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Thursday, April 30, 2009

German Bundesliga Week 30 Tipping

German Bundesliga had reached 30th week of the competition. VfL Wolfsburg missed the wonderful chance to extend their lead into 5 points at the top of the table as they lost to Energie Cottbus. Furthermore, it led the title race still wide open as the 5th placed VfB Stuttgart still has a chance to win the title. Now here's the tipping of this week:

VfL Bochum (14th) vs Hannover 96 (13th) - Friday: Bochum last week missed another wonderful chance to get off from the relegation threat as they lost 3-2 against Werder Bremen when they were 2-0 up. Stanislav Sestak is currently in the red hot form as he scored 5 goals in last 2 games. He is just in time to save the team but the defense needs to cooperate in order to protect his effort. Concentration is the key of them as they need to focus and finish the game. On the other hand, Hannover even is in 13th position but they are 7 points from the relegation zone and they have some breathing space. Hannover failed to impress away from home so even they won last week, it is very hard to say they can carry on the form as they are being cursed away from home. This is very hard for Hannover to snatch a point against Bochum even as they only scored 2 game points in all away matches.
Last matchup: Match draw 1-1
My tip: VfL Bochum win 2-0

Arminia Bielefeld (16th) vs VfB Stuttgart (4th) - Saturday: Bielefeld last week had a tight match and led to a draw. Even there was a draw, it was not good enough for them to get off from the relegation zone and they actually dropped to 16th. Arthur Wichniarek is rated doubtful this match so it really hurts the team further as they are very weak in attacking. Vlad Munteanu is very important now as he needs to score goals as well as creating attacking if Wichniarek is absent. On the other hand, Stuttgart is in red hot form. It seems there is nobody to stop them since the arrival of Markus Babbel. Mario Gomez and Cacau are in red hot form so I believe they can keep scoring goals this week. I believe this is an one-sided match and Stuttgart should not have any problem to claim this victory.
Last matchup: Match draw 0-0
My tip: VfB Stuttgart win 3-0

Schalke 04 (6th) vs Bayer Leverkusen (9th) - Saturday: Schalke now in an excellent form and recorded a 4 wins in a row without conceding a single goal after beating Bayern München 1-0 last week. The defense looks very solid, leading by Mladen Krstajic. They are very good to defend from the flanks and from the air so that there is no one to able to score a goal against them. This is a great test for Leverkusen as they are in cold streak in the league. Leverkusen at the same time, Patrick Helmes and Stefan Kießling are in the cold streak so the scoring job now goes to Toni Kroos and Simon Rolfes. Meanwhile, they may now focus on the DFB Pokal Final as it seems they do not have chance to qualify for European competition through the league, so Cup match is their only option now. Consequently, I believe Schalke will win this one with clean sheet again.
Last matchup: Bayer Leverkusen win 2-1
My tip: Schalke 04 win 2-0

Eintract Frankfurt (11th) vs Borussia Dortmund (7th) - Saturday: Fankfurt basically are safe from relegation so they can relax and enjoy the remaining 5 weeks of the match. Of course, they must not let loose, all the need to do is to keep the form and they can be through. Martin Fenin is still doubtful to play this week and I believe captain Ioannis Amanatidis will be the player who lead the team to win. Dortmund on the other hand, they recorded 4 wins in a row so I believe they can carry on. Alexander Frei and Nelson Valdez keep the good form and bring threats to the opposition, together with the midfield protection from Sebastian Kehl, the team looks very good and solid now. I believe Dortmund will be able to take this one in order to keep hunting the European competition qualification.
Last matchup: Borussia Dortmund win 4-0
My tip: Borussia Dortmund win 2-0

Karlsruher SC (18th) vs Energie Cottbus (15th) - Saturday: This is the most important match in terms of the relegation fight, epsecially both teams claimed the important 3 points last week. Karlsruher finally was able to score goals and win game. This was a morale boosting match as they kept trying and losing for 10 games already. I believe their morality will be their key of the match and they must keep it in order to win. Speaking to morality, Energie Cottbus was encouraged a lot after beating VfL Wolfburg 2-0 last Sunday. Dimitar Rangelov and Ervin Skela were the players who lead the team into victory. I believe they will keep this form and threat to the opposition. Morality is the only key to success, the team who can keep it, the team who can win it.
Last matchup: Energie Cottbus win 1-0
My tip: Match draw 2-2

Bayern München (3rd) vs Borussia Mönchengladbach (17th) - Saturday: After the loss against Schalke 04, Bayern München finally lost their patience and sacked Jürgen Klinsmann and replaced by Jupp Heynckes as their caretaking coach. I believe Heynckes cannot do a lot to the team as there are so few days to go to this match as well as preparing to finish this season. A must win game is for sure, it is really depending on the players ability, especially Franck Ribery will serve the match ban after the sent off last week. On the other hand, Gladbach failed to win the game last week and led them to further dropped to 17th. The relegation fight is in trouble now, especially when they are facing a must win Bayern. I believe counter attack from Marko Marin and Alexander Baumjohann will be the only key to lead Gladbach to have another upset to Bayern.
Last matchup: Match draw 2-2
My tip: Bayern München win 3-0

VfL Wolfsburg (1st) vs 1899 Hoffenheim (8th) - Saturday: Wolfsburg missed a wonderful chance to extend the lead after losing to Cottbus 2-0 and failed to break a record, which was 11 wins in a row. This blow to them is still doubtful because they are still in a red hot form, the loss of last week seemed like the little break. Eden Dzeko and Grafite will still keep threatening to Hoffenheim as their defense is very inconsistent. Hoffenheim now extend their non-winning streak to 11 games. This week Carlos Eduardo will continue to serve the match ban, plus Demba Ba is in the cold streak. So I believe Wolfsburg will keep the red hot form and win this match.
Last matchup: 1899 Hoffenheim win 3-2
My tip: VfL Wolfsburg win 3-0

1. FC Köln (12th) vs Werder Bremen (10th) - Sunday: Köln last week had lost against Hannover 96 and led to 2 loss in a row. I believe they are still safe from relegation as they have 7 points from relegation zone and there are 4 teams behind them. I believe they are starting to get relaxed now and they will not take a full gear in this match. Same as Werder Bremen, as they have to focus on the epic Northern Derby in UEFA Cup, I do not believe they will take full gear in this match. Diego may rest in this match for next Thursday match and the team will lose the focus point of the attack. Hugo Almeida will be the most important in attack and Naldo will take the important job in defense. However, based on their better quality and poor home form from the opposition, I believe Werder Bremen can win this match.
Last matchup: Werder Bremen win 3-1
My tip: Werder Bremen win 3-0

