Berlin to beat Bayern München and reached to the top last week. Andrej Voronin is very fit recently so Marko Pantelic is not that important now. Solid defense is the key success for Hertha Berlin this season and I believe they can hang on in this match. However, the away form of Hertha Berlin is not that good, including a draw against Armina Bielefeld. So I believe it is not as easy as Hertha Berlin think in this match.
Last matchup: Match draw 2-2
My tip: Wolfsburg win 2-1
VfB Stuttgart (7th) vs 1899 Hoffenheim (2nd) - Saturday: Stuttgart recent form has been slip a bit, but they can still manage to hang on. Mario Gomez keeps a steady form and it helps the team to maintain their performance. However, he does not have any reliable partner to relieve his pressure. So when he is frozen, the Stuttgart attack will be in trouble. However, Hoffenheim had shown the effect of the absence of Vedad Ibisevic. Without the constant attacking spot, they had been comprehensively beaten by Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 last week. Boubacar Sanogo was absolutely useless in the team and only Carlos Eduardo and Demba Ba can perform. The defense seems not to improve so well since the arrival of Timo Hildebrand. Furthermore, Hoffenheim cannot perform and lost 5 of the 7 major top clashes so far (i.e., lost to Bayern, lost to Leverkusen twice, lost to Werder Bremen, and lost to Hertha Berlin). So I believe Stuttgart has the advantage to win the game.
Last matchup: Match draw 0-0
My tip: Stuttgart win 2-0
Bayern München (4th) vs 1. FC Köln (11th) - Saturday: Bayern last week was significantly affected by the international matchday so the team did not power up and lost to Hertha Berlin and missed the great chance to get to the top of table. However, it is a bless that they face the easiest challenge within the major title contender this week. Franck Ribery and Ze Roberto will be the most important players in the team and Miroslav Klose can pick up his form on time. Luca Toni will be most likely out of action this match but the team make it very clear that Lukas Podolski will play this match. I do not think the attack has any problem and the major concern is still the defense. On the other hand, Köln cannot maintain their performance week by week and I think they will be outclassed by Bayern. Milivoje Novakovic will be the only hope for the team to make surprises to fans. Also, the midfield and the defense are believed to be outclassed by Bayern. So I believe Bayern can control the midfield flow and win this match.
Last matchup: Bayern win 3-0
My tip: Bayern win 4-1
Arminia Bielefeld (14th) vs VfL Bochum (15th) - Saturday: This is the most important relegation fight in this week. Both teams only have a point difference and both teams have the similar form. Bielefeld had lost to Hamburger last Sunday but they still kept the good form 2 weeks ago. Artur Wichniarek is the most important player in this match, but he is rated doubtful this week so if he cannot play or he is not in form, it will hurt the team very much. On the other hand, Bochum had a wonderful victory against Schalke that did significantly improve their morale. Diego Klimowicz and Vlad Munteanu are starting to bring some positive impact to the team and they will bring a lot of threats to Bielefeld. However, considering Bielefeld have the home court advantage, Bielefeld can snatch a draw even the absence of Wichniarek will impact the team.
Last matchup: Bochum win 2-0
My tip: Match draw 1-1
Bayer Leverkusen (5th) vs Hamburger SV (3rd) - Sunday: Bayer Leverkusen last week had picked up the form in style which comprehensively beaten Hoffenheim 4-1. Partick Helmes is in great form and he is the most important player in the team. Captain Simon Rolfes is also important as his strength and stamina can connect the team very well. The concern is Arturo Vidal is still suspended but Thomas Zdebel and Renato Augusto can take his job well. Henrique is back to the starting lineup so it is a great relieve to Leverkusen defense. On the other hand, Hamburger did well last week which they beated Bielefeld 2-0. Ivica Olic is back just in time as Mlaten Petric is still suspended. Piotr Trochowski will be another important player who needs to watch out. However, the poor away form makes the team has trouble in this match. So I think Leverkusen can win this one.
Last matchup: Hamburger win 3-2
My tip: Leverkusen win 3-1
So that's it! Have a good weekend!