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  1. Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has laid into Mesut Ozil following his decision to stop playing for Germany, saying "he's been playing shit for years". The Arsenal midfielder announced on Sunday that he would "no longer be playing for Germany" after accusing German FA officials of racism. Ozil, who was born in Germany but has Turkish heritage, has been the subject of criticism in the nation after posing for a photograph with Turkish president Recep Erdogan before the World Cup. Germany went on to exit the tournament at the group stage, with Ozil being dropped for the second game, and now Hoeness has launched a scathing attack on the 29-year-old. The former West Germany international told SKy Sports: "I'm glad it is over. He's been playing shit for years. "He last won a tackle before the 2014 World Cup. And now he hides himself and his crap performance behind this photo. "His 35 million follower boys, who of course do not exist in the real world, think he has played excellently if he plays a cross to a man." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  2. Arjen Robben and Rafinha have both agreed to one-year contract extensions at Bayern Munich. A week after Franck Ribery also signed a new one-year deal, defender Rafinha and winger Robben have both agreed extensions until June 2019, which are expected to be signed in the coming days. Robben has made 290 appearances for Bayern, winning the Bundesliga title seven times and scoring the winning goal in their 2013 Champions League triumph when they beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley. Rafinha has been at Bayern since 2009, winning the German league title six times and has made 239 appearances since joining from rivals Schalke. "We are delighted to extend with these deserving players," Bayern's director of sport Hasan Salihamidzic told the official website. "Both Arjen Robben and Rafinha will play an important role in our planning for the coming season." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  3. There is no denying Pep Guardiola was a fantastic midfielder back in his playing days, being often lauded as one of the most talented players to ever come through the Barcelona youth team. But how does this midfield maestro rank in terms of a manager? Does he deserve to be known as Fraudiola or is he generally a world class coach? His trophy cabinet certainly speaks volumes, winning 22 trophies at three different clubs and looking set to add a Premier League title with runaway leaders Manchester City to bring his total to 23 trophies since his managerial career began in 2008. He was also known as the youngest ever manager to win the UEFA Champions League in his first season as Barcelona manager. In 2008, he succeeded Frank Rijkaard as manager of Barcelona spending 4 seasons at the Catalan Giants most notably winning 3 consecutive La Liga Titles in his first 3 seasons as manager. He also went on to win the Champions League, Copa Del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup twice. He was also a three-time winner of the Supercopa de Espana. However, he failed to deliver a fourth consecutive La Liga title in his final season as Barcelona manager and was also knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-final to eventual winners Chelsea. Following a year out of management he was unveiled as manager of Bayern Munich, who had just won the Champions League the season before and would go on to manage them for 3 seasons winning seven trophies during his time in Germany including three successive Bundesliga titles and two domestic doubles with the DFP-Pokal and the Bundesliga. However, he never won the Champions League with the German Giants ending their run of making it to the Champions League Final which they did the previous two seasons before being appointed as manager. In 2016, Pep Guardiola decided that it was time for a change of scenery and also a new challenge which he took in the form of Manchester City. His first season didn't go as he would have planned, failing to win a single trophy for the first time ever in his career, and also finishing third in the league, also a first in his career - failing to finish in the top two. His second season, on the other hand, seems to be going just a little bit better than his first having already won the EFL Cup and seemingly running away with the Premier League. During the middle of the season people were expecting Pep and City to deliver, they looked set to complete this and win the Quadruple. However, this was ended firstly by League One Wigan Athletic in a shock 1-0 defeat during their FA Cup tie but they still remained on course to complete a Treble until they were eliminated 5-1 on aggregate to Liverpool in the Champions League quarter final. In my opinion, he has had success handed to him taken over at already successful clubs in Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Now, at Manchester City, especially after the first season, he has found that he has a challenge on his hands to gain success nothing in which he has experienced as a manager of Barca and Bayern who are both dominant forces in the league respectively. Brian Clough, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho all experienced challenges but transformed those clubs from mediocre league team on to competing at the highest level within Europe’s elite. Mourinho with Porto, UEFA Cup & Champions League in successive seasons. Chelsea, successive Premier League titles with a record breaking 95 points in his first season. Fergie with Manchester United, breaking Liverpool’s most top-flight titles record by dominating the Premier League era. And Cloughie transforming Nottingham Forest from a Second Division outfit to Back to Back European Champions in 4 seasons. Can Pep Guardiola be mentioned alongside these World Class Managers or is the name "Fraudiola" justified? Share your thoughts about this feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  4. Liverpool will be looking to win Europe's top prize for the sixth time having made it into the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in 10 years. Having come through the playoffs to the group stage of the competition, they are yet to lose in the competition and, with 33 goals, are the leading goalscorers in this year's competition. Winning 7-0 on two separate occasions against Spartak Moscow and Maribor in the group stage and a 5-0 win against Porto in the first leg of their round of 16 tie might not have got people convinced that Liverpool could be genuine contenders. However, having beaten Pep Guardiola's runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City 5-1 over the course of two quarter-final legs might have got people thinking that maybe they could be a force to be reckoned with. Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, two of the main contenders, have already been eliminated,which has left the competition up for grabs. However, Roma, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will also be looking at claiming Europe's top prize. Real Madrid - even after almost throwing away a 3-0 first leg lead at home against Juventus still have a chance to claim their third consecutive Champions League trophy, which would make it 13 overall, thanks to a disputed last minute Cristiano Ronaldo penalty. Bayern Munich - Five-times champions of Europe, making their sixth semi final appearance in seven years in which they have been involved in two finals, winning one and losing one. Roma - looking to win their first ever Champions League. Just like Liverpool they weren't seen as contenders but eyebrows were raised when they came back from a 4-1 first leg deficit to beat Barcelona on away goals. Could Liverpool bring Europe's top prize back to England for the first time since Chelsea in 2011-12? Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  5. Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes has warned Real Madrid against making an approach for Robert Lewandowski by saying they "have no chance at all" of signing the striker. The Poland international is thought to be on the radar of the La Liga giants following a campaign that has seen him net a further 35 times in all competitions for the Bundesliga champions-elect. Heynckes, speaking ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg with Sevilla, was unequivocal about Bayern's position on the 29-year-old. "[Chairman] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has already said it: with Robert, Real Madrid have no chance at all," he told a news conference. Heynckes was less forthcoming with his views on the futures of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, whose contracts expire at the end of the season. "I have my opinion on Ribery and Robben. But I will hold back here with my recommendations," he said. "The club will know what they are and will decide in due course." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  6. Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has revealed that Thomas Tuchel has turned down an approach from the German champions and agreed to join "another club" instead. The 44-year-old coach has been without a job since he was sacked by Borussia Dortmund at the end of the 2016-17 season. Tuchel been linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea in recent months and Rummenigge has admitted that the coach has agreed to join a club other than Bayern. "In his function as director of sports, Hasan Salihamidzic was involved in many talks, among others also with Thomas Tuchel," Rummenigge told Sky Sports Germany. "Thomas Tuchel announced that he signed with another club. That is ok." Rummenigge also denied Tuchel was his personal favourite to replace current boss Jupp Heynckes in the summer. "No, we decide these matters as a committee," he said. "The director of sports proposes candidates which the board decides on. "Of course Uli Hoeneß has a say in it as well. That concludes this topic. Thomas Tuchel is a good coach. "We know that from his time in Dortmund. I have nothing more to add. There is no bad blood between us." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  7. Bordeaux winger Malcom has reiterated that he wants to sign for an "elite club in Europe" and is currently learning English ahead of a possible move to the Premier League. The Ligue 1 outfit refused to sell the Brazilian during the January window despite reported interest from Manchester United and Bayern Munich, in addition to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Malcom signed a contract extension until 2021 in September, but has hinted he could leave his current club at the end of the season if Europe's biggest clubs come calling. "I want to play for an elite club in Europe, win the Champions League and play for the Selecao," the 21-year-old told Sky Sports Germany. "When I play for a big club, my chances improve. I want to thank Bordeaux for everything. "First I want to finish the season with the best possible result and then I am going to sit down with my agent and family. Together we will make a decision. "I am learning English, because it is the most important language in the world. Wherever you are, with English you can get along. So that is very important for me. "I have learned the language very quickly, had no big troubles. French was much more difficult. So I would manage to live in England. But in the end I can integrate everywhere." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  8. Several huge fixtures take place in the Bundesliga this weekend with the race for the European places seeing numerous teams neck and neck. The gameweek begins with SC Freiburg up against VfB Stuttgart on Friday night, the hosts looking nervously over their shoulders in 14th place. Saturday then sees second-placed Schalke 04 and fifth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt up against VfL Wolfsburg and Mainz 05 respectively. And then we have Sunday, the big one, beginning with third-placed Borussia Dortmund at home to Hannover 96. Afterwards it's struggling FC Koln up against fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen, and the climax comes in the shape of RB Leipzig hosting the mighty Bayern Munich. This weekend's preview is brought to you by Football Manics vlogger and Bundesliga expert Seb Sternik in video form, so check out what the don of German football has to say about the fixture! Furthermore, Seb will be at the Koln v Leverkusen game this Sunday, so keep your eyes peeled for a report from that clash! Share your thoughts about this preview on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  9. It’s time for another Bundesliga preview and this weekend we have some huge games both in the race for Europe and the fight against relegation. RB Leipzig vs. Borussia Dortmund (Saturday) A 1-2 defeat to FC Koln last weekend meant RB Leipzig lost consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time this season. Things don’t get any easier for Die Roten Bullen as this weekend they welcome an in form Dortmund side to the Red Bull Arena. BVB are yet to lose under new head coach Peter Stoger who has seen his side go nine straight games without defeat. While the title race is all but over, Stoger will no doubt want to strengthen his side’s grip on those coveted Champions League places. Prediction: Draw Hamburger SV vs. FSV Mainz 05 (Saturday) It’s do or die time for Hamburg especially when you consider that the side has gone eleven games without a win in the Bundesliga. Brend Hollerbach is still without a victory as HSV manager and now find themselves level on points with bottom of the table FC Koln. Mainz aren’t doing much better however, at least they have some momentum heading into this game after picking up four points from their last two games. Prediction: Hamburger SV FC Koln vs. VfB Stuttgart (Sunday) For the first time in a very long time, FC Koln could move out of the 18th position in the Bundesliga. However, in order for that to happen, Koln must win and hope that Hamburg don’t. Winning may not be as easy as it sounds. Koln put on an amazing display when they defeated Leipzig last weekend but in Stuttgart they take on a completely different beast. VfB are on a roll having won three games in a row and what’s more, Tayfun Korkut’s side like to travel to the beautiful city of Cologne having not lost there since 2000. Prediction: FC Koln SC Freiburg vs. Bayern Munich (Sunday) In Sunday’s second clash, the defending champions travel to the black forest in order to take on Freiburg. One man to watch in this game is Robert Lewandowski. The Polish international has scored 13 goals in 12 games against Sunday’s opponents. However, don’t write off Freiburg just yet. Christian Streich’s side have lost just one home game this season and are in decent form having picked up 21 points from their last 12 games. Prediction: Bayern Munich Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Hannover 96 (Saturday) Both of these sides are coming into this clash having lost last weekend. A 1-0 defeat to Stuttgart has seen Frankfurt fall to 4th position in the Bundesliga. Meanwhile Hannover slipped to 10th following a slender home defeat to Gladbach. Eintracht will no doubt be the favourites in this one. They have claimed 13 points in 2018 which can only be beaten by Bayern Munich who have 19. Plus, their opponents have been struggling away from home having gone seven games without a win on the road. Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt VfL Wolfsburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday) Wolfsburg keep changing their managers however, their position in the table doesn’t seem to improve. Bruno Labbadia led his new side to a 1-1 draw with Mainz last weekend which was a bittersweet point considering both sides are in the relegation fight. Bayer are unbeaten in nine games on the road and will no doubt be the firm favourites when they travel to Wolfsburg. This is despite the fact that their defeat to Schalke last weekend has seen them drop out of the Champions League places into 5th. Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen Schalke 04 vs. Hertha Berlin (Saturday) A win for Schalke could momentarily take them up to 2nd in the Bundesliga. Their odds of a victory are greatly enhanced when you have a look at their recent record against Hertha. Schalke have beaten the Berlin outfit nine consecutive times at the Veltins Arena. Plus let’s not forget that Hertha have only scored one goal in their last 10 trips to the Royal Blues. Prediction: Schalke 04 FC Augsburg vs. TSG Hoffenheim (Saturday) Both sides are heading into Saturday’s clash having picked up draws last weekend. While Hoffenheim drew with Freiburg 1-1, Augsburg managed to go to the Signal Iduna Park and win a very handy point. Despite enjoying one of their best seasons on record, Augsburg are going through a difficult period winning just one of their previous six Bundesliga games. Similarly, Hoffenheim have picked up one win in their last eight Bundesliga games. With stats like these, this game has the word ‘classic’ written all over it… right? Prediction: Draw Share your thoughts about this feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  10. Louis van Gaal has revealed how Manchester United sought to sign Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels during his tenure at Old Trafford. The Dutchman, who spent two years as United boss from 2014-16, was at Bayern Munich from 2009-11. He was especially critical of predecessor Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision to allow Hummels to leave Bayern for Borussia Dortmund - he has since returned to the Allianz Arena. "I wanted to sign Hummels for Manchester United," Van Gaal told Sport Bild. "But because at that time he was coming out of a poorer season, we didn't do it in the end. "I can confirm that I wanted Muller. But there was nothing we could do. FC Bayern made it clear that they would not sell him." Van Gaal, sacked by United after winning the FA Cup in 2016 for Jose Mourinho, also slammed the club for seeming money as "the most important thing". "Manchester United, who I last coached, is a commercial club," he added. "Totally different to Bayern. The bosses, like Karl Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness, are former players who know what they are talking about. "Football is the most important thing, not money like it is now at United. That's why I love Bayern." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  11. It's matchday 24 and as always it is time for another Bundesliga preview with some huge games coming up over the next four days! Included in this preview is also our dedicated podcast looking at the weekend's action, presented by myself and Ben Guzdek - please give us a listen and share your thoughts on the Football Manics website or on social media! RB Leipzig (5th) vs. FC Koln (18th) - Sunday Leipzig are yet to lose at home since the turn of the year and are in decent form ahead of this upcoming clash with Koln. Last week’s defeat to Eintracht was their first in three games but it was enough to push them out of the top four. Koln are also in decent form. They began 2018 with two consecutive wins however, a tricky run of fixtures has halted their race pursuit of safety. Two points from their last four games has left them six points adrift of 15th placed Bremen. Prediction: RB Leipzig Werder Bremen (15th) vs. Hamburger SV (17th) - Saturday What a rotten run HSV have been on this season! Ten games without a win, only 17 points on their season tally and the threat of relegation increasing with every week. This Saturday they take on fellow strugglers Bremen in what is a must win game for both. Looking at previous games between the two sides it’s hard to draw a conclusion. While Werder have lost just one of their last 10 home league clashes with HSV, they won this fixture just once since 2015. Prediction: Draw FSV Mainz (16th) vs. VfL Wolfsburg (14th) – Friday The relegation weekend kicks off on Friday night when Mainz face Wolfsburg. The home side ended their three game losing run last week with a comprehensive 0-2 victory over Hertha Berlin. That won’t be the only confidence booster for the FSV faithful though as in order to find the last Wolfsburg victory in Mainz you would have to go all the way back to the 2010/11 season. Undoubtedly this is going to be an emotional trip back for Wolfsburg manager Martin Schmidt who spent seven years at the club. However, his new team have a job to do after winning just one of their last nine Bundesliga games. Prediction: Mainz Bayern Munich (1st) vs. Hertha Berlin (11th) – Saturday Bayern seem to be going from strength to strength and this Saturday they take on a side which they haven’t lost to at home since 1977. Bayern have won all six of their games in the league in 2018 plus, they are making their voices heard in Europe. Despite coming into this game on the back of a defeat, Hertha haven’t lost consecutive games since the back end of last season; so you could say there is some hope. I stress the word 'some'! Prediction: Bayern Munich Borussia Dortmund (2nd) vs. FC Augsburg (8th) – Monday Peter Stoger is certainly enjoying his first few months at the helm of BVB. He is currently unbeaten since taking over (five wins and three draws), taken the team up to 2nd in the table and is progressing well in the Europa League. This Sunday they take on a team who are enjoying one of their best seasons to date. Augsburg have collected 31 points from 23 games and they find themselves in European football territory. Despite all the positives, Augsburg have suffered their first consecutive league defeats of the season following losses to Leipzig and Stuttgart. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund Bayer Leverkusen (4th) vs. Schalke 04 (6th) – Sunday In what could prove to be a 'Super' Sunday, Bayer welcome Schalke in a clash featuring two giants of German football. Leverkusen are enjoying a good season and currently occupy the last Champions League place. Schalke would certainly love to be in the same part of the table however, two defeats in three has seen them slip all the way to 6th. This fixture often produces goals and neutrals will no doubt be hoping for a similar score to the clash in 2006 which saw Schalke win 7-4. Hannover 96 (7th) vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (10th) - Saturday Hannover don’t have a great recent record against Gladbach. In fact, Die Roten have lost seven of their last nine Bundesliga games against Die Fohlen. The problem for Gladbach heading into this game is that their overall form has been well below par. Four straight defeats has seen Dieter Hecking’s side fall from the heights of the top four to the lows of 10th place. Prediction: Hannover 96 VfB Stuttgart (13th) vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (3rd) – Saturday Strange fixture this one. It features a side who has a great home record against a team with a phenomenal away record. Eintracht have somehow managed to climb as high as 3rd in the Bundesliga table and are now firmly in the fight for European football. Frankfurt have picked up 13 points from six games (a record only beaten by Bayern) and also boast a great defence having conceded the second fewest amount of goals (again only beaten by Bayern). Prediction: Draw Hoffenheim (9th) vs. SC Freiburg (12th) – Saturday Julian Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim are currently 9th but things could have been so much better. Die Kraichgauer have lost more points from winning positions than anyone else this season (22). Freiburg meanwhile, like a good comeback which wasn’t necessary last weekend as they picked up all the three points with a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen. Prediction: Hoffenheim Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  12. Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has sung the praises of Germany attacker Thomas Muller following Bayern Munich’s win over Bundesliga strugglers Wolfsburg at Volkswagen Arena on Saturday afternoon. The hosts opened the scoring through Daniel Didavi in the eighth minute but Sandro Wagner levelled in the 64th minute from an Arjen Robben pass. Bayern left it late as striker Robert Lewandowski converted from the spot in the 91st minute after Arjen Robben had already seen an earlier penalty saved. The 28-year-old attacker came in for Spaniard Thiago Alcântara and he proved to be a major impact, with Heynckes attributing their win to him. "With the substitution of Muller he has changed our game, because he is very flexible, goes into the room between the lines and also creates space for team-mates," Heynckes told reporters. "We had possession, but never got deep in Wolfsburg's half. It was clear to me that we would not get chances like that. "During the second half we played more fluently and faster, and we are happy. For Wolfsburg, that is very bitter, because they have fought exceedingly. He said. Muller has been somewhat of a bit part player this season making 24 appearances in all competitions and scoring six goals in the process. Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  13. Matchday 23 is here which can only mean one thing; we are back with another Bundesliga preview. Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund (Sunday) Gladbach are in a real bad place at the moment. Three straight defeats, three straight games without a goal and a significant drop down the table has left the teams' top four chances in doubt. Dortmund, meanwhile, are enjoying a really good spell under new manager Peter Stoger. In fact, they are yet to lose under the former Koln head coach. What’s more, Dortmund have a terrific recent record against their rivals winning all of their last 5 clashes and scoring 20 goals in the process. Michy Batshuayi is the man to watch. With five goals in three games he is turning out to be one of the best signings of the January transfer window. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund Eintracht Frankfurt vs. RB Leipzig (Monday) Who would have imagined a couple of months back that this would be a top four clash? Well, here we are. Eintracht are in good form. Three wins from four games has lifted them into Champions League places and they are now only two points away from second. Leipzig are also in decent form. They have won two consecutive games for the first time since October and are currently the closest challengers to Bayern Munich. This will be the first Monday night Bundesliga game in nearly two years. The last one was a cracker which saw Werder Bremen demolished Stuttgart 6-2. Prediction: RB Leipzig Hamburger SV vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday) Hamburg’s position in the relegation zone is becoming more precarious with every week. The team is now winless in nine and have FC Koln right on their tails. However, there is hope. Their recent home record against Bayer has been pretty good. Three wins and one draw from their last four encounters at the Volksparkstadion does give them some encouragement. Leverkusen will be no easy pickings this time though. This is a team that a couple of weeks ago set a club record after scoring in 25 consecutive league games. What’s more, they are unbeaten in 8 of their last top flight away games. Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen FC Koln vs. Hannover 96 (Saturday) Has the Koln revival come to an abrupt end? I would argue not. Koln followed up their three straight wins with a draw and a couple of defeats. However, in those defeats the Billy Goats showed plenty of heart and plenty of spirit. In the end, the quality of the opposition got the better of them. But perhaps the best answer to that question will be the result of this game. Hannover will be no easy opposition having just lost one of their last six games. Despite that, their away form hasn’t produced many W’s. Prediction: FC Koln Wolfsburg vs. Bayern Munich (Saturday) Bayern are a few weeks away from clinching the title and they come into this away trip to Wolfsburg in good spirits. Jupp Heynckes has won 10 straight games against VfL which is his best run against a German side in his illustrious managerial career. Plus, Wolfsburg are coming into this game having won just one of their last eight league games. Robert Lewandowski is the man to watch as he has scored 11 goals in his last five games against Saturday’s hosts. Prediction: Bayern Munich Schalke vs. Hoffenheim (Saturday) Following two consecutive defeats, Schalke have dropped out of the Champions League places into 6th. In fact, Schalke have taken just four points from their opening five games in 2018. Hoffenheim, meanwhile, haven’t won away from home in six league games. They have also conceded the joint highest amount of goals since the start of the New Year (13). This will be an intriguing battle between two of the youngest managers in the Bundesliga. Prediction: Draw FC Augsburg vs. VfB Stuttgart (Sunday) Augsburg have won four straight home Bundesliga games against Stuttgart and overall, they generally perform well on their own turf. Currently, Manuel Baum’s side are on a six game unbeaten home run. Nevertheless, could Mario Gomez be the difference maker for the Swabians? He scored a goal every 82 minutes against Augsburg and should feature against them this Sunday. Prediction: Augsburg SC Freiburg vs. SV Werder Bremen (Saturday) Bremen will fancy their chances in this one. They have won two straight games and come into this game without defeat in three. Additionally, Werder have won seven of their previous nine visits to the Black Forest. Freiburg have done well to climb up the table thanks to their nine game unbeaten run. They have lost just one of their last 15 games at home and won’t be push overs in Saturday’s clash. Prediction: Draw Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  14. Joshua Kimmich has been named Germany's Player of the Year for 2017. The 22-year-old had an excellent year, gatecrashing his way into the Bayern Munich main team and being selected in a vibrant German squad that won the Confederations Cup. Kimmich’s emergence for both club and country has aided to fill the void left after the retirement of captain Philipp Lahm at the end of last season, playing 1,260 minutes for Germany in 2017. The versatile defender was awarded for his stellar performance in the supporters’ poll for Germany's Player of the Year for 2017, having received over than 20,000 votes. Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Julian Draxler finished second, with the top three completed by Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Mesut Ozil, named Germany's Player of the Year five times in the last six years, was left out because he did not play enough games. Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  15. Have Bayern almost clinched the title? Are FC Koln about to pull off the great escape? Who will make the Champions League places? We can’t answer any of these questions just yet - however, this weekend’s fixtures should give us an indication of what to expect. Hamburger SV vs. FC Koln (Saturday) Talk about relegation six pointers, it certainly doesn’t get more important than this. FC Koln only picked up their first league victory two match days ago yet they are slowly beginning to build momentum and come into this game with two successive wins under their belt. Hamburg, meanwhile, have lost three straight games and that isn’t even their worst run in this campaign. Despite another disappointing season, the one slight positive is that Markus Gisdol’s side are two points better off than they were last season. FC Koln will be hoping to capitalise on HSV’s poor form however, they themselves haven’t won away from home since that 1-6 win over Darmstadt 12 months ago. Prediction: Draw Schalke 04 vs. Hannover 96 (Sunday) Schalke boast an impressive home record this season having only lost one of their last 16 home league games. What’s more they have a good home record against Hannover winning all of their last five clashes at the Veltins Arena. Hannover are on a four game losing run away from home and will be desperate to change that this Sunday. Interestingly, there has never been a goalless draw in the top-flight in this fixture. Let’s hope that record doesn’t change. Prediction: Schalke 04 Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen (Sunday) You have to feel sorry for Werder Bremen when looking at their recent history in this fixture. Bayern have beaten their opponents in 14 straight Bundesliga games; a run which stretches all the way back to 2010. In this time, Bremen have only been able to score 7 measly goals. Jupp Heynckes’ side are 13 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and can strengthen their title challenge with yet another win. The current champs are on a 30 match unbeaten run at home in the league and look unstoppable. Prediction: Bayern Munich Freiburg vs. RB Leipzig (Saturday) Leipzig made a strong start to 2018 as they ended their 4 match winless run with a 3-1 victory over high flying Schalke 04. Freiburg are doing well generally and haven’t lost a league game since November. Their good run has seen them escape the relegation zone - however, they still have a lot more work to do in order to maintain their positon. Prediction: RB Leipzig Borussia Monchengladbach vs. FC Augsburg (Saturday) Gladbach have a chance to go as high as third with a victory over Augsburg. However, that may prove easier said than done as Dieter Hecking’s side have a poor record against their upcoming opponents. The hosts haven’t beaten Augsburg in any of their last four clashes and they have only picked up one win from the last nine meetings. Prediction: Draw FSV Mainz vs. VfB Stuttgart (Saturday) On one hand, Mainz seem to have the upper hand over their opponents as they are unbeaten in nine competitive games against Stuttgart. On the other hand, it is Stuttgart who come into this fixture with any kind of momentum following their 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin last week. Meanwhile, Mainz haven’t won a league game since November. Prediction: Draw Hoffenheim vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday) This is a highly promising game between two sides who have been pretty impressive this season. While generally Bayer boast a good record against Hoffenheim, it is Julian Nagelsmann’s side who are unbeaten in their last 4 with the Leverkusen outfit. What’s more, Hoffenheim have been consistently scoring goals. In fact, they have netted a goal in each of their 13 competitive home games this term. Prediction: Hoffenheim VfL Wolfsburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (Saturday) Frankfurt are currently 9th in the Bundesliga and are only three points off fourth placed Schalke 04. However, their good league position has got nothing to do with their home form. In fact, it is their away form which has propelled them up in the table. Eintracht have won three from their last 5 away league games and have the second best away record in the Bundesliga. Wolfsburg are currently 12th and will be eager to win the three points and continue to build a gap between themselves and the relegation zone. Prediction: Frankfurt Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  16. IT’S BACK! The Bundesliga returns this weekend with a host of great games across Germany. Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich (Friday) We kick off with a gargantuan clash at the top of the Bundesliga. While league leaders Bayern have the ability to make most of their opponents look helpless, Leverkusen are certainly not one of them. In fact Bayern haven’t won at the BayArena in four of their last visits. What’s worse for Jupp Heyncke’s side is the fact that Bayern haven’t scored in Leverkusen in three consecutive games. This looks all well and good for Heiko Herrlich’s team however, they do seem to struggle against the top teams, picking up just three points against the current top 5 this season. What’s more Munich have won 9 of their last 10 league games. Prediction: Very tough to call so… Draw RB Leipzig vs. Schalke 04 (Saturday) How are you planning to spend your Saturday night? Whatever it is, cancel it! This is because the only thing that you could possibly do is follow this huge game between second-placed Schalke and fifth-placed Leipzig. The hosts are in poor form ahead of this game having failed to pick up a win in four straight league games. Schalke, on the other hand, are unbeaten in 11 Bundesliga matches. Plus, they seem to like opening games of the calendar year, winning five of their last six. Prediction: Draw FC Koln vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Sunday) This will certainly be an interesting fixture. Koln have only beaten their local rivals twice from their last 14 league meetings. The bottom of the table strugglers have only accumulated six points so far and look destined for relegation. But remember, they are on a one-game winning run after their 1-0 demolition of Wolfsburg! Gladbach are enjoying a very good campaign under Dieter Hecking. They have currently racked up 28 points, which is 11 more than at this stage last season. Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach Borussia Dortmund vs. VfL Wolfsburg (Sunday) Peter Stoger seems to have given BVB a bit of stability following a woeful run of form in the final few months of 2017. They begin the New Year with a home game against Wolfsburg who they only lost to once from the previous 10 competitive meetings. Here’s a stat for all you facts and figures fans, BVB could make it 500 home Bundesliga wins should they pick up the three points against Wolfsburg on Sunday. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund Werder Bremen vs. TSG Hoffenheim (Saturday) While Hoffenheim have lost each of their previous three away games, they are still considered the favourites in this match. Perhaps one reason for that is the fact that Bremen are currently 16th with 15 points on their tally; their worst ever ranking at this stage of a season. What’s worse for Werder fans is that a defeat against Hoffenheim will mark their 600th Bundesliga loss. Ouch. Prediction: Hoffenheim Eintracht Frankfurt vs. SC Freiburg (Saturday) Thanks to a good run in December, Freiburg have managed to escape the relegation zone and have built a nice four point gap between themselves and the drop zone. Moreover, Freiburg have only recorded one defeat to Eintracht in eight previous meetings. Eintracht might be a lot higher up the table than their opponents however, their home record this season has been dire; third worst in the Bundesliga. Could that be the deciding factor? Prediction: Freiburg FC Augsburg vs. Hamburger SV (Saturday) Hamburg have won three from four previous clashes with Augsburg however, they were thrashed 4-0 in the latest one back in April. Augsburg currently have 24 points and are sitting in 8th which is their best ever position at this stage of a season. HSV, meanwhile, are playing with fire after they slipped to second from bottom over December. Prediction: Augsburg VfB Stuttgart vs. Hertha Berlin (Saturday) Two consecutive wins, no defeats in three and all is good at Hertha Berlin. The same cannot be said for Stuttgart who have lost four straight games; conceding five goals in the process and scoring none. Berlin are unbeaten in five away games and look on course to pick up the three points here. Prediction: Hertha Berlin Hannover 96 vs FSV Mainz (Saturday) This is an important game for Mainz who are currently two points above the relegation zone. A win would ease the pressure while a defeat could send them into the bottom three. Both teams have been hard to separate in the past with Hannover winning 7 top-flight meetings, Mainz winning 6 and also 8 draws. But with Mainz winless in 14 top-flight away games, it’s hard to see them picking up a positive result here. Prediction: Hannover 96 Share your thoughts about this Bundesliga preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  17. Bayern Munich have announced the signing of Hoffenheim and Germany striker Sandro Wagner. The 30-year-old will join the Bundesliga champions in the January transfer window after signing a two-and-a-half year contract. Wagner, who has been given the number two shirt, says he is delighted to be returning to his home city and said it was an easy decision to say yes. "I'm delighted," Wagner told Bayern's official website. "A long journey for me is now at an end and I can return to my home, my club. "I'm very happy that it's come off. Bayern are the best club in Germany and one of the best in the world. When I got the offer, I didn't have to think about it for long." Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic added: "With Sandro Wagner we add another Germany international to Bayern. "We are confident that Sandro Wagner will further enhance the quality of our team through his class and experience." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  18. The Bundesliga might be done for this calendar year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more German football to dissect. Welcome to our first DFB Pokal preview ahead of what promises to be an unforgettable Last 16 round. Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund (Wednesday) What can we say about this game? Huge, enormous, gargantuan? How about special? Many are calling this the ‘Final’ and why not, with the exception of these two giants only one other team has lifted the cup in the last six years (VfL Wolfsburg). There are few rivalries more fierce than this one and a sell-out Allianz Arena is guaranteed. The game is likely to feature two of the best strikers on the planet go head to head with Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. This is simply unmissable! Prediction: Bayern Munich Schalke 04 vs. FC Koln (Tuesday) Finally, FC Koln are back to winning ways. A slender 1-0 win over Wolfsburg was enough to earn the team their first league victory of the season. However, there’s no time to dwell on yesterday’s news as this Tuesday they face a tough trip to Gelsenkirchen in the cup. Schalke might be second in the league but beware, their record against Koln isn’t one to shout about. Last seven meetings have seen four wins for The Billy Goats, one for the Royal Blues and two draws. Prediction: FC Koln Paderborn vs. Ingolstadt (Tuesday) Paderborn are the last representatives of the German third tier and on paper, they have a decent chance of making it even further. The hosts have already beaten second division Bochum and St. Pauli which must give them a lot of belief heading into this game. Nevertheless, Ingolstadt are no easy opposition. Last season’s Bundesliga outfit are currently fourth in the second division and are expected to progress. Prediction: Paderborn Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Wednesday) What a heavyweight clash this promises to be! In one corner we have Dieter Hecking’s Monchengladbach who will no doubt want revenge after they were thumped 1-5 by Leverkusen only two months ago. The other corner contains an in-form Bayer side who have proved hard to stop in recent weeks. Whatever the result, one thing guaranteed is a tasty clash between two big guns of German football. Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen Nurnberg vs. Wolfsburg (Tuesday) Next we have another potential underdog story. Second division Nurnberg are unbeaten in five and come into this game with top flight Wolfsburg in good spirits. The same can’t be said for the visitors who travel to Nurnberg after making history by being the first ones to lose to Koln in the 2017/18 Bundesliga season. The question is, how quickly can die Wolfe get off the canvas. Prediction: Wolfsburg Heidenheim vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (Wednesday) Second tier Heidenheim are sitting 14th in the table and despite a defeat to relegation threatened Greuther Furth, their recent form cannot be sniffed at. However, they are set to take on a Frankfurt outfit who are having a good season in the Bundesliga. The visitors are unsurprisingly the favorites in this one and the 2016/17 runners up should be able to get the job done without too many dramas. Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt Werder Bremen vs. Freiburg (Wednesday) Last time these two sides played each other it finished as a 0-0 draw. That was the odd one out in terms of the results as this fixture often produces some high scoring ties. Freiburg have been in sensational form over the past few weeks and have scored 8 goals in their last three games. Bremen, meanwhile, currently sit in the relegation play-off place in the Bundesliga. Prediction: Freiburg Mainz 05 vs. VfB Stuttgart (Tuesday) Here’s another all-Bundesliga clash and this time it’s between two sides in poor form. Newly promoted Stuttgart have lost four games in a row while their cup tie opponents have suffered defeats in three of their last five league games. While this doesn’t immediately strike people as a 5-star classic, let’s not discard it just yet. Prediction: FSV Mainz Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  19. It’s time for the final Bundesliga Preview of 2017 as the German top flight take a break after this weekend’s fixtures. Borussia Dortmund vs. TSG Hoffenheim (Saturday) Peter Stoger made an impressive start to his new managerial tenure at Borussia Dortmund with a positive 2-0 victory over Mainz. His next game is far tougher with Hoffenheim making the trip to the Signal Iduna Park. That victory for BVB was their first league win in eight; a winless run which stretched back to September. TSG, meanwhile, have enjoyed some good results lately and are currently sitting in 6th. Their only concern will be the poor record they have against Dortmund which has seen them winless in 8 previous meetings. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund VfB Stuttgart vs. Bayern Munich (Saturday) Bayern Munich know how to end a year on a high. Their last defeat on the final round of fixtures of the year came in 1984; a 3-2 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach. That run looks odds on to continue with Stuttgart failing to beat Bayern in their last 15 attempts (all losses). What’s more, VfB are going through a bit of a bad patch following three consecutive defeats, including their first at home in 2017. One milestone we have to mention is Robert Lewandowski breaking into the top 10 all-time Bundesliga goal scorers last week. He is now only 11 away from Klaus Allofs and Dieter Muller (both 177). Prediction: Bayern Munich FC Koln vs. VfL Wolfsburg (Saturday) Despite a couple of positive performances, Koln are still winless as we approach the half way mark of the season. Wolfsburg, on the other hand, have only lost one of their last 12 games under new manager Martin Schmidt. The only concern is that the team haven’t won too many games either and currently find themselves four points above the bottom three. Four of the last five meetings have ended as draws and there is a feeling that this run is going to continue. Prediction: Draw RB Leipzig vs. Hertha Berlin (Sunday) Following four straight games without a win, RB Leipzig will be desperate to get back to winning ways and end a great year on a high. However, this is easier said than done as Hertha seem to be finding some of their old form after that 3-1 win over Hannover. The Old Lady are currently 11th and could move up to 9th with another win. Prediction: RB Leipzig Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Schalke 04 (Saturday) If the Bundesliga was won based on a team’s away results, Eintracht Frankfurt would be top of the league. However, the Eagles are struggling at home with seven points from seven games this season. Schalke jumped ahead of Leipzig into 2nd with a 3-2 win over Augsburg and will be looking to close the gap on league leaders Bayern in this final round of fixtures in 2017. The only problem for the Gelsenkirchen side is their poor form against Eintracht. The home side have not only won two of the last meetings but are also undefeated at home to Schalke in six. Prediction: Schalke 04 Hannover 96 vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Sunday) What a run Leverkusen are on! Three wins from four, only one goal conceded and currently up to 5th in the table. What’s more, they have won their last four meetings with Hannover and will be heading into this game with great momentum. Despite winning just one of their last five games, newly promoted Hannover are still sitting mid-table in 10th. There is some encouragement for Hannover. They have only lost once this season at their own ground and the noisy atmosphere at the HDI Arena will help. Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen FC Augsburg vs. SC Freiburg (Saturday) What an intriguing contest this could turn out to be! Freiburg were in the relegation places just two weeks ago. However, three wins from five have completely changed the mood at the club. Augsburg, meanwhile, are enjoying one of their best ever seasons and are currently sitting 9th in the table. The home side have mixed form at home which makes this game all the harder to predict. Prediction: Draw Werder Bremen vs. Mainz (Saturday) During last six previous meetings no home team has managed to pick up a victory. Both teams certainly could use a win looking at their current position. Werder seem to be going into this game with some kind of form having won three from their last five. Mainz have picked up only four points from their last five games and will be desperate for a result here. Prediction: Werder Bremen Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  20. Bayern Munich have threatened to take legal action against a German newspaper after the Bundesliga club was linked with a January move for Bernd Leno. The Bavarian giants currently have both first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and back-up Sven Ulreich on the sidelines at present. A date for Neuer's return remains unclear with some reports suggesting he may not feature until March due to a foot injury, while Ulreich pulled his thigh muscle ahead of Saturday's 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. That meant Ulreich was forced to leave the pre-match warm-up and hand Tom Starke his 100th league appearance – the 36-year-old having come out of retirement when Neuer got injured in September. German outlet Bild had reported that Bayer Leverkusen keeper Leno was set to switch to the Allianz Arena, but Bayern have responded to the allegations. "The Bild newspaper claims in its current issue that Bayern Munich want to sign Bernd Leno from Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen 'in the winter break'," a Bayern statement read. "This reporting is without foundation. Bayern Munich will take legal action." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  21. It’s time for yet another Bundesliga Preview with crucial games taking place both at the top and the bottom of the table. Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Schalke 04 (Saturday) We kick off with a huge game at the top of the league between 3rd placed Schalke and 4th placed Gladbach. Having failed to qualify for a European cup competition last season, both teams enjoyed a quiet mid-week period. Both are also quite evenly matched having enjoyed good recent spells. Schalke failed to beat bottom of the table Köln last week however, the 2-2 draw extended their unbeaten run to 8 games. Gladbach, on the other hand, suffered a 3-0 loss to Wolfsburg last weekend; only their 4th defeat all season. Prediction: Schalke 04 Borussia Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen (Saturday) Bremen might be second to bottom in the table but don’t be surprised to see many bookmakers offering short odds on Die Werderaner to win; after all, they are the ones coming into this game in better form. Florian Kohfeldt’s side have won two of their last three and they’re beginning to chase down their closest rivals in the relegation fight. Dortmund meanwhile, are still in a rot. Peter Bosz’ side are without a win in 7 and their Champions League run came to an end this Wednesday having won just 2 points from 6 group games. The only thing going for them here is history with Werder losing all of their last 10 visits to the Signal Iduna Park. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund FC Koln vs. Freiburg (Sunday) Speaking of the relegation fight, FC Koln take on Freiburg in a must win game this Sunday. Stefan Ruthenbeck will be taking charge of his first league game as the Koln manager and there is a growing feeling among fans that anything but the three points will do against fellow strugglers Freiburg. In head to head meetings it’s the visitors who hold a slight advantage with 4 wins from 5 however, they have lost eight of their last nine away league games. Prediction: FC Koln Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayern Munich (Saturday) The league leaders recovered from their defeat to Gladbach a fortnight ago with 3-1 victories over PSG and Hannover 96. Frankfurt meanwhile come into this tough encounter with some mixed results under their belt. Niko Kovac’s side have won two, drawn two and lost one of their last five Bundesliga games. What’s more they’re taking on a team which has had their number over the years. Since the turn of the millennium, Frankfurt have only recorded 3 wins over Munich. Will we see a fourth this Saturday? Prediction: Bayern Munich Hamburger SV vs. VfL Wolfsburg (Saturday) We are guaranteed goals in this fixture. How do I know? Here’s an amazing stat. In all the years that these two sides have played each other, there has never been a goalless draw. And with both teams hitting form, we’re looking at a potential game of the week contender. Hamburg’s two wins in four has taken them within touching distance of 11th placed Wolfsburg. The visitors though are also looking good with two wins from three. Prediction: Draw (But obviously not a 0-0) RB Leipzig vs. FSV Mainz (Saturday) Leipzig seem to have hit a road bump this week having lost two consecutive games; first a 4-0 loss to Hoffenheim followed by a 1-2 defeat to Besiktas. They will be desperate to get back on track in this game and expectations are high having picked up 16 points from an available 18 at the Red Bull Arena. Mainz have also lost 2 on the bounce but with them in a precarious position in the league, they cannot afford too many slip ups. Prediction: RB Leipzig Hannover 96 vs. Hoffenheim (Sunday) A stroke of tactical genius from Julian Nagelsmann saw his side thrash Leipzig 4-0 last week. However, that was only their second league victory in six; a record the team will be looking to improve. Hannover have also won 2 league games from 6 but overall, their fans have been happy with the way their side has marked their return to the top flight. Part of their success has been their home form having lost just one of their six home games. Prediction: Hoffenheim Augsburg vs. Hertha Berlin (Sunday) Augsburg will be looking for their third straight league victory when they take on Hertha Berlin this Sunday. However, Manuel Baum’s side have struggled against the Old Lady in recent times, failing to net in all five previous meetings. Despite that, they are the team in form and are odds-on to break that run. Predictions: Augsburg Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  22. It’s time for our weekly Bundesliga preview and there is only one place to start. Borussia Dortmund take on Schalke 04 in the Ruhr Derby and the stakes are high for one particular man, Peter Bosz. We also look ahead to all the other games including another potential cracker between Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich. Borussia Dortmund vs. Schalke 04 (Saturday) Are we looking at Peter Bosz’ last game in charge of BVB? A defeat would certainly push him closer and closer towards the edge of the cliff. Dortmund have won just two from 11 games in all competitions and have collected just one point from their last 15 available. At that same time, Schalke have won 13 points and are currently up to 2nd in the league. But the fact that Schalke are in form isn’t Borussia’s only worry. Der BVB have won just four home games against Schalke since the turn of the millennium. However, Bosz has experience against Die Knappen after eliminating them in the quarter-finals of the Europa League with Ajax last season. Prediction: Draw Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Bayern Munich (Saturday) One manager who is not under pressure is Jupp Heynckes. In two short months the Bayern manager has fully stabilised the club and is now looking at winning his 10th successive game in all competitions. But Monchengladbach will be no push overs. Dieter Hecking’s side are currently 4th after a good recent spell. Die Fohlen have won six from nine games in comps and are looking forward to the challenge. Prediction: Bayern Munich RB Leipzig vs. Werder Bremen (Saturday) Super Saturday just keeps on getting better. Here we have another potential thriller as Leipzig take on Bremen. Die Werderaner won their first Bundesliga game of the season last week with a 4-0 thrashing of Hannover. They now travel to Leipzig who currently occupy 3rd place in the league. Last time these two sides met, it was Werder who came out victorious with a 3-0 win. Surely Leipzig, who beat Monaco 1-4 in the Champions League on Tuesday, won’t let that happen again. Prediction: RB Leipzig FC Koln vs. Hertha Berlin (Sunday) The Cologne outfit have picked up more points in their last two Europa League games than 12 Bundesliga fixtures. Peter Stoger’s side are now the only side in the German top flight without a league win this season. Hertha aren’t doing well themselves having won only two of their last 10 games in all competitions. With Koln heading into this on the back of a win over Arsenal, can they finally break their duck? Prediction: FC Koln Hannover 96 vs. VfB Stuttgart (Friday) Stuttgart did pick up an impressive 2-1 win over Dortmund last week but their away form this season has been dreadful with 0 wins on their account. And although Hannover lost 4-0 to Werder Bremen, Die Roten have a decent home record which has been one of the key reasons for their recent successes. It’s a battle between two promoted sides and it’s a great game to kick off matchday 13. Prediction: Hannover Hamburger SV vs. Hoffenheim (Sunday) Hamburg are two points above the relegation zone and things don’t get any easier this weekend as they take on 6th placed Hoffenheim. Markus Gisdol’s side followed up an impressive 3-1 win over Stuttgart with a 2-0 defeat to Schalke, condemning the side to their fifth consecutive away loss. Hoffenheim haven’t fared all that better, picking up just two wins from their last 10 games in all competitions. Prediction: Draw Augsburg vs. Wolfsburg (Saturday) It’s pretty extraordinary but Wolfsburg are 14th despite losing just 2 games this season; one more than league leaders Bayern Munich. Last week Die Wolfe ended a run of seven consecutive draws with a 3-1 win over Freiburg. This weekend, they’re taking on an Augsburg side which is outperforming everyone’s expectations in 10th place. Prediction: Wolfsburg Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday) With just two points separating both teams in the league, this promises to be a close affair. Frankfurt are unbeaten in their last six Bundesliga games while Leverkusen haven’t tasted defeat in seven. Previous meetings also don’t provide much of an indication therefore…. Prediction: Draw Freiburg vs. Mainz 05 (Saturday) Mainz’ form has been pretty inconsistent but at least it has been good enough to keep them above the danger zone. Freiburg’s form meanwhile, has seen more L’s then a Welsh dictionary and Christian Streich’s side are desperate to start putting points on the board. Prediction: Freiburg Share your thoughts about this Bundesliga feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  23. Sebastian Sternik