Hamburger SV (5th) vs Hertha Berlin (2nd) - Sunday: Hamburger seemed they were losing their grib in the title race as players fatigue started hitting the team. They may focus on the UEFA Cup match and I believe they may keep some energy in this match, even though this match will affect their title challenge directly. Piotr Trochowksi may not appear in this match and one of the strikers, who are Ivica Olic, Mlaten Petric, and Jose Paolo Guerrero will miss out the game. At the same time, Hertha Berlin still won a game without Andrei Voronin as he served his suspension. This week he still needs to serve the ban and Marko Pantelic will be most important striker in the team. I believe this match is very even and no one can win this match, which means a draw is expected.
Last matchup: Hertha Berlin win 2-1
My tip: Match draw 1-1

So that's it for this week!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Who will be the next Bayern München coach?

Previously I have mentioned what was the different between Klinsmann in the Germany national team and Bayern München. Now we have to look forward and I predict who will be the hot favorite, who maybe to become, and who will surprise me of the new Bayern München coach.

Hot favorite


Jupp Heynckes: He is the hot favorite to be the next coach in fact. The biggest advantage of him is he has a chance now to perform himself in front of the upper management. Now there are 5 games to the end of season and these 5 games will determine his future in the club next season. Also he has a lot of experience on coaching at club level. As Klinsmann failed to impress the board, I believe the club will tend to hire an experienced coach next season. Heynckes had been coaching for more than 10 years and had been coaching around Europe, so his knowledge and experience do help the team.
What makes him to be the next coach: This season result. As there are only 5 games left, there are very few he can do. I do believe he will calm the team down and try harder to win the league title. If he can win the title for the team, I believe the board will offer him a contract for at least a season.

Bernd Schuster: After being sacked by Real Madrid earlier this season, Schuster did not have any new offer yet. So there is a rumour that Bayern is very interested to invite him to join the team. He is a good coach in fact, he had a big match experience when he was coaching Real Madrid. Real looked quite solid but unfortunately Schuster could not convert it into a win. I believe his coaching ability and preference will be suitable for Bayern, as the club needs to balance the attack and defense. However, he needs to get adept to Bayern's culture, or he will be the other casaulty in the club.
What makes him to be the next coach: I believe if Schuster does not have any offer in these two months, he is very likely to become the new coach. His advantage is he can offer to the club a long term deal, which means the club does not need to put efforts on finding a new coach in short term, if the performance and result is satisfied.

Maybe the next coach

Guus Hiddink: There is a rumour to say Bayern also is interested to find Guus Hiddink. If so, this is the best move for Bayern in these few seasons. Hiddink is very knowledgable to football and he can get to know to the teams' strength and weakness very shortly. Then he can set up the individualized tactics and formation to the team. The best example is Australia national football team, he made use the players' high stamina to set up the effective tactics, which is using the high fitness and stamina to stop the skillful and speedy team. Also, he has declared that he will not coach Chelsea in next season so it is still wide open.
What makes him to be the next coach: Well, the biggest concern is he must stay in Russia national team. So which means he will become the next coach as semi full-time based. It will not be a big problem as he did it twice (Australia and PSV Eindhoven; Russia and Chelsea), but it is very depending on his will, if he is willing to coach Bayern, Bayern should invite him.

Ottmar Hitzfeld: Even though there is not much news and rumours on inviting him, I still not to omit this choice. It is not so surprising if Bayern asks him to come back, because he is the only coach who can guarantee to win trophies. His remarkable result makes Bayern to keep a door open for him. Hitzfeld knows how the team works, how the culture in the team works, as well as the personal connection in Bayern is the strongest comparing to other coaches. The board also realize that they are having an excellent relationship between each other so if Bayern invite him, he is likely to join.
What makes him to be the next coach: The reason he left the club was he was too tired to coach the club as he needed to take care of the business everyday, so this was why he chose to coach Switzerland national team, which made him more comfortable. And this is the reason why I put him on the "maybe" list, because he may reject the offer as he is personally too tired for pick up the job again.

Surprise, surprise!

Carlo Ancelotti: Yes, rumour said that Carlo Ancelotti will be the next coach. There is reason to support this claim as Ancelotti is a winning coach in AC Milan. Even thought critics said he won the trophies was because of the great players like Andrei Shevchenko, his winning experience can really lead Bayern in the Champions League. However, his player policy tends to using old players, so Bayern will concern about this as older players means more inconsistent because their fitness cannot support themselves. Plus, it seems Ancelotti is not interested to this offer so this is why I do not believe this will come true.
What makes him to be the next coach: Well, unless Ancelotti suddenly has a very bad relationship to AC Milan, and he suddenly gets sacked by the club, then Bayern are so desperate to get a new coach, Ancelotti will come.

Arsene Wenger: Yes, right, rumour said so. I personally do not believe it but I just say what his strength is. He is very good at coaching the youngsters. Just look at Arsenal, the team is very young and energetic and there are lot more talents to come. Bayern now needs more youngster to support the team in long term so this is the reason why rumour claimed Bayern was interested to invite Wenger. However, as his position in Arsenal is so tight, I do not believe this is the choice at all.
What makes him to be the next coach: Same as last one, the relationship between each them turns very bad suddenly and he is getting sacked immediately. Plus Wenger suddenly feels interested to accept this new challenge will make him to be the next coach. However, I will win the biggest lottery in the world if it actually happens.

All in all I believe the new coach in Bayern will be very experienced, as well as get used to winning. As the team needs an instinct result, fans will not see any new changes next season, which means they will turn back to the start.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What makes Klinsmann such a difference in Germany and Bayern München?

Shocking stuff! Monday morning in München there was a stunning news came out - Jürgen Klinsmann and his coaching team were sacked and replaced by Jupp Heynckes. This maybe the worst mistake Bayern made but he may save the title hope. I am not going to comment about what mistake Klinsmann made as there are lots of comments in the internet already. I am now talking about why Klinsmann made a such astonishing result in Germany national team but ended up with dragful way in Bayern?

