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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Matchday 10 of the Bundesliga is upon us and as ever we look through the full fixture list to give you a preview of all the weekend's action. Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig (Saturday) There is only one place we can start. Only three days following their monstrous clash in the DFB Pokal, the two German giants will meet again this Saturday evening. Bayern won the cup tie on penalties and will be hoping for an easier night’s work when the two face again. With title rivals Dortmund away in Hannover, a victory for either team could see them go top of the table. Leipzig are currently enjoying the best recent form in the Bundesliga having won all of their last four league games. Despite those stats, Bayern have only lost twice at home in 2017. Prediction: Bayern Munich Hannover 96 vs. Borussia Dortmund (Saturday) As previously mentioned, Borussia Dortmund face a stiff away task as they travel to Hannover. The newly promoted side as currently 6th and come into this fixture on the back of a 2-1 victory over Augsburg. Even though Hannover have only beaten Dortmund eight times in the last 15 years in the Bundesliga, they cannot be underestimated, especially at home. Dortmund meanwhile, have been in mixed form. They have been able to hold on to their top spot in the Bundesliga however, their European campaign has been nothing short of disastrous. Will we see a change of winds for Peter Bosz' side? Prediction: Borussia Dortmund Schalke 04 vs. Wolfsburg (Saturday) Another instalment of Super Saturday comes in the shape of Schalke versus Wolfsburg. Two historic names in German football who in recent years have fell short of the mark will meet at the Veltins Arena with a lot to prove. Don’t be mistaken by Wolfsburg's league position. Even though they’re 14th, Martin Schmidt’s side have lost fewer games than fifth placed Schalke. The Wolves are a tough nut to crack and recent record backs that up with five consecutive draws to their name. On the other hand, Schalke are looking good under new management. Their league position certainly reflects their capabilities and at home, they will be the favourites. Prediction: Schalke 04 Bayer Leverkusen vs. FC Koln (Saturday) Who’s up for a derby! Yes, it’s Bayer Leverkusen against FC Koln in what promises to be a huge local clash. There is no doubt that the home team will be the favourites in this one especially when you consider that Koln are yet to win in the Bundesliga this season. However, don’t be writing them off just yet. In their mid-week Cup tie with Hertha, it was the Cologne side which put in a stern effort and earned a 1-3 away win. Still, this isn’t enough to sway my prediction. Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen Hertha Berlin vs. Hamburger SV (Saturday) Wow, Super Saturday just keeps on giving! What a clash this could be. Both teams are in need of a victory and for Hamburg, there are few other tougher places to go to than the Olympic Stadium. In fact, to find the last away win for Hamburg over Hertha you’d have to turn the clocks back all the way to 2012. Prediction: Hertha Berlin Hoffenheim vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Saturday) Hoffenheim have been simply awesome since Julian Nagelsmann has taken over the reins. The club is currently sitting in fourth and have already picked up victories over the likes of Bayern and Schalke this season. Monchengladbach, on the other side, have also been pretty decent since August. Even though two of their latest defeats have come in spectacular fashion (6-1 against Dortmund and 1-5 to Bayer Leverkusen), Dieter Hecking has done well to lift the team into 8th. Prediction: Hoffenheim Werder Bremen vs. FC Augsburg (Sunday) The four-time Bundesliga winners are in a spot of bother. A 12 match winless run and a place in the relegation places isn’t going to be made up by their latest win in the DFB Pokal over Hoffenheim. The fans are demanding more but will they get it? This Augsburg side have struggled over the past couple of weeks and could also do with a win. Prediction: Werder Bremen VfB Stuttgart vs. SC Freiburg (Sunday) Last time we saw this fixture end with less than two goals was 2011; the same year when Freiburg last beat Stuttgart away from home. While this might not be an instant classic let’s hope it at least produces plenty of goals. Prediction: Draw Share your thoughts about this Bundesliga preview on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  12. Even though we are entering match day 9 of the 2017 Bundesliga season, both FC Koln and