    What’s on! Our top four TV picks for this weekend

    With so many big games up and down the continent, we’ve done you a favor and picked out the top four televised fixtures for this weekend. Let’s be honest, the Premier League has left some of its big hitters hidden away until Sunday so before we got to those, let’s turn our attention to Saturday and the monster clash in Germany. Yes, it’s Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich (KO 17:30) in the Bundesliga. Lucky BT Sport 2 viewers will get the opportunity to see this rivalry in full force. With BVB in poor recent form they will be desperate to get back on track in arguably their biggest game of the season so far. Bayern, meanwhile, would love to add to Borussia’s worries and dish out further misery in the shape of three away points. The next big clash on Saturday takes place at the Camp Nou as Barcelona welcome Sevilla (KO 19:45). The visitors seem to have got over their bad patch and have enjoyed three consecutive wins in all competitions. This is unlikely to boost confidence as Barcelona’s recent home record certainly makes grim reading for Eduardo Berizzo’s side. The Catalans have won their last 17 home league games, scoring 68 goals along the way. While the appointment of Ernesto Valverde might have raised a few eyebrows at the start of the season, he has done a fine job so far and is sitting pretty at the top of La Liga. You can catch this game live on Sky Sports Football. Super Sunday promises to be Super for once Too often Sky Sports bill Sunday as ‘Super’ for no good reason. However this time round, the term is fully justified. In fact, it should be replaced with the word colossal, mammoth, monstrous or perhaps all three put together. The day begins with Manchester City taking on Arsenal (KO 14:15). The Cityzens have been unstoppable since the start of the season, literally speaking, and will be looking to extend their good run with a win over Arsenal. Following a bore fest with Crevna Zvezda in the Europa League, it will be interesting to see how Arsene Wenger’s side approach this game. Since 2014 they have a decent record against City (W4 D5 L1) but is there any stopping this Guardiola goal machine? If that’s not enough, the action moves to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea take on Manchester United (KO 16:30). The game will see Jose Mourinho make a return to his old stomping ground but will his Red Devils take the three points? The last time Man Utd won away at the Bridge was in 2012 when Chicharito scored a 75th minute winner in a 2-3 thriller (ahh, good old Fergie era). Both games are on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League on what should be a memorable double header. Share your thoughts about this feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  24. There are certain moments in life which make the hairs on your arms stand up. When Borussia Dortmund play Bayern Munich, it undoubtedly falls into that category. Yes, Der Klassiker is back and we will be looking ahead to that monster clash along with the other Bundesliga games on match day 11. Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich (Saturday) Twenty of the last 23 Bundesliga titles have been won by either Dortmund or Bayern. In terms of the current standings, we are looking at 2nd against 1st; shocker right? This has always been a game of fine margins and the same is expected this weekend. While Borussia Dortmund have been struggling over the past few weeks, Bayern Munich seemed to have found stability under new manager Jupp Heynckes. Borussia are certainly under pressure ahead of this game. They have won two of their last eight games (in all competition) and recently lost their place at the top of the table. If the wheels really are falling off BVB, Bayern will no doubt want to capitalise and land a huge blow on their title rivals. Prediction: Bayern Munich RB Leipzig vs. Hannover (Saturday) Both teams head into this mammoth clash in contrasting form. While Hannover saw off BVB in emphatic fashion last weekend, Leipzig fell to their third consecutive defeat in all competitions as they lost 3-1 to FC Porto. This is the first ever fixture between these two sides and is likely to be a fiery one as both teams look to advance up the table. Should Bayern win their evening clash with Dortmund, the winner of this game will jump above die Schwarzgelben into second. Prediction: RB Leipzig SC Freiburg vs. Schalke 04 (Saturday) Unlike the first two games, this might look to you like a done deal. Surely Schalke will win this one… right? Yes, they are playing some good football, currently occupy 6th place and on paper they should annihilate this struggling Freiburg side. However, recent head to head record would certainly challenge that perception. Schalke haven’t beaten Freiburg in their last four attempts and two of those games they lost 2-0; both away in Freiburg. Sometimes in life you have to take a gamble which is why I’m going for… Prediction: Freiburg FC Koln vs. Hoffenheim (Sunday) Speaking of upsets, there is a real possibility that bottom of the table Koln could do the improbable and beat Hoffenheim this coming Sunday. While they are currently 18th and are yet to register a Bundesliga win this season, Peter Stoger’s side have won two of their last three games. In those two wins (a 5-2 victory over BATE in the Europa League and a 1-3 win over Hertha Berlin in the DFB Pokal) FC Koln have scored 8 goals and conceded just 3. Hoffenheim, meanwhile, are on the ropes. With no win in four and their league position falling each week, a defeat here would be crushing. Prediction: FC Koln FC Augsburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday) Tough game to predict. Both sides currently have the same record with four wins, three draws and as many defeats. Bayer have scored in every one of their league games this season and come into this game with no major injury doubts. That’s not the case in the Augsburg camp though who could be missing some key names. Prediction: Draw Wolfsburg vs. Hertha Berlin (Sunday) Wolfsburg have drawn six consecutive games. While in a way that is an impressive feat, the fact that they are lingering towards the bottom of the table is something they’ll be looking to change. Hertha, on the other hand, seemed to have picked up some form with two consecutive wins. This promises to be another closely fought contest. Prediction: Draw Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Mainz 05 (Saturday) Trying to predict the results of these two teams this season has been like trying to guess the lottery numbers - mission impossible. Normally in a game like this many would point to the home side to win however, last season this fixture saw the away team win both times. Despite that, it is important to mention that this time round, Mainz’ away form has been dreadful; only one point from four games. Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach Hamburger SV vs. VfB Stuttgart (Saturday) Fun Fact, Hamburg have scored one goal at home in the Bundesliga this season. Another fun fact, Stuttgart have lost all five of their away games. If you’re a fan of either of the two sides, those were probably not as fun as you would have hoped. Let’s just hope we see a goal or two. Prediction: Draw Share your thoughts about this feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  25. Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of "a big result" coming for his Celtic team in the Champions League. The Hoops face Bayern Munich on Tuesday in Group B, the German champions having beaten their Scottish counterparts 3-0 earlier this month. Rodgers acknowledges that the Bundesliga giants are a "talented team who are set up to win the competition" but believes that his own side are improving in Europe. "It takes time but we hope somewhere very soon we can produce a big result," Rodgers told BBC Sport. "My players have shown their consistency domestically, they've shown they are growing at this level, having not been in it for a few years. We have a lot of young players that are gaining invaluable experience from it. "We had a great performance against Man City last year, and they were doing very well. We just failed to get that victory but that's what we're searching for at this level. "[Tonight] we want to get a result and we have to show we have the qualities to do that. We always think we have a great chance at home." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.

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