Purpose of hiring Klinsmann is different


I believe this is one of the reasons. Before Klinsmann took over Germany international team, they were running in circle and the atmoshpere was dead. So what Klinsmann did there was to change. He brought the new thoughts and tactics to the team so his change worked. Klinsmann brought a lot of new young players into the national team and made them from an old and dying team to young and energetic team. This was what Klinsmann did very well. In Bayern, the purpose was simple - winning. Franz Beckenbauer even wanted him to change things around in order to achieve the European success but he had bottom line - Bundesliga must be in their pocket. So Klinsmann could not change the team. Now Bayern is even in trouble for protecting the place of Champions League so I believe this is the reason why Klinsmann needed to go now. Under this difference, I believe this is one of the reasons why Klinsman failed to do his job in Bayern.


Team culture


The team culture was very different in Germany national team and Bayern. When Klinsmann took over the Germany national team, he also brought Joachim Löw and Oliver Bierhoff to assist him, plus the upper management were open and willing to accept the change, so Klinsmann could change the team from the bottom. Also, the upper management of national team were dared to follow his change and gave him confident, even after a humiliating 4-1 loss to Italy in friendly. However, Bayern was different. The culture was too conservative that even Franz Beckenbauer accept the new thoughts to pump into the team, Klinsmann must follow his way. Klinsmann had too much pressure in Bayern internally so he could not make the team perform well externally. Furthermore, Klinsmann did not have much authority in the operational issues in the team, so he was very hard to get his thought through to the team and led to massive failure.


Time of preparation


This is one of the biggest differences between taking over in Germany national team and Bayern. As Germany national team had 2 years to prepare for the World Cup in their home turf, so Klinsmann could maximize the experiment on the 2-year long friendlies. As mentioned before, Germany had suffered a humiliating 4-1 defeat against Italy under Klinsmann control, I believe this was just his another experiment. The Confederation Cup in 2005 was only an experiment only, so even though there were mistakes after mistakes, it was not a concern, as Klinsmann knew the team was growing and World Cup was his real deal, the other matches were not his concern. However, Klinsmann only had 1 month to prepare the big matches in Bayern, as every match was important, he did not have much time to prepare and implement his plan. As he did try to change the formation to 3-5-2 in the start of the season, he had to go back to 4-4-2 before he saw any good result in his ideal formation. This was the evidence that Klinsmann basically did not have any spare time to prepare and led to failure.


Coaching team difference


Klinsmann was not the only person who took the pride for bringing Germany national team from the dark tunnel to bright freeway, Oliver Bierhoff and Joachim Löw were also important. Löw, who even had a limited experience on coaching, he could effectively implement Klinsmann's plan to the real football pitch. Löw in fact was the most important person in Germany national team as he could bring the thoughts from Klinsmann into practical way. This was the reason why Löw took over the national team job and continue the good run in Germany national team. Oppositely, I believe the biggest failure of Klinsmann was hiring his American coaching team. Martin Vazquez was not the appropriate person to assist Klinsmann, even Vazquez even could not speak German. So Klinsmann's thoughts basically could not convert into the football pitch. As Philipp Lahm complained before, Klinsmann only encouraged the team but he could not bring out any practical solution when the team was trailing or in the deadlock. This is the failure of Klinsmann and he could not deny it.


Summary


Summing up Klinsmann is the person who can bring out the long term successful plan to the team, as his thoughts and strategies really did help the team to bring out from trouble. However, what he needs to learn more is the real match situation. It is very dynamic in the football pitch and Klinsmann must think faster. On the other hand, he is very good at choosing and encouraging players as this is very important to any teams in the world. His enthusiasm can lead the team to do the impossibles, this is what he does best. So far he needs an experienced assistant, not another "just" American coach to assist him in the real pitch situation. When Klinsmann gains much experiences, he will be one of the best coach in the world.


All in all, wish Klinsmann, my forever idol, all the best!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

German Bundesliga Week 29 Tipping

German Bundesliga this week had reached the 29th week. VfL Wolfsburg gets one step closer to their first ever title in their club history, but Bayern München and Hamburger SV are just behind. This week Bayern München will face Schalke 04, and it will be the crucial match for the title race. Now here's the tip:

1899 Hoffenheim (8th) vs Hertha Berlin (4th) - Friday: Once again Hoffenheim had disappointed the fans again. They were even very close to lose the game against Karlsruher SC last week and ended up with 2-2 draw. The defense was very inconsistent because there were so many injuries and suspension. The suspension of Carlos Eduardo costs the team very much as he is the only player who can create well. The injury of Timo Hildebrand and the suspension of Daniel Haas leads Ramazan Özcan has another big test in this match. On the other hand, even Andrei Voronin continues to serve his 3-match ban, the team still managed to win against Werder Bremen. Marko Pantelic and Raffael can take the job well and they will be the key players in this match. Arne Friedrich is doubtful to play but I believe it will not affect the team so much as Hoffenheim cannot create well without Carlos Eduardo. I believe the inconsistency of defense makes Hertha Berlin have chance to win this match.
Last matchup: Hertha Berlin win 1-0
My tip: Hertha Berlin win 3-0

Bayern München (2nd) vs Schalke 04 (6th) - Saturday: Both teams are starting to build up the hot streak. Bayern München had recorded 2 wins in a row and once again there is a title hope for them. The team finally has a whole week break as all of the other competitions are eliminated. Franck Ribery and Luca Toni started to gain back their best form and they will be the players to win games and score points. Hans-Jörg Butt has already taken the first choice goalkeeper position and it seems it is more confident in the defense since he takes the place. Players are starting to get healthy as there is not much match pressure now. On the other side, Schalke had recorded firs ever 3 wins in a row this season, thanks to the interim coaching team. Kevin Kuranyi is starting to look dangerous and Jefferson Farfan starts to prove he is worth 10 million Euro in last summer. The attacks from Schalke can bring a lot of threats to Bayern and I believe this is the key of the match. The defense of Bayern can determine the team if they can get another 3 points.
Last matchup: Bayern München win 2-1
My tip: Bayern München win 2-0

