This week the Bundesliga had reached the 22nd match week. The title race had further heated up as Hamburger SV had reached to the top. Bayern München kept the poor league form and this Sunday they will face Werder Bremen. Last week I had 3 correct tips and there were 2 correct scores within them. Now here's my tips for this weekend:
1. FC Köln (10th) vs Arminia Bielefeld (15th) - Friday: It was very encouraging for Köln last week as they beated Bayern München 2-1. They had a solid performance and the whole team coordinated each other well. Midfielder Fabrice Ehret did very well last week and I believe he can keep on this great form this Friday. His performance can relieve a lot of pressure of Milivoje Novakovic. On the other side, the solid defense made the team success last week, and I believe this is the important factor this week, as they have to stop Bielefeld's Artur Wichniarek. Speaking to Bielefeld, they were unable to win against VfL Bochum led them to lose a chance to climb up further in the table to prevent relegation. Wichniarek again is the most important person in the team and I believe this week he has a great challenge from the opposition. The key of this match is how Köln defend. If they defend well, they will keep the excellent form.
Last matchup: Bielefeld win 2-0
My tip: Köln win 2-0
Eintract Frankfurt (12th) vs Schalke 04 (9th) - Saturday: Again, Schalke missed the chance to win last week. Kevin Kuranyi even scored the great goal last week but he was not consistent enough to carry on until the end of the match. So I cannot say he had gained back his top form as he needed to play consistently, not scoring 1 great goal in few months. The other attacking players such as Gerald Asamoah and Jefferson Farfan needed to pick up the pace again. I do not worry about their defense, as Jermain Jones has a great strength and stamina to protect the midfield defense. On the other hand, Frankfurt barely won Karlsruher SC last week and gained the important 3 points in order to stay away from the relegation. They are actually in the good position for staying away from relegation, but it is too far away for them to fight for qualifying the European matches. I believe they do not have any pressure in this match and it may bring some surprises for us.
Last matchup: Schalke win 1-0
My tip: Match draw 1-1
Hannover 96 (13th) vs Bayer Leverkusen (5th) - Saturday: Hannover started to slump down recently and they have lost to Borussia Möchengladbach 3-2. Now they are just 3 points away from the relegation so they must pick up immediately. The absence of Mikael Forsell and Jan Schlaudraff really affect the team and the attacking does not have the focus to score. On the other hand, Bayer Leverkusen were pretty inconsistent and they had missed the chance to climb up the table. Partick Helmes however is in excellent form and I believe he will keep scoring as Hannover defense is not that solid. Arturo Vidal is back from action does help the team in terms of attack and defense. Tranquillo Barnetta also helps the midfield very much so that they will outplay Hannover in the midfield. The key point of the match is if Leverkusen can control the midfield.
Last matchup: Leverkusen win 4-0
My tip: Leverkusen win 3-0
Hertha Berlin (3rd) vs Borussia Möchengladbach (18th) - Saturday: Hertha Berlin was as same as Leverkusen, they missed the chance to climb back to the top of the table as they lost VfL Wolfsburg 2-1. Andrei Voronin was the key person of the team, but when he was frozen, Hertha Berlin did not have any players to relieve him. So this is the importance of Marko Pantelic. On the other hand, Gladbach did a very great job to beat Hannover, but sadly they are still far away to get away from the relegation trouble. This is a morale boosting for them and I think they morality can hold on Hertha Berlin a while. However, Hertha Berlin had won 7 home games in a row so this time Gladbach cannot get away with a point either.
Last matchup: Hertha Berlin win 1-0
My tip: Hertha Berlin win 3-0
Borussia Dortmund (8th) vs 1899 Hoffenheim (2nd) - Saturday: Dortmund had shown how tough they could be as they had drawn Schalke 1-1. The whole team now are depending on the morality and group discipline to carry on the match. However, the individual players are not in top form, such as Nelson Valdez and Alexander Frei. They always failed to finish the game so that they kept drawing. On the other hand, Hoffenheim was still struggling the absence of Vedad Ibisevic, even though Demba Ba was the man last week to hold on a draw against VfB Stuttgart. Sejad Salihovic and Carlos Eduardo will be very important for them in the match to fight against Dortmund. I believe this match will be decided by the attacking finishing.
Last matchup: Dortmund win 4-1
My tip: Match draw 2-2
VfL Bochum (16th) vs Energie Cottbus (14th) - Saturday: Bochum last week failed to win and as same as last week's opponent, Bielefeld, missed the chance to climb up the table. They need to work hard to get back in form. Diego Klimowicz and Vlad Munteanu do not have much influence to the team, so that the team is still in trouble. On the other hand, Cottbus did a very good job to beat Werder Bremen. It is very encouraging for the team that they can get away from the relegation trouble. Same as last season, Cottbus pick up the form after the winter break and the attacking and defense are keep improving. So I believe this match Cottbus can et a draw or even a win.
Last matchup: Match draw 1-1
My tip: Match draw 1-1
Werder Bremen (11th) vs Bayern München (4th) - Sunday: Both teams are having trouble in the league. So it can be said that it is bad versus worse. Werder Bremen was yet to win the match and they desperately need one. The surprise loss against Cottbus last week led them dropped to 11th already. Claudio Pizarro did not play last week due to discipline problem. Now he is back to action and Werder Bremen hope him can bring the team out of trouble. Diego is still the other man to watch out for as his creativeness does assist the team very much. On the other hand, Bayern München was lucky that they could hold on the 4-point difference from the top of table as every close rival had lost points. Their playing style led the team kept making errors so that they had lost 3 games out of 4. They must win this match even it is quite hard for them. It was a huge boost for them that they had won Sporting Lisbon 5-0 away from home in Champions League. Still, Franck Ribery is the most important player so that his performance is the key of the match.
Last matchup: Werder Bremen win 5-2
My tip: Bayern München win 2-1
Hamburger SV (1st) vs VfL Wolfsburg (6th) - Sunday: Hamburger was the only team to take all 3 points last week within all the title challenging team. So they reached at the top of the table with 2 points leading. This is absolutely the great moment for them as their effort is fully deserved to be at the top. Piotr Trochowski is very important player now for Hamburger as he connects the team attack very well. Marcell Jansen had started to gain back the best from in Borussia Möchengladbach 2 seasons ago. His pace is definitely the great asset in the team. On the other side, Wolfsburg also did a great job to beat Hertha Berlin last week and they had reached 6th in the table. However, the difference between the home form and away form is too large so that I do not believe Wolfsburg can stop Hamburger, even Eden Dzeko and Grafite are in top form.
Last matchup: Wolfsburg win 3-0
My tip: Hamburger win 2-0
Karlsruher SC (17th) vs VfB Stuttgart (7th) - Sunday: Karlsruher still cannot get away from the trouble. They lost Frankfurt 1-0 last week. Their attacking is the main trouble of the team and Giovani Federico cannot help the team in attacking at all. So even Marco Engelhardt did well in the team, his influence only limited in the midfield defense as the team does not have any player to finish his play. I believe Karlsruher will keep slumping in the coming weeks. Stuttgart at the same time, their match form starts to slide down as they have drawn 2 matches in a row. The defense suddenly lost concentration in these 2 matches so Stuttgart needed to fight hard to hold out of draw. Mario Gomez is very good in the match form so I believe he will get some scores in this match as Karlsruher does not play well in defense. The key of the match is if Stuttgart can keep the possession well to lead them to win.
Last matchup: Stuttgart win 3-1
My tip: Stuttgart win 3-0
So this is it! Happy weekend!