German Bundesliga had reached the 31st week this season. VfL Wolfsburg will face the toughest challenge this week as they are facing VfB Stuttgart. This is the most important game for Wolfsburg which will directly affect their title challenge future. Now here's my tipping of this week:
Bayer Leverkusen (8th) vs Arminia Bielefeld (16th) - Friday: Leverkusen finally slowly walked out of the cold streak after the convincing victory against Schalke 04 last week. Patrick Helmes started to score goals again which is very important for the team. Another crucial player is Rene Adler, he made a lot of crucial saves last week and he will keep facing challenges this match as the defense is not consistent. On the other hand, Bielefeld surprised the fans that they snatched a draw against Stuttgart last week, but it is still doubtful if they can keep this form into this match. Artur Wichniarek is likely to return and he can help and relieve the attacking players very much. Vlad Munteanu is the key player of the team in this match as his creativeness can bring threat to Leverkusen. I believe this match Leverkusen has a slight advantage as their player quality is better.
Last matchup: Arminia Bielefeld win 2-1
My tip: Bayer Leverkusen win 2-0
Energie Cottbus (15th) vs Bayern München (2nd) - Saturday: Cottbus now is improving the match form after they took 4 crucial points in 2 matches. However, this is very unlucky for them to face Bayern München in this moment as they also need this 3 crucial points. Midfield dominance and counter attacks are the only weapons for Cottbus to win this game. So Stanislav Angelov and Dimitar Rangelov must take this job well. Together with Ervin Skela, this trio are the lethal weapon to Bayern München. Meanwhile, Bayern München had won the first game after the caretaking coach Jupp Heynckes took control. Franck Ribery is returned from suspension that will bring a lot of threats to fragile Cottbus defensive line. The biggest worry will be Luca Toni, which his match form never get improved this season. He must finish the chances well in order to lead the team to win. I believe Cottbus may have some resistent but Bayern can score goal first and win.
Last matchup: Bayern München win 4-1
My tip: Bayern München win 3-0
VfB Stuttgart (4th) vs VfL Wolfsburg (1st) - Saturday: This is the decider of the season title. Stuttgart even though they had ben stopped by Bielefeld last week but they are still in red hot form. Thomas Hitzlsperger is the key midfielder in this match as he needs to control the ball well in the middle of the park to stop Zvjezden Misimovic to create. At the same time, Serder Tasci is also the important defender in this match because Eden Dzeko and Grafite are in hot form. Meanwhile, even though Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath is confirmed to coach Schalke 04 nest season, I do not believe it will hurt the team in any ways as they are all professional. Besides the players mentioned above, the defense of the team is very important as Mario Gomez and Cacau are very good in form as well. So this match will be decided by the better defense and if Stuttgart can take the home court advantage.
Last matchup: VfL Wolfsburg win 4-1
My tip: VfB Stuttgart win 2-0
Hannover 96 (12th) vs Eintract Frankfurt (13th) - Saturday: Hannover finally found a way to win the match away from home last week. This is a great boost for their morale even though they are basically safe from the relegation. Robert Enke did a very good job last week as he stop a lot of shots from VfL Bochum. This week Hannover are more confident as they are back at home, where they play like a champion. On the other hand, Frankfurt are basically safe from relegation as well so their performance is a bit inconsistent. Defense is their key of this match as Hannover is so threatening at home. I believe this match is really depending on how long can Frankfurt stop from Hannover.
Last matchup: Eintract Frankfurt win 4-0
My tip: Hannover 96 win 3-0
Borussia Dortmund (6th) vs Karlsruher SC (18th) - Saturday: Borussia Dortmund kept the hot form which they won against Frankfurt. This 5-game winning streak led them to have a great chance to comeback to qualify for European competition. So I believe they will play at full gear this match as they know they can make it. Nelson Valdez even could not finish the play effectively, his work rate is very good that bringing lots of chances for the other teammates. On the other hand, Karlsruher took 4 crucial points in the recent 2 matches. Even though they are still at the bottom of the table, they are closer and closer to getting away from the relegation zone. However, this week is very hard for them as their poor finishing did not even threaten to anyone even. So I believe Dortmund will have an easy win as their finishing is far better than the opposition.
Last matchup: Borussia Dortmund win 1-0
My tip: Borussia Dortmund win 3-0
1899 Hoffenheim (9th) vs 1. FC Köln (11th) - Saturday: Hoffenheim kept sinking without a trace. They have recorded the 12-game non-winning streak after they were thrashed by Wolfsburg 4-0. Bench power was so thin so that when those starters were in poor form or unavailable, there were not anyone to step up to relieve them. This week the squad depth is still very shallow so that it is very hard to say they can bounce back to win this week. At the same time, Köln did not have any pressure in the league as they cannot qualify in European competition but at the same time they are safe from relegation. Milivoje Novakovic is the most important striker in the team as he is the only player who can guarantee to finish the play. I believe Köln can win the game based on their good away form and Hoffenheim is in very poor form.
Last matchup: 1899 Hoffenheim win 3-1
My tip: 1. FC Köln win 2-0
Hertha Berlin (3rd) vs VfL Bochum (14th) - Saturday: Hertha Berlin was lucky to snatch a draw against Hamburger SV last Sunday as they had just one good chance to get away in one piece. Marko Pantelic was not able to relieve Andrei Voronin as he was suspended. Gojko Karcar is very important player now as his work rate does help the team a lot. This is the chance for them to climb up the table, otherwise they will be out of the title challenge. On the other hand, Bochum was very surprised that they could not snatch a draw even at home against Hannover. Stanislav Sestak is very important player in the team and I do believe he needs to improve his match form in order to get clear of the relegation zone. Hertha Berlin will have the great chance to win even though the absence of Voronin, as the Hertha players are better in quality.
Last matchup: Hertha Berlin win 3-2
My tip: Hertha Berlin win 2-0
Borussia Mönchengladbach (17th) vs Schalke 04 (7th) - Sunday: Gladbach last week had lost to Bayern and lost the crucial point to fight against the relegation. It is understandable as they were outclassed. Alexander Baumjohann is back from suspension and Marko Marin is likely to regain the starting 11 place so that their attack will be better comparing with last week. The key point is they need to defend well as Jefferson Farfan and Kevin Kuranyi from Schalke 04 are getting better and better. On the other hand, even Schalke lost the game last week, it is still in a good run recently. Heiko Westermann will be very important player as he can turn the defense into attack effectively. Together with the tough and energetic midfielders, I believe Schalke has a clear chance to win.
Last matchup: Schalke 04 win 3-1
My tip: Schalke 04 win 2-0
Werder Bremen (10th) vs Hamburger SV (5th) - Sunday: The curtain closer in the epic Northern Derby series. Both teams are playing against each other this Thursday in UEFA Cup match so they have the same level of match fitness. Werder Bremen does not care about this match as they are very safe in 10th position. So Diego, Mesut Özil, as well as Torsten Frings will not likely to play. Per Mertesacker is very important in the match as he is very good at stopping the attackers. On the other side, Hamburger needs to win this match in order to keep the title hope survive, especially they lost 2 points las week. So I believe they will play at the full strength no matter how tired they are. Piotr Trochowski will be very important in the match as his creativeness will bring them hope to win the match. However, their tireness will let them down and Werder Bremen will win this match to kill the title hope of Hamburger.
Last matchup: Hamburger SV win 2-1
My tip: Werder Bremen win 2-1
So that's it! Hope there will be another good Bundesliga week!