Borussia Dortmund (7th) vs Hamburger SV (3rd) - Saturday: Borussia Dortmund started to build up the winning form as they won against VfL Bochum 2-0 and recorded 4 wins in a row. Nelson Valdez finally improved his finishing even he still has lot more to improve. Sebastian Kehl can protect the midfield well and his ability of the forward runs can provide a variety of attacks. On the other side, Hamburger players start to get fragile as the tight schedule really kill them. They fought so hard on DFB Pokal this Wednesday and they just lost by penalties. As they do not have any space to rest, they are forced to put their full strength in this match. Piotr Trochowski played more than an hour of this match and all 3 strikers had started the match. So I believe their fatigue will lead them to lose point to the red hot Dortmund.
Last matchup: Hamburger SV win 2-1
My tip: Borussia Dortmund win 2-0

VfB Stuttgart (5th) vs Eintract Frankfurt (11th) - Saturday: Red hot Stuttgart continued their unstoppable form as they only lost 1 game since the arrival of Markus Babbel. Mario Gomez and Cacau are in hot form and they will be the players to watch out for this week. Thomas Hitzlsperger and Sami Khedira are also in hot form so they can control the midfield and supply a lot of attacking plays to Gomez and Cacau. Furthermore, they still have a glimmer of hope for winning a title, I believe they will give their all to this match to keep this hope. On the other side, Frankfurt basically success in avoiding relegation and they can start to get relaxed, even mathematically they are still in danger. Nikos Liberopoulous is the most important striker in the team this season so Frankfurt are all counting on him in scoring. However, their recent away form is very poor as they have lost to Bayern München 4-0 in two weeks ago. So I believe they cannot match Stuttgart and Stuttgart will have an easy win.
Last matchup: Match draw 2-2
My tip: VfB Stuttgart win 4-0

Bayer Leverkusen (9th) vs Karlsruher SC (18th) - Saturday: Leverkusen now basically lost the chance to qualifying to European competition through the league performance, so they may not pay the full attention in the remaining league matches as they need to prepare the DFB Pokal final. Patrick Helmes and Stefan Kießling are the most important players in the striking force but Angelos Charisteas can relieve them effectively. Simon Rolfes played all 120 minutes in the midweek against Mainz in DFB Pokal so his fitness is questionable. However, the lucky thing is they are only facing Karlsruher. Karlsruher last week finally broke the scoreless drought and snatched a draw against Hoffenheim, even though in fact they were so close to win. Draw was not good enough for them so they need to work even harder in order to create miracle. Sebatian Freis and Giovanni Federico will be the players who bring scores to the team and they must do it again. I believe even Leverkusen will have trouble for the fitness, Karlsruher is too powerless to stop Leverkusen.
Last matchup: Match draw 3-3
My tip: Bayer Leverkusen win 3-0

Hannover 96 (13rd) vs 1. FC Köln (12th) - Saturday: Hannover is back to their home, which means they are invinsible again. They only lost 1 game at home, which was Hoffenheim, and won they other 6 games and drew the other 6. Mikael Forssell and Mike Hanke are the striking duo that leads the team to success. Together with Jiri Stajner, these 3 attacking players are the core of Hannover attacks. However, this week they are facing Köln, who has the best away game form. The counter attack tactics can lead the team to win a lot of games away from home, including Bayern München. Milivoje Novakovic can convert the counter attacks into goals well so it is very effective for the team. This is an absolutey a hard call and I believe they will cancel each other out and have a draw.
Last round: 1. FC Köln win 2-1
My tip: Match draw 1-1

Werder Bremen (10th) vs VfL Bochum (14th) - Saturday: Werder Bremen had qualified for the DFB Pokal final this Wednesday after the penalties so I think even they are sky high, players are very tired. Also, they have to prepare the epic "Northern Derby" against Hamburger this month, I believe the players in this week will not give their all. Diego is doubtful for his fitness so Claudio Pizarro will be very important for scoring now. Per Mertesacker is also very important as his tackling in the back is very good as well as he can run forward and score goals in any dead ball situations. On the other side, Bochum are desperate to get rid of the relegation trouble even there is a 4-point lead against Arminia Bielefeld. Stanislav Sestak will be very important player in the attacks and Christoph Dabrowski will be very important in the midfield. I believe Bochum will have chance to surprise the fans even they are away from home, because Werder Bremen has more important matches afterwards.
Last matchup: Match draw 0-0
My tip: VfL Bochum win 1-0

Energie Cottbus (17th) vs VfL Wolfsburg (1st) - Sunday: Energie Cottbus continued the poor form as they were comprehensively beaten by Schalke 4-0 last Friday. Players were all outclassed and I believe this week the outclassing will be more significant. Goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel will have another big test this Sunday as he is the only hope to stop goals from red hot Grafite and Eden Dzeko. On the other side, VfL Wolfsburg is now in the hottest form ever, they have 11 wins in a row and it seems it keeps counting. Grafite and Eden Dzeko are unstoppable and I believe no one in Cottbus can stop them. Zvjezden Misimovic is the key player in the team as his assist really does help the teammates a lot. The distance bewteen these two teams are too huge so it will be very stunning for me if Wolfsburg cannot win this one.
Last matchup: VfL Wolfsburg win 3-0
My tip: VfL Wolfsburg win 4-0

Borussia Mönchengladbach (16th) vs Arminia Bielefeld (15th) - Sunday: Gladbach last week had another big loss against Franfurt 4-1 and it did hurt the team on relegation fight. However, Marko Marin did make a lot of efforts, including winning 2 penalty kicks. He is very important in the team now. Without him, the entire Gladbach lost the leader. The key of the match for Gladbach is the other players need to help Marin to convert his runs into goals. Last week Michael Bradley failed to do so as he missed a penalty won by Marin. On the other side, Bielefeld never got rid of the relegation trouble so that they are now in the deep trouble again. It was quite unlucky that they failed to score goals against Bayern München last Saturday but it also showed their finishing is urgently needed to improve. Arthur Wichniarek is still in a very cold streak, so that is why the team is still in deep trouble. I believe this match Gladbach will win as Marko Marin is too good for Bielefeld to handle.
Last matchup: Borussia Mönchengladbach win 2-0
My tip: Borussia Mönchengladbach win 2-0

So this is it! Have a good week!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

German Bundesliga Week 28 Tipping

This week German Bundesliga had reached the match week 28. Title race is still heated up and VfL Wolfsburg and Bayern München were the winner last week. The relegation seemed unclear besides Karlsruher SC seemed very likely to see them in 2.Bundesliga next season. Now here's the tipping:

