This weekend German Bundesliga has reached 24th week of the season. Hertha Berlin last week performed very well and strengthen the lead by 4 point in the top of the table. However, the title race is very tight still as 2nd to 5th team are all with the same point, only goal difference, or even head-to-head record seperate them. Now here's the tip of this week:
VfL Wolfsburg (4th) vs Schalke 04 (8th) - Friday: Last week Wolfsburg beated Karlsruher 1-0 showed their how tough they defend this season so far. Plus Eden Dzeko's performance is getting better and better so they can reach 4th in the position. This week I believe they can perform the solid defense against Schalke 04 and the opposition are very hard to score them. On the other hand, Schalke has the 2 wins in a row since November last year by winning 1-0 last week. However, Kevin Kuranyi and Jefferson Farfan are still unreliable and Ivan Ratikic is not in match form. They now rely on the scoring ability in the midfield as the strikers cannot do their job at all. Bordon is unlikely to play but he cannot help too much on the attack. So I believe Schalke will lose this game as they are not good at attacking.
Last matchup: Match draw 2-2
My tip: Wolfsburg win 1-0
Hertha Berlin (1st) vs Bayer Leverkusen (7th) - Saturday: Hertha Berlin still look strong after they went through the tricky trip of Cottbus last week. Andrei Voronin is still in excellent form as he was the only person to change the whole game last week. He is still looking very dangerous to Leverkusen as the defense is slumping. Also, the midfield can create the attack well so that Voronin has such as great time. On the other hand, Leverkusen could not recover their best form still as they have slided down to 7th already. Even though Patrick Helmes is still in excellent form but the other players such as Stefan Kießling cannot relieve him. Tranquillo Barnetta works very hard but his effort cannot do too much help. Arturo Vidal is injured and see if Toni Kroos may relieve the position well. The most worrying part is the defense. Lukas Sinkiewicz is not good at all so Andrei Voronin will be very happy as he can get pass him easily. Henrique is the most important player in this match as he needs to stop the Hertha attack by himself.
Last matchup: Hertha Berlin win 1-0
My tip: Hertha Berlin win 2-0
Hannover 96 (13th) vs Borussia Dortmund (9th) - Saturday: Hannover last week had suffered the major setback as they had been crashed by Bayern München 5-1. Aerial defense was the key they lost the game as 4 of them were come from headers. Another problem was the poor away from as they had only drew 1 game in aggregate. However, this week they return to home so I believe it cannot get worse than last week at least. Jiri Stajner is the most important player now. His creativity on the midfield is directly affecting the result of the team. On the other hand, Borussia Dortmund had suffered the loss last week against VfB Stuttgart. It was because they could not attack well. Since the return of winter break Dortmund again and again failed to seek the best attacking form yet so if they trail behind, they are very hard to bounce back as Alexander Frei, Nelson Valdez, and Mohamed Zidan all failed to prove themselves. Tamas Hajnal is the only player who is trustable in attack but sadly he cannot take care all of the attacking issue. I believe Hannover may bring some surprises even they have suffered last week.
Last matchup: Match draw 1-1
My tip: Hannover win 2-1
Karlsruher SC (18th) vs Armina Bielefeld (15th) - Saturday: Karlsruher had slumped to the bottom after their prolonged poor form of this season. Marco Engelhardt had done all he could but the team still struggle. The attacking is still having all sorts of trouble and seems they do not know what scoring means even. The drastic change of attacking style is urgently needed for them now but this match I do not believe they can make anything surprise. On the other hand, Arminia Bielefeld had a bore draw against Eintract Frankfurt. This was good enough for them to catch a breathe in the relegation fight. Again, Artur Wichniarek holds the key of the success and I believe he can score goals in this match as the Karlsruher defense is not so good as well. Arminia Bielefeld will continue climb up the table and Karlsruher will still struggle after this match.
