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!