Schalke 04 (7th) vs Energie Cottbus (17th) - Friday: Schalke recently picked up the winning form and recorded the 2 wins in a row. Kevin Kuranyi and Jefferson Farfan did very hard last week and results paid it off. They need to keep working hard as this is the moment they have to prove themselves. Schalke still has a glimmer of hope for qualifying for European competition so I believe they will work very hard. Heiko Westermann is the key in defense and his performance will affect the outcome directly besides Kuranyi and Farfan. On the other hand, Cottbus claimed the important 3 points last week. The Bulgarian duo, Dimitar Rangelov and Stanislav Angelov are very important players as they are the only players who are able to score goals. However, when facing the top class defense from Schalke, it seems they do not have any chance to create some miracle. I believe Schalke will continue the winning streak and Cottbus needs to work harder since then.
Last matchup: Schalke 04 win 2-0
My tip: Schalke 04 win 2-0

Arminia Bielefeld (15th) vs Bayern München (2nd) - Saturday: Arminia Bielefeld had lost a very important relegation match last week and they were pulled back to 15th of the table, which means still in great danger. Arthur Wichniarek is still in a very cold streak and his form did drag the team down. The other players could not relieve him as usual and I do believe this match is very hard for them to score goals even the defense of Bayern München is fragile this season. On the other side, Bayern München started to climb back to the normal form after the dragful week. The big victory against Eintract Frankfurt did give them a confidence back to defend the title, even though it was not enough to turn things around in Champions League. Franck Ribery seemed he gained back his fitness now, so he is a huge threat in Bielefeld defense. As Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski were rested in Tuesday, I believe they have much fitness to win the game easily.
Last matchup: Bayern München win 3-1
My tip: Bayern München win 3-0

1. FC Köln (11th) vs VfB Stuttgart (5th) - Saturday: It is very hard to predict Köln now as they do not have any threats on the relegation but they are too far from qualifying for European compeition. So, we can predict their performance through the home and away game record. Maybe the playing style of home games is hard to adept for the team, they are now 3rd from the bottom in home form. Captain Milivoje Novakovic seems he does not have any support from the midfiled so this is why they cannot get any result if they are on the ball. On the other hand, Stuttgart is still chasing the miracle for winning the title with 6 points trailing. Mario Gomez and Thomas Hitzlsperger are very important in the team and their attacks will lead them to win. However, the injury of Sami Khedira did affect the team on controlling the midfield. I believe this match Stuttgart will have upper hand and they will win another game to keep the title hope.
Last matchup: Köln win 3-1
My tip: Stuttgart win 3-1

VfL Wolfsburg (1st) vs Bayer Leverkusen (9th) - Saturday: Wolfsburg is still in very hot streak as they extend the winning streak to 9 games after the victory last week. Edin Dzeko and Grafite seem unstoppable in scoring goals. Especially at home, their performance was so good that even Bayern München could not find any chances to win. Zvjezdan Misimovic is the key player in this match as his creation can assist the scoring duo score goals easily. On the other hand, Leverkusen still in the cold streak and they are getting further away to qualifying for European competition. They must come up some result this week in order to keep the slim hope on the top 5 finish. Partick Helmes cannot maintain the good form recently, as well as the cold streak from Stefan Kießling, the attacking seems powerless at the moment. Even the matchup is epic but the result will be very clear, which is Wolfsburg will win this game.
Last matchup: Leverkusen win 2-0
My tip: Wolfsburg win 3-0

Eintract Frankfurt (12th) vs Borussia Mönchengladbach (16th) - Saturday: Frankfurt had suffered the huge setback as they had lost Bayern 4-0 last week. They seemed they started to relax in the league as the table showed that they still had room to breath, even it was only 6 points ahead. This week they may perform better after getting back home as they are quite confident at the home court performance. On the other hand, Gladbach failed to finish the game and lost against Wolfsburg in the end. Alexander Baumjohann and Marko Marin are very important duo as their runs and creations can bring a lot of varieties in the team. I believe they need to improve the team finishing as Rob Friend and Roberto Colautti always fail to score goals. The key point of the game is how well they finish the game.
Last matchup: Frankfurt win 2-1
My tip: Match draw 1-1

Karlsruher SC (18th) vs 1899 Hoffenheim (6th) - Saturday: Both teams are having a great trouble and need to improve the performance now. Karlsruher continue their non-scoring streak to 9 games, which is 810 minutes. This is so embarassing that non of the striker can convert the attacks into goal. Now the hope of avoid relegation is getting slim now so they need to score goal desperately. On the other hand, Hoffenheim slowly keep falling down and they extend the non-winning streak to 9 games. The main issue is Vedad Ibisevic, his absence makes the team lose the scoring point. Also, Chinedu Obasi fail to keep impressing the fans so that the team lost all the power of attacks. Carlos Eduardo is suspended so it will hurt the team more. Hoffenheim only hopes if Timo Hildebrand can play this match as Daniel Haas was sent off last week and he is suspended as well. I believe the key of this match will be if Hoffenheim can score goals quickly. This is their great chance to turn things around to keep the European qualification hope alive.
Last matchup: Hoffenheim win 4-1
My tip: Hoffenheim win 2-0

VfL Bochum (14th) vs Borussia Dortmund (8th) - Saturday: Bochum did an amazing job as they beated Hoffenheim comprehensively. Stanislav Sestak did very well as he made a hat-trick in that game. He will be very important of the team as Diego Klimowicz is absent at the moment. Mimoun Azaouagh will be the key midfielder as he can provide the easy chances for Sestak. On the other hand, Dortmund started to gain the winning form back as they can finish the game at the moment. Alexander Frei and Nelson Valdez are improving and I believe they can bring threats to the opposition. The key of this game is either of them can finish the attack better than the other.
Last matchup: Match draw 1-1
My tip: Match draw 1-1

Hertha Berlin (4th) vs Werder Bremen (10th) - Sunday: After the 3 games losing streak, Hertha Berlin started to fade out the title race. They must win this game in order to keep some hope. However, the worse is Andrei Voronin is suspended after the silly sent off last week. It did affect the team as he at the moment is an only player who can guarantee the scoring. Marko Pantelic will have the big game now as he is supposed the player who can take over the absent place of Voronin. Meanwhile, as Werder Bremen focus on the European competition and the DFB Pokal, they failed to win against Bayer Leverkusen last week. Diego was absent last week and this week he is still doubtful. Plus their fitness is questionable after the finish the European matches against Italy's Udinese. I believe this will be a draw game as Hertha Berlin lose a striker and Werder Bremen had lost the focus on Bundesliga.
Last matchup: Werder Bremen win 5-1
My tip: Match draw 1-1