Last matchup: Karlsruher win 2-1
My tip: Bielefeld win 2-0
1. FC Köln (11th) vs Borussia Mönchengladbach (17th) - Saturday: Köln last week had lost to Schalke 1-0 showed the only striker and captain Milivoje Novakovic could not handle the attack by himself. As the midfield had been control by the opposition, the team simply failed to support Novakovic. Armando Petit will be the key player this week to hold on the midfield and makes sure the support from the midfield is adequate for Novakovic. On the other hand, Gladbach had the best match of the season last week as they stunned most of the fans and won Hamburger SV 4-1. The whole team showed their determination and morale in the match and I believe it helps them very much in the remaining 11 weeks. I believe the key of the match is Armando Petit and Tomas Galasek as they both are important players in the midfield.
Last matchup: Köln win 2-1
My tip: Mönchengladbach win 1-0
Eintract Frankfurt (12th) vs 1899 Hoffenheim (3rd) - Saturday: Eintract Frankfurt is starting to get relax in the remaining matches as they feel safe in the relegation fight. Even there are only 4 points different, there are so many teams are behind them so that it is very rare if they drop into the relegation zone in a short period of time. I believe they will not have any pressure in this week so that it is not surprise if they are not able to win this match. Hoffenheim at the same time they are still hoping to create history. They were very unlucky that they were unable to score goal as Boubacar Sanogo had hit the post for 3 times. This match the team will rely on him and Demba Ba as Vedad Ibisevic is out for season, as well as Chinedu Obasi is out for a month. I believe Sanogo and Ba are able to score goals this time if the connect each other well and they are a bit more lucky.
Last matchup: Hoffenheim win 2-1
My tip: Hoffenheim win 3-1
VfL Bochum (14th) vs Bayern München (2nd) - Saturday: Bochum had improved significantly as they had won 3 in 5 matches. The main reason was the arrival of Diego Klimowicz and Vlad Munteanu. Along with Christoph Dabrowski, the attacking had become threatening. This week they still need 3 points to ensure they are going out of trouble but they will have tough time. At the same time, Bayern seemed they had come back as they won Hannover 5-1 last week. The absence of Franck Ribery made the team looked more team work. This week Ribery are very likely to return and see what happen if he comes back. He is still a huge threat to the opposition and I believe he will bring lots of harm to the opposition this week. Together with the astonishing victory in Champions League, I believe they have very high morality and I believe they will win this one. They key of the match is Bayern must not concede goal first, or else they are very hard to climb back.
Last matchup: Match draw 3-3
My tip: Bayern München win 3-1
Werder Bremen (10th) vs VfB Stuttgart (6th) - Sunday: Werder Bremen was a bit lucky for not losing any goals last week against Hoffenheim. No matter Naldo or Petri Pansanen, both of them cannot give confident to the fans in terms of defense. Claudio Pizarro keep missing chances may kill the team this week as Stuttgart are good at defense and counter attacks. Per Mertesacker again has an important job as he is the only player who can stop Mario Gomez. Stuttgart at the same time, they have beaten Borussia Dortmund and maintained the unbeaten streak since the arrival of Markus Babbel. The midfield is so young and energetic that very few teams can break them through. Sami Khedira is the most important midfielder as he control the flow very well. I believe this match Werder Bremen even in the home court, it is still very hard to win. There will not be a high scoring game and I believe a draw is very likely to happen.
Last matchup: VfB Stuttgart win 4-1
My tip: Match draw 1-1
Hamburger SV (5th) vs Energie Cottbus (16th) - Sunday: Hamburger once again proved themselves they could not play away from home, as they lost 4-1 against Gladbach. However, this week I believe they can give fans some confidence as they go back at home, where they always perform very very well. Piotr Trochowski is the most important player again, together with Ivica Olic and Mlaten Petric, they will bring lots of harm to Cottbus. The only concern is they will play this game after the tough UEFA Cup match against Galatasaray, as I believe that match will consume lots of energy. Cottbus at the same time, they failed to score an insurance goal and led Hertha Berlin fight back. They kept on improving but sadly it was not good enough still. They are facing a very tough challenge this week and the only hope for them is if Hamburger players are tired, so that they have chance to make surprise.
Last matchup: Hamburger win 2-1
My tip: Hamburger win 2-0
That's it. Have a nice week!!