Werder Bremen are yet to pick up a single victory. Join us as we take a close look at this massive fixture between the two strugglers plus all the other games coming up this weekend. FC Koln vs. Werder Bremen (SUNDAY) This is certainly not going to be the best game of the week with regards to on-field quality however, in terms of the battle for survival, victory is vital. Home advantage might not play a massive part here as Koln’s only point of the season came after a 0-0 away draw at Hannover. This season Bremen have been notorious for providing low scoring games. Only 12 goals have been scored at matches featuring die Werderaner; don’t expect much to change. Prediction: Draw FC Augsburg vs. Hannover 96 (SATURDAY) Two games in and no mention of Dortmund or Munich; so far so good. Jokes aside, this could turn out to be a cracking game as it features two sides which began the season in sensational form but recently, they’ve not been able to hit those same heights. Both sides are currently on 12 points and both haven’t won in over a month. However, Augsburg have won the two previous meetings and they have made their best ever start to a Bundesliga season. Prediction: Augsburg Hamburger SV vs. Bayern Munich (SATURDAY) Any clash between these two titans of German football is always noteworthy. However, with Hamburg struggling towards the foot of the table, this could turn into a blood bath. Under the new leadership of Jupp Heynckes, the current champions have looked like a force to be reckoned with. This isn’t good news for Hamburg who in their last five games conceded 11 goals and scored just two. Prediction: Bayern Munich Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Borussia Dortmund (SATURDAY) Here’s another noteworthy fixture. It’s been a rough few weeks for the league leaders who come into this game looking for only their second win in four games. For Frankfurt this is a great opportunity to pick up a special victory. Plus, if you're a gambler here’s one thing to consider; Eintracht’s last three games have all finished with a 2-1 score line. Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt SC Freiburg vs. Hertha Berlin (SUNDAY) Hertha were a powerhouse last season but it seems they have lost some of their flair since then. The Old Lady is in poor form having won just one from their last ten games in all competitions. Meanwhile, Freiburg followed up a sensation win over Hoffenheim with a 5-0 defeat to the champions. Despite that… Prediction: Freiburg RB Leipzig vs. VfB Stuttgart (SATURDAY) Leipzig are in red hot form at this moment with four wins from their last five games. However, this newly formed club have never played a match against Stuttgart and, despite some pretty average form, they cannot be underestimated. Both sides have scored and conceded a tonne of goals over the past few weeks so let’s hope we get more of the same this Saturday. Prediction: RB Leipzig Wolfsburg vs. Hoffenheim (SUNDAY) Last season it was Hoffenheim who were the draw specialists. This season though it is Wolfsburg who have taken that crown with five draws to their name from the opening eight games. Julian Nagelsmann’s side have had a tough few weeks which means Wolfsburg could capitalise on this dip in form and take all three points. Prediction: Wolfsburg Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Bayer Leverkusen (SATURDAY) Monchengladbach have recovered from their early seasons blues and are now sitting in 6th after two successive victories. Bayer meanwhile, are having trouble with consistency. The giants of German football are currently mid table after picking up nine points from their opening eight games. Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach Share your thoughts about this Bundesliga preview on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  13. After a successful week for Germany in the World Cup Qualifiers, domestic football returns this weekend. Bayern Munich vs. Freiburg (Saturday) In what was an unexpected move, Bayern Munich have decided to bring back Jupp Heynckes to manage the team until the end of the season. The 72-year-old retired in 2013 after leading the German giants to a treble winning season. However, the legendary manager has decided to step back into the limelight and take charge of the champions for a record fourth time. His first game will be against a Freiburg side who are proving quite the resilient nut to crack having lost just one of their last five games. Despite that, Bayern are well expected to take the three points and keep up the pressure on league leaders Dortmund. Prediction: Bayern Munich Borussia Dortmund vs. RB Leipzig (Saturday) Speaking of the league leaders, Peter Bosz’s side face a tough home game against fourth placed RB Leipzig. While in European competitions both these teams are struggling, their domestic campaigns have so far been tremendous. Dortmund are yet to lose a game in the Bundesliga and are top of the division while Leipzig’s four wins from seven games sees them in fourth. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund Hertha Berlin vs. Schalke 04 (Saturday) Saturday gets even better as Hertha Berlin welcome Schalke 04 to the Olympic Stadium. Hertha haven’t enjoyed a good start to the season, winning just two games in all competitions. Schalke, on the other hand, won three from their four opening Bundesliga games but since then they’ve faltered. These are two very evenly matched teams, in very similar recent form. Prediction: Draw Hoffenheim vs. Augsburg (Saturday) Guess what! Saturday just shot up to another level with Hoffenheim against Augsburg also on that day. Julian Nagelsmann was heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich but in the end, the 30-year-old remains in his post at Hoffenheim. He has a big job on his side as they come into this game against Augsburg in pretty poor form having lost two consecutive games. Prediction: Hoffenheim Hannover 96 vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (Saturday) Hannover started the season with a jetpack on their backs. However, the fuel seems to be running low with the newly promoted side picking up two points from their last three games. They take on a Frankfurt side who are the most inconsistent team in the Bundesliga. Prediction: Hannover 96 VfB Stuttgart vs. FC Koln (Friday) The weekend kicks off with bottom of the table Koln traveling to Stuttgart this Friday night. The home side have only won twice this season however, that’s two more then Koln who have picked up just one point all season long. Prediction: Stuttgart Bayer Leverkusen vs. Wolfsburg (Sunday) Only a few years ago, this would have no doubt been a huge top of the table clash. However, times have changed and we are currently looking at a team in 11th against a team in 12th. Wolfsburg are the draw specialists this season, taking the crown from Hoffenheim, following their four draws from seven games. However, Leverkusen are a lot better at home then they are away which is why I’m going for the home team in this one. Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Sunday) Winless Bremen are second from bottom at this moment. They welcome Borussia Monchengladbach who have enjoyed a decent start to the Bundesliga season. Don’t expect a thriller but do expect goals. There have been 20 of them in their last 5 meetings. Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach Mainz vs. Hamburger SV (Saturday) Hamburg started the season with two wins and since then, they followed that up with four defeats and one draw. Mainz have fared a bit better and are currently sitting in 13th. Prediction: Mainz Share your thoughts about this Bundesliga preview on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  14. It has been a woeful week for German sides in both the Champions League and the Europa League. For Bayern in particular, this has been a pretty horrid week following a 3-0 loss to PSG and the sacking of manager Carlo Ancelotti. Hertha Berlin vs. Bayern Munich (Sunday) Things don’t get any easier for Die Roten who travel to the capital for another tough fixture. Hertha haven’t racked up the points like they did last season but at home they remain unbeaten and will be looking to capitalise on a weakened Bayern side. Both teams suffered defeats in Europe with Hertha falling to a 1-0 defeat against Ostersunds. The hosts also have a bad record against Bayern, picking up one win from their last 27 meetings (that’s 15 years). Prediction: Bayern Munich Augsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund (Saturday) While it’s all sunshine and rainbows for Dortmund in the Bundesliga, their position in the Champions League is a little concerning after suffering their second successive defeat. Augsburg, meanwhile, don’t have European football to worry about and what’s more, they have enjoyed one of their best starts to a Bundesliga season ever. They come into this game having gone five games unbeaten and are capable of springing a surprise. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund Schalke 04 vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Friday) This latest round of fixtures kicks off with a game between two giants of German football. Schalke enjoyed a positive start to the season but lately they have struggled to put the ball in the net and lost two consecutive games. Bayer meanwhile, have won two consecutive home games but lost two of their latest away fixtures. If that trend continues, they could have a tough day at the office. Prediction: Schalke 04 Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Hannover (Saturday) Monchengladbach were trounced last weekend by Dortmund and they’ll be hoping to right the wrongs here against Hannover. However, the newly promoted side are no easy opponents and have enjoyed a terrific start which currently sees them in 4th position. Prediction: Draw SC Freiburg vs. Hoffenheim (Sunday) Hoffenheim manager, Julian Nagelsmann, has been rumoured to be the next manager at Bayern Munich. We shall see how that affects him as his team look to continue their good form against Freiburg. Christian Streich’s side will be hoping to move out of the relegation zone with a victory but that’s certainly easier said than done. Prediction: Hoffenheim FC Koln vs. RB Leipzig (Sunday) Leipzig’s Champions League venture hasn’t entirely gone to plan. However, on Sunday they take on an FC Koln side which has only managed to pick up one point all season. Timo Werner will return following the noise incident at Besiktas but he’ll bring the ear plugs with him as the atmosphere at Koln is always a cracking one. Prediction: RB Leipzig Wolfsburg vs. FSV Mainz (Saturday) Four of the past five meetings between these two teams have ended in a draw. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but we could be staring into the barrel of another stalemate. New Wolfsburg coach, Martin Schmidt made a good first impression following a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich while Mainz also impressed with a 1-0 win against Hertha Berlin. Prediction: Draw Eintracht Frankfurt vs. VfB Stuttgart (Saturday) This game produces goals. In four previous meetings 24 goals have hit the back of the net. Let’s hope we got more of the same as these two sides collide this Saturday. Both of these sides share the same number of points and are separated by a minor goal difference. If anything, this game promises to be a very competitive one. Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt Hamburger SV vs. Werder Bremen (Saturday) Hamburg kicked off the season with two consecutive wins but then followed that up with four straight defeats. Werder Bremen haven’t fared much better picking up just three points all season; all three from draws. Prediction: Hamburger SV Share your thoughts about this Bundesliga preview on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  15. It's that time of the week! Here is the Bundesliga preview ahead of yet another mouthwatering weekend of fixtures. Bayern Munich (2nd) vs. Wolfsburg (13th) (Friday, 19:30) The Champions are back with a bang following a 0-3 victory over Schalke 04 at the Veltins Arena. Loanee James Rodriguez was exceptional as his side put aside any off-field conflicts to do a job on their old rivals. Wolfsburg, meanwhile, have been pretty average this season. Five points from five games leaves the 2009 German Champions in 13th place; something the team will be looking to improve in the near future. Prediction: Bayern Munich Hoffenheim (3rd) vs. Schalke 04 (6th) (Saturday, 14:30) Speaking of Schalke, how much would they love to respond with a win? It will certainly not be easy as they take on a very resilient Hoffenheim side. Julian Nagelsmann’s side were 2-0 down at Mainz before coming back to win 2-3 in added time. While this might expose some frailties in their game, their spirit and drive to fight back is unquestionable. Prediction: Draw Borussia Dortmund (1st) vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (7th) (Saturday, 17:30) Dortmund are the current league leaders and are yet to concede a goal. They defied injuries to big players but with more key players potentially on the side lines, can they keep this up? Their 5-0 win over FC Koln suggests they can. Monchengladbach are not out of the woods themselves in terms of injuries however, they also come into this game on the back of a win; a 2-0 victory over Stuttgart. Prediction: Borussia… Dortmund Hannover 96 (4th) vs. FC Koln (18th) (Sunday, 14:30) What a season it has been for Hannover so far. The newly promoted side are currently fourth after picking up 11 points from their opening five games. Moreover, their home form has been perfect. Two wins from two, three goals scored and none conceded makes good reading. They take on a Koln side who are rock bottom of the Bundesliga with no points and only one goals scored. Prediction: Hannover 96 Bayer Leverkusen (14th) vs. Hamburger SV (11th) (Sunday, 17:00) Both of these sides have enjoyed a mixed start. Hamburg especially have gone on a rotten run of late, losing three in a row. Perhaps home advantage will come into play as that is the only place Leverkusen have been able to pick up any points. Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen Mainz (15th) vs. Hertha Berlin (8th) (Saturday, 14:30) Mainz will no doubt be gutted following their 2-3 defeat to Hoffenheim. Now they set their sights on Hertha Berlin who have proved to be a tough nut to crack. They come into this game following a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen. Prediction: Draw RB Leipzig (9th) vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (10th) (Saturday, 14:30) Frankfurt picked up their second win of the season when they beat FC Koln 1-0 a few days ago. But who hasn’t? RB Leipzig did lose their last fixture against an in-form Augsburg side but they should be able to pick up the three points on Satuday. Prediction: RB Leipzig Stuttgart (12th) vs. Augsburg (5th) (Saturday, 14:30) As mentioned, Augsburg are enjoying one of their best starts to a season in a very long time. They have won three games on the trot now and look better than ever. Stuttgart’s promotion momentum seems to be running out and their 2-0 loss to Monchengladbach seems to suggest that. Prediction: Augsburg Werder Bremen (17th) vs. SC Freiburg (16th) (Saturday, 14:30) Is this a potential six pointer already? Perhaps it’s too early to describe it as such. However, it remains a massive game towards the bottom of the table. Neither side have managed to pick up a victory which means both will be throwing everything but the kitchen sink at those three points. Prediction: Werder Bremen Share your thoughts about this Bundesliga preview on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  16. Despite a resounding win in the Champions League over Anderlecht, it has been a horrid week for German champions Bayern Munich, who not only suffered a 2-0 defeat to Hoffenheim last weekend but also could be about to lose their star striker Robert Lewandowski. The Poland international has launched a scathing attack at the board following his links with Manchester United and Chelsea during the latest transfer window. Lewandowski criticised Bayern’s lack of activity over the summer break telling German paper Der Spiegel that the club has to come up with something new and creative if they want to lure world class players to Munich. Since then, the club’s Chief Executive, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has hit back at the player and told him to speak face to face next time he has something to say. Bayern have a chance to leave the talking in the dressing room and get back to winning ways as they prepare to take on Mainz. However, this is a team that cannot be taken for granted, especially after their 3-1 mauling of Bayer Leverkusen. Bayern have a great home record however, their last Bundesliga defeat at the Allianz came in 2016 against their opponents this weekend. Could they do it again? Prediction: …I’m not so confident they can. I’m going for Bayern Munich. Borussia Dortmund (1st) vs. FC Koln (18th) It’s top versus bottom this Sunday as FC Koln travel to the Signal Iduna Park. If there was ever a good time to play Dortmund, perhaps this is it. BVB come into this on the back of a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham in the Champions League and a 0-0 draw with Freiburg last weekend. Peter Bosz’ side will be looking to bounce back with style but things have just not been going for them lately. With all that to the side, surely they should be able to win this one… surely. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund Hoffenheim (2nd) vs. Hertha Berlin (10th) Hoffenheim will be on a high. They have beaten the champions, they’re competing in Europe and it’s certainly been a long time since things have looked so good. But could Hertha be the ones to bring Julian Nagelsmann’ side back down to earth again? They are certainly capable of that. Matthew Leckie has been their key man with 3 goals so far this season. Nevertheless, Hoffenheim have to be the favourites here, not to mention the home advantage. Prediction: Hoffenheim Hannover (3rd) vs. Hamburg (7th) Hannover have started the season like a house on fire. They’re game management has been nothing short of superb and the newly promoted side currently sit 3rd in the table with seven points from three games. Hamburg also looked good until their 0-2 home defeat to Leipzig last week. It’s a tough one to predict but Hamburg have only won at the Niedersachsenstadion twice in 10 years so…. Prediction: Hannover Bayer Leverkusen (17th) vs. Freiburg (15th) Freiburg are the ones coming into this with some kind of momentum. While they held BVB to a 0-0 draw, Leverkusen were busy losing 3-1 to Mainz. There is certainly a lot at stake as both sides are still looking for their first win. This week we have seen what can happen to managers who fail to win in their 4 games, isn’t that right Crystal Palace? Prediction: Freiburg RB Leipzig (4th) vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (9th) Will Champions League football prove a distraction for Leipzig? Saturday’s game will certainly give us some answers. Leipzig have made an impressive start to their season and come into this game having drew with Monaco in their European debut. They take on an inconsistent Borussia Monchengladbach side who will be up for this game following their defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt last week. Prediction: RB Leipzig Werder Bremen (16th) vs. Schalke (5th) Schalke endured a woeful season last year however, things are finally beginning to look up for Die Knappen. Two wins from three games, five goals scored and only two conceded is a pretty decent start. Werder Bremen meanwhile, picked up their first point of the season after a 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin last week. It hasn’t been the dream start for Alexander Nouri’s side however, they will no doubt pick up some form sooner or later. In my opinion, it will be later as Schalke should win this. Prediction: Schalke Eintracht Frankfurt (11th) vs. Augsburg (8th) Here are two sides which left my predictions in ruins last week. The two teams have made almost identical starts to the season with one win, one draw and one defeat to their name. Time to take a gamble, I’m going for the visitors. Prediction: Augsburg Stuttgart (14th) vs. Wolfsburg (12th) Despite the four points from three games, Wolfsburg haven’t looked too bad. Their opponents have been very inconsistent and the only thing in their favour is the home advantage. That won’t be enough here against Wolfsburg. Prediction: Wolfsburg Share your thoughts about this preview article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  17. RB Leipzig kicked off round three of the Bundesliga in style as they beat Hamburg 0-2 away from home. Goals from Keita and Werner earned Leipzig the victory who continue to impress following that initial opening weekend defeat to Schalke. But there is plenty more where that came for as we take a look at eight more games this weekend in Germany’s top flight. Hoffenheim (7th) 17:30 Bayern Munich (2nd) - Saturday Saturday’s game of the day contender will surely be this huge matchup between Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich. Julian Nagelsmann’s side head into this fixture with some significant injury worries but they have fared well so far this season, picking up four points from their first two games. Bayern will, as always, come into this match with confidence having won 7 of the previous 10 meetings with Hoffenheim. Prediction: Bayern Munich Wolfsburg (11th) 14:30 Hannover (4th) - Saturday Speaking of potential contenders for game of the day, could we be looking at one here? Hannover have been nothing short of superb in their opening two games. They are currently one of three teams to have won all their games, alongside Bayern Munich & Borussia Dortmund (not bad company, right). Wolfsburg, on the other hand, bounced back from a defeat to BVB by narrowly beating Eintracht 0-1. This fixture has a reputation for producing goals and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen again. Four of their last five meetings have seen 4 or more goals. I’m going for Hannover to do a job on Wolfsburg for their first time since 2014. Prediction: Hannover Freiburg (15th)4:30 Borussia Dortmund (1st) – Saturday Does the date 8th May 2010 ring a bell? No? It should do. That’s the last time Freiburg managed to pick up a win over BVB. What a win it was too as a couple of goals from Papiss Cisse helped Freiburg to a 3-1 win. Dortmund may be the overwhelming favourites for this one however, let’s not forget they do have a few injury problems with Reus, Schurrle, Guerreiro, Duem, Rode and Schmelzer all doubts for this game. Despite that, there’s only one way to go here… Prediction: Borussia Dortmund Schalke (8th) 17:00 VfB Stuttgart (10th) – Sunday Schalke have already lost to one promoted side this season, will we see a double here? Yes, two weeks ago Hannover got the better of Schalke with a 1-0 win. At the same time, VfB Stuttgart won their first game of the season 1-0 against Mainz. History is certainly against the visitors who haven’t won at the Veltins