Hamburger SV (3rd) vs Hannover 96 (13th) - Sunday: Hamburger last week was so close to snatch a draw against Stuttgart as they only lost a game in injury time. Ivica Olic, Jose Paolo Guerrero, and Mladen Petric are fit so I believe the match in Europe will not affect them too much. It is doubtful, however, if Piotr Trochowski is fit enough to play after the European match. I believe the strikers will be very important to lead the team to win. On the other side, Hannover did an excellent job to beat Hertha Berlin last week, but only in home court. When they go away from home, they do not know to play football at all. They only able to snatch 2 points out of all away games. So this match against they have a very hard time at Hamburg. This match Hamburger can win easily and just see how long Hannover can hang on.
Last matchup: Hannover win 3-0
My tip: Hamburger win 3-0

So that's all of this week! Have a good football weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2009

German Bundesliga Week 27 Tipping

This week German Bundesliga has reached the 27th week of the season. Title race is further heated up after VfL Wolfsburg beated Bayern München 5-1 and climbed up to the top. There are only 3 points different between 1st to 4th so this is still everybody's game. No Friday match this week as Germany celebrate the Good Friday. Now here's the tipping of this week:

Borussia Mönchengladbach (16th) vs VfL Wolfsburg (1st) - Saturday: Gladbach last week did not perform very well as they drew against Karlsruher 0-0. The match showed how important Marko Marin is as he was suspended last match. This week he is back to action so he is the only person who is able to score goal and create attacks against solid Wolfsburg. Their defense is tested as Grafite and Eden Dzeko are very fit. Meanwhile, Wolfsburg did an excellent job to beat out of gas Bayern München 5-1. Zvjezden Misimovic was the player behind to create the excellent attacks to tear the defense apart. This attacking trio was the reason to improve their away form and then led the team to climb up the 1st place. Together with the solid defense, I believe Gladbach will be very hard to win, or even snatch a point.
Last matchup: Wolfsburg win 3-0
My tip: Wolfsburg win 3-0

Bayern München (4th) vs Eintract Frankfurt (12th) - Saturday: Bayern is now currently on the worst form as they lost Wolfsburg 5-1 and then lost to Barcelona 4-0 in Champions League. The whole team simply are out of gas, Franck Ribery is very very tired now but he must stand up for Bayern once again, as no player can relieve him. Luca Toni simply cannot perform well and the only hope now is Lukas Podolski, as he did not play for a single minute against Barcelona. The defense must be very careful as the counter attack from Frankfurt is pretty threatening. On the other hand, Frankfurt claimed an important 3 points against Energie Cottbus and they again started to get away from the relegation. However, they still struggle on the on the ball situation as they failed to create the attack well. I believe they need a very good counter attack in order to snatch the match. This match will not be a high scoring game as Bayern are very tired and low morale. However, Bayern can win a game with better player quality.
Last matchup: Bayern München win 2-1
My tip: Bayern München win 2-0

Hannover 96 (13th) vs Hertha Berlin (3rd) - Saturday: Hannover this week is back to home again. Comparing with the dragful away game record, I believe Hannover can improve in some extent. Jacek Kryznowek is very important for Hannover now as he is the only player who can create goals. Mikael Forssell is the other important player as he is the only player to have a consistent scoring ability. On the other side, Hertha Berlin had lost a critical match against Borussia Dortmund. It showed they have a very hard time if Andrei Voronin fail to score goal. Marko Pentelic cannot relieve Voronin as he has too few matches to play and he lost the match feeling. So the key of this match will be if Voronin can pick up the scoring ability.
Last matchup: Hertha Berlin win 3-0
My tip: Match draw 1-1

Schalke 04 (8th) vs Karlsruher SC (18th) - Saturday: Schalke had won against Bochum after the change of the coaching team. The interim coaching team is predicted to focus on team rebuilding rather than aiming for achieving something, even they still on the stake on qualifying the UEFA Cup next season. This is another big test for Kevin Kuranyi and Jefferson Farfan as they will be a very dangerous position if they keep the cold streak, as they do not any excuses if they fail to score goals in this match. Karlsruher on the other hand, have failed to score goal again, which brought them to continue the non-scoring streak to 6 games. Giovanni Federico, and Sebastian Freis seem hopeless on the attack, even the defense seems fine. I believe Karlsruher are very hard to score the goal as Schalke is not bad at defense. So this will be a low scoring game and I believe Schalke will win this match.
Last matchup: Schalke 04 win 3-0
My tip: Schalke 04 win 1-0

Energie Cottbus (17th) vs Arminia Bielefeld (15th) - Saturday: A typical relegation match in this week. Both teams need this 3 crucial points so both of them should not have anything keeping them. Cottbus continues the cold streak as they lost against Frankfurt last week. It seems very bad for them because they always fail to finish the game. Plus they have a very weak attacking that lead them remain at the bottom. On the other hand, Bielefeld had suffered the same problem as Artur Wichniarek is currently on the cold streak and there is nobody can relieve him. So I believe both teams will cancel each other out and will have a bore draw.
Last matchup: Match draw 1-1
My tip: Match draw 0-0

Borussia Dortmund (9th) vs 1. FC Köln (11th) - Saturday: A midtable clash. Both teams seem they fail to qualify for Europe but they are not worried about the relegation. Borussia Dortmund did a beautiful job to beat Hertha Berlin 3-1 away from home. Alexander Frei is the most important player in the team as his finishing consistency do affect the match finishing for the team. This is the problem for Dortmund this season as they always fail to win a game and resulting a draw. On the other side, Köln has problem in home, but do very well away from home. This maybe the reason of the playing style. It seems they are better to play off the ball defense and counter attacks. However, as they do not play well in on the ball football, it is very hard for them to improve further. I believe this game will be a draw as both of them will cancel each other out.
Last matchup: Borussia Dortmund win 1-0
My tip: Match draw 1-1

1899 Hoffenheim (6th) vs VfL Bochum (14th) - Saturday: Since the restart of the season, Hoffenheim only had 1 win in all matches, that was the first restart match against Cottbus. It is not only because of the absence of Vedad Ibisevic, it is also because the other players cannot relieve him as well. Now only Demba Ba is the fit striker but he is not always finish the play well. Chinedu Obasi is still struggling to regain the excellent form in first half of the season so he cannot offer any help. Carlos Eduardo is still slumping down and he never seems to recover. On the other side, Bochum desperately need this 3 points in order to avoid the relegation early. However, it never seems there is any reliable players who can guarantee to secure the score. Diego Klimowicz is the good choice but he cannot gain any consistency in the team. So Hoffenheim has a great chance to bounce it back in order to keep the hope for qualifying to the European competition.
Last matchup: Hoffenheim win 3-1
My tip: Hoffenheim win 2-0

Bayer Leverkusen (7th) vs Werder Bremen (10th) - Sunday: Leverkusen is keep slumping down and they temporary stop the slide after they beated Köln 2-0 last week. Patrick Helmes picked up the scoring form and hope he can keep it this week. Stefan Kießling is the important player to relieve Helmes in order to keep the attacks consistent. Tranquillo Barnetta will be very important as well because he needs to control the midfield to stop Diego creating. On the other side, even Werder Bremen will play at full strength, I believe they will focus on the UEFA Cup match next Thursday. Diego and Claudio Pizarro may start the game but they will not be very keen on this match. So this is the main reason why I believe Leverkusen can win this one, maybe easier than we think.
Last matchup: Leverkusen win 2-0
My tip: Leverkusen win 2-0

VfB Stuttgart (5th) vs Hamburger SV (2nd) - Sunday: This is a very important game for both of them. Stuttgart still has a glimmer of hope for winning the league as they just trail to Wolfsbug for 6 points. As Bundesliga goes like this in this season, it is not a surprise if Stuttgart can climb up to the top. Mario Gomez and Ciprian Marica are the important strikers to score goals, provided by Thomas Hitzlsperger. On the other side, Hamburger are keen on maintaining the lead, but they have to concern the trip to Manchester City in UEFA Cup match next Thursday. Piotr Trochowski may not start the match even he is in excellent form because he maybe kept until the UEFA Cup match. Jonathan Pitroipa and Marcell Jansen will be very important in the match now as their performance in the flanks brings lot of pressure to the opposition. Considering Hamburger may keep some starters for the next European match plus the home court advantage for Stuttgart, I believe Stuttgart have a pretty good chance to win this match.
Last matchup: Hamburger win 2-0
My tip: Stuttgart win 2-1

That's it for this week. Have a happy and safe Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

FC Barcelona vs Bayern München match analysis

Bayern München had suffered a great loss against FC Barcelona 4-0. Besides being outclassed, Bayern had suffered the tight match schedule and led the squad were not fit enough to match the world class team like Barcelona. You may wonder Barcelona also had such a harsh match schedule but why there were such a difference. So this is what my aim in this post.

Squad rotation system

In some extent squad rotation system can keep the players fit. Pep Guardiola definitely could do it right. Take Lionel Messi from Barcelona and Franck Ribery as an example. Guardiola did not put him in last Saturday's league match and keep him fit for Wednesday clash. So that was why he was so energetic and scored twice. Not only this time, Messi sometimes did not play at full match in league or cup matches. He might play for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes rather than full match. So Messi was always very fit in every match. Oppositely, Franck Ribery was very unlucky. He did not have a decent break since the season started. Every single time he played for full 90 minutes every match. So even he was very skillful and very speedy, when the season came to an end, his fitness started not to support his skills and speed. Recent two matches showed Ribery was really out of gas. As Bayern did believe in squad rotation system, it turned the starters were cooked and the bench players were raw.

Squad depth

This is the difference between these two as well. The squad was so deep that everybody can look each other's back. Last paragrah mentioned Messi was so fit because he didn't need to play every minute of the game, in fact it was also because the squad had cover. Even without Messi, Krkic Bojan and even Sergio Busquets were all ready to relieve him. Eidur Guojohnsen also a fit utility to relieve not only Messi, but also to Thierry Henry, or Samuel Eto'o. Even Andrea Iniesta and Xavi had a reliever such as Seydou Keita. They had 26 players in the squad and at least 20 of them were healthy and fit. However, Franck Ribery from Bayern did not have any reliever at all. He was required to play every single second of the match so no wonder he complained to upper management to require more helps or he left. Seriously there was nobody to cover his back so that was why when he was in trouble, the whole team was in trouble. On the other hand, after the winter transfer there were only 22 players in the squad. This definitely was not looking good. Now Bayern only had 5-6 players were healthy, but I am not saying they are fit. So there is a huge difference.

I can say if Barcelona keep playing like this, nobody can stop them. They are the hot favorite to be a treble winner since Manchester United in 1999. I believe Bayern will win maybe 1-0 or 2-1 in second leg as Bayern wants some respect back and Barcelona do not need to fight hard. I believe Bayern fans will not see Lionel Messi in Allianz Arena, as 4-0 is good enough for going to Semi Final.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

German Bundesliga Week 26 Tipping

German Bundesliga resumes after the international matches last week. There will be a crucial title challenge match this week as Bayern München will be away to play against VfL Wolfsburg. Now here's my tipping this week:

Arminia Bielefeld (15th) vs Schalke 04 (8th) - Friday: Both teams have the minimal impact of the international duties as there are not so many players were called up. Bielefeld last match lost to Wolfsburg led them could not get away from the relegation trouble. However, it can be said Bielefeld was outclassed. Artur Wichniarek is now having a cold streak so it is a big worry for Bielefeld. On the other side however, Schalke now are in chaos as Fred Rutten was sacked after the "emotional" meeting with upper management. It is doubtful for their morality can go through this match. Plus, Jefferson Farfan and Kevin Kuranyi are too inconsistent so their attack is questionable, even there is an interim coaching staff to take over. I believe it is very hard to seperate the winner and low scoring is predicted.
Last matchup: Match draw 0-0
My tip: Match draw 1-1