arena since 2013. On top of that, Hannes Wolf’s side have a bit of an injury headache. You have to go with the home side here. Prediction: Schalke 04 Hertha Berlin (9th) 14:30 Werder Bremen (18th) – Sunday We are in round three of the Bundesliga and Bremen are yet to score. However, this could change here as Werder enjoy a pretty good record over their Berlin rivals, having won three of the previous five meetings. But while Werder might break their scoring duck it is unlikely they will break their winless duck as they’re taking on a strong Hertha side. In spite of their defeat to Borussia Dortmund, Pal Dardai’s team should be too strong for this struggling Bremen outfit, who at this moment sit bottom of the division. Believe it or not, this game is going to make history no matter what the result may be. This is because Bibiana Steinhaus will become the first ever female referee in Bundesliga history. Prediction: Hertha Berlin Borussia Monchengladbach (6th) 14:30 Eintracht Frankfurt (13th) – Saturday Dieter Hecking has done a top job since becoming the new boss at Monchengladbach. His side are currently unbeaten in the league following a win and a draw in their opening two games. Frankfurt, on the other hand, are yet to score a goal and only have a single point on their tally. They’ll need to improve if they are to do something here. Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach Mainz (16th) 14:30 Bayer Leverkusen (14th) – Saturday Bayer Leverkusen will certainly want to stop leaking goals having let in 5 in their last two games. Despite that, they should be too strong for this Mainz team who have lost their opening two games against the two newly promoted sides. Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen Augsburg (12th) 14:30 FC Koln (17th) – Saturday FC Koln are still searching for their first points of the season. It doesn’t get much easier for Peter Stoger’s side who travel to Augsburg. The home side picked up a draw with Borussia Monchengladbach a couple of weeks ago and they’ll certainly be looking for all three when they welcome Koln. Prediction: Augsburg Share your thoughts about this preview article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  18. Plenty has happened since the opening weekend of the Bundelsiga. We have seen the Champions League draw determine the fates of three German sides, we have seen Hoffenheim beaten by Liverpool in the Champions League qualifiers, we have seen rumours about transfers and we have seen mega money deals. With all that now behind us, it’s time to concentrate on the second round of fixtures in one of the world’s best and toughest divisions. Borussia Dortmund vs. Hertha Berlin (SATURDAY) We kick off this preview by looking at perhaps the game of the week as Borussia Dortmund host Hertha Berlin in their first home game of the season. Peter Bosz and his team picked up a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Wolfsburg last week and they’ll certainly look to build on that against Hertha. It was confirmed on Friday that Ousmane Dembele had left the Signal Iduna Park for Barcelona, the selling club pocketing 105 million euros from the sale of the wantaway forward. Hertha kicked off the new season with a confident 2-0 against newly promoted VfB Stuttgart. With a Europa League campaign to look forward to, you could say its happy times in the capital. Despite that, there’s only one team I can pick to win this. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund Hannover vs. Schalke 04 (SUNDAY) Hannover began their return to the big time with an impressive 1-0 away at Mainz. This week they are at home and taking on a Schalke side which has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently. It has been reported that World Cup winning defender, Benedikt Höwedes, is on his way out following a tough week at the club. First the defender was stripped of his captaincy by new head coach Domenico Tedesco and then he was made to sit on the bench as Schalke beat Leipzig 2-0 on the opening weekend. Rumours are linking the player with potential moves to Liverpool and Juventus. We will have to wait and see where his real destination is - however, it certainly doesn’t look like he’ll be staying in Gelsenkirchen for long. With all that in mind it wouldn’t be crazy to tip Hannover for a win here. But despite all the rumours and distractions, I still back Schalke to do the job and pick up three points. Prediction: Schalke 04 Werder Bremen vs. Bayern Munich (SATURDAY) On the opening weekend of last season Bayern Munich picked up a 6-0 victory over Werder Bremen. Now as you know, while some things might change, others stay the same. For instance, this isn’t the opening weekend and this time round the game is played in Bremen. Nevertheless, Bayern should still come out comfortable winners. Carlo Ancelotti’s side recently discovered their Champions League opponents as they were drawn in the same group with PSG, Anderlecht and Celtic. Bayern also come into this game on the back of a strong 3-1 win against Bayer Leverkusen. Werder Bremen meanwhile, began their campaign with a 1-0 loss to Hoffenheim. Prediction: Bayern Munich FC Koln vs. Hamburger SV (FRIDAY) It was a disappointing opener for FC Koln as they lost the Rheinderby 1-0 to Borussia Monchengladbach. Following an incredible fifth-placed finish last term, Koln will be looking forward to playing in the Europa League. Manager Peter Stoger will certainly be hoping that the reward of playing in Europe doesn’t turn out to be a distraction in Cologne’s bid for another successful Bundesliga season. Hamburg, on the other hand, will be looking for successive victories following their 1-0 win over Augsburg last week. Prediction: Draw. Really struggling to separate these two sides. Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hoffenheim (SATURDAY) What a clash this promises to be. Hoffenheim are coming to Leverkusen on the back of a brave but disappointing defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League qualifiers. No European football for Bayer this year and they do come into this fixture having lost 3-1 to Champions Munich. Tough game to call but Hoffenheim are the masters of the draw which is exactly what I’m going for. Prediction: Draw Augsburg vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (SATURDAY) Dieter Hecking’s team started their campaign on a positive note by winning the Rheinderby. Augsburg, meanwhile, were made to pay for their missed chances with a 1-0 loss to Hamburg. No Champions League for Monchengladbach this year which means no mid-week distractions. I’m going for Borussia to take the three points here. Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Wolfsburg (SATURDAY) Wolfsburg will want to shake off that 3-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund last week but it certainly won’t be easy away at Frankfurt. Eintracht might only have managed a goalless draw against Freiburg but on home soil they should be able to keep the three points at home. Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt VfB Stuttgart vs. Mainz (SATURDAY) It proved to be a tough day at the office for Stuttgart who marked their Bundesliga return with a 2-0 defeat against Hertha Berlin. Despite that, I really fancy them against this Mainz team who lost to Hannover last week. Prediction: VfB Stuttgart RB Leipzig vs. Freiburg (SUNDAY) This could turn out to be a cracking game despite both teams failing to pick up a win last week. Leipzig need to build some momentum ahead of those massive Champions League fixtures while Freiburg will be looking to register their first three points of the season. Prediction: RB Leipzig Share your thoughts about this Bundesliga preview article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  19. Bayern Munich began the defence of their title with an impressive 3-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen. New signings Niklas Sule and Corentin Tolisso scored debut goals for Munich who took a comfortable 2-0 lead inside less than 20 minutes. Conditions then worsened as gushing rains emptied the lower sections of the crowd. In the second half, Robert Lewandowski increased Bayern’s lead with a well converted penalty. The spot kick was awarded following a review by the video assistant which overturned the main official's initial decision. Leverkusen did get better as time went on and even got a goal through Admir Mehmedi, whose monstrous shot left keeper Sven Ulreich looking helpless. --- Rivals Borussia Dortmund went one better as they managed to keep a clean sheet in their 3-0 away victory over Wolfsburg. Peter Bosz’s side has been plagued by the continuous saga regarding Ousmane Dembele’s future. However, the current Cup holders didn’t show a sign of weakness as goals from Christian Pulisic, Marc Bartra and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang earned them a comprehensive win. --- In a massive clash between Schalke 04 and RB Leipzig it was the Blues who came out on top with a 2-0 home victory. Two of Schalke’s goalscorers recently signed permanent deals with Nabil Bentaleb converting a first half penalty and Yevhen Konoplyanka ensuring the three points late in the second period. --- New boys Hannover 96 surprised Mainz with an away 1-0 win. Mainz dominated proceedings at the