VfL Wolfsburg (3rd) vs Bayern München (2nd) - Saturday: This is the most important match in the title race. Both teams only are seperated by the head-to-head match. Wolfsburg is in the hot streak and they improved a lot in the away form, so this is why they are now one of the contenders. The Bosinan duo, Eden Dzeko, and Zvjezden Misimovic were on international duty so I believe it affected their fitness. It impacts the team quite much as they are the most important players in the team. Speaking to international duty, the players from Bayern München were everywhere in the world last week. It seriously hurt the team as they surely are not fit enough. Plus they have to face FC Barcelona next week so they cannot give it all in the match. The only good news is Luca Toni is very likely to return and I believe it can bring threats to the opposition. Considering both teams are tired after the international duty, I believe this is a low scoring draw.
Last matchup: Bayern München win 4-2
My tip: Match draw 1-1

Hertha Berlin (1st) vs Borussia Dortmund (9th) - Saturday: Hertha Berlin just barely maintain the lead after the lost to VfB Stuttgart. Andrei Voronin is the most important factor as when he could not score, the whole Hertha Berlin attack is in trouble. He was just back from international duty so I believe it is quite troublesome to Hertha Berlin. Marko Pantelic also is back from international duty but he is not the regular starter now. On the other hand, Borussia Dortmund had won against Werder Bremen last match. However, I do not believe they are back in top form as they still have a trouble of finishing. I believe this match they will be impacted by Hertha Berlin tough defense. Alexander Frei and the company will have a hard time to find a clear chance for finishing. This match will favor Hertha Berlin and they can maintain the lead in the table.
Last matchup: Match draw 1-1
My tip: Hertha Berlin win 1-0

Eintract Frankfurt (12th) vs Energie Cottbus (17th) - Saturday: Frankfurt did very well against Bayer Leverkusen last match and they nearly won it. This week they also are affected by the international duty as there are Greek players in the team. At the same time, they are quite inconsistent in match form so it is very hard to say they can continue the streak in 2 weeks time. On the other hand, Cottbus cannot go back to the top form a month ago and they drop back to 17th in the table. They must pick up the form now as they will be relegated. The attack has the problem for creating and it seems they cannot get anything to solve it. I believe this game is quite hard to seperate but Frankfurt will win the match according to the home court advantage.
Last matchup: Frankfurt win 3-2
My tip: Frankfurt win 2-0

Hamburger SV (4th) vs 1899 Hoffenheim (5th) - Saturday: This is another the important match in the title race, especially for Hoffenheim, as this is the last chance for them to catch up. Hamburger is deeply affected by the international week as many of them were out of the team for their nations. Piotr Trochowski is doubtful this match as he did not play a single minute in the international duty. So I believe he is not fit enough to play. Paolo Guerrero and Ivica Olic will be very important in the team as they are the core of scoring. This is a great chance for them as Hoffenheim do not have a strong defense. Hoffenheim at the same time, is one of the few teams that is not affected by the international match much. Andreas Beck is the main player who is away from internationals. However, after the injury of Vedad Ibisevic, the other players start to follow his footstep. Only Demba Ba is fit to play and the others are not fit enough. I believe Hoffenheim will have a hard time to score goal and win the match as the whole team is not fit enough. Plus Hamburger has the home court advantage, so I believe they can win this one.
Last matchup: Hoffenheim win 3-0
My tip: Hamburger win 2-0

VfL Bochum (14th) vs VfB Stuttgart (6th) - Saturday: Last match Bochum had won a very important game against Borussia Mönchengladbach and claimed the important 3 points. The whole team is in good moral and one more good news is, the players are not affected by international duty very much. Christoph Dabrowski is very important midfielder in the team and he controls the game flow very much. His performance is the key factor of this match. I believe Stuttgart needs to watch out this player. On the other side, Stuttgart is affected by the international duty much as most of them are called up to Germany international. They will be affected by the fitness and I believe the game play will be slowing down. Thomas Hitzlsperger is very important as he is capable to stop Dabrowski. This match I believe will be a low scoring game but Stuttgart will win the match by better player quality.
Last matchup: Stuttgart win 2-0
My tip: Stuttgart win 2-0

1. FC Köln (11th) vs Bayer Leverkusen (7th) - Sunday: Köln remain inconsistent after the victory over Bayern. This is a mystery as they somehow lost the top form and keep struggling. The last victory against Energie Cottbus can lead them catch a breath and reform. Still, Milivoje Novakovic is the only player who can guarantee to score goals and this match he needs to do it again. On the other hand, Bayer Leverkusen is sinking without a trace as they slipped to 7th and will lose the European qualification anytime. Rene Adler is doubtful as he is injured during an international call up. The good news is Partick Helmes and Stefan Kießling are not affected by the international match much as they are the substitute in Germany national team. So, they are the important players to lead the team to reform and boost up the match form. I believe this match is very hard to seperate and a draw is very likely to happen.
Last matchup: Leverkusen win 2-0
My tip: Match draw 1-1

Werder Bremen (10th) vs Hannover 96 (13th) - Sunday: Werder Bremen last match have lost to Borussia Dortmund 1-0. It seems there are lots of problems that Werder Bremen need to solve, such as Claudio Pizarro is very inconsistent in scoring, the defense is not consistent enough to guarantee the fans that they can stop goals. Diego is very important to the team now and his creativeness can lead them win. Luckily, they are facing Hannover, who only had 2 draw games in 11 away games. They are affected by international call up in certain extent as Mikael Forrsell played for Finland last week. At the same time, the whole team does not have the core player in attack so that they cannot create goals. I believe this match Werder Bremen will win this match, maybe in easiest way.
Last matchup: Match draw 1-1
My tip: Werder Bremen win 3-0

Karlsruher SC (18th) vs Borussia Mönchengladbach (16th) - Sunday: The rank says it all, this is absolutely an important and crucial relegation match. Karlsruher is having a 5-game non-scoring streak and yet to be broken. They were very unlucky that were unable to equalize the game against Bayern 2 weeks ago. Besides luck, they lack of finishing and creativeness lead them to stay at the bottom of the table. None of the player is in good form and it is hard to see if they can change it around in such a short period of time. On the other hand, Gladbach drops back to the bottom as their match form could not find any consistency. Marko Marin is not affected by the international duty much as he is the substitute of Germany international. Alexander Baumjohann is in the full gear as he has enough rest and his performance will affect the result this match. I believe this match will be decided by the morality and the match performance. I give the vote to Gladbach.
Last matchup: Mönchengladbach win 1-0
My tip: Mönchengladbach win 2-0

Please be noted that daylight saving is effective starting from this week in Germany. That's it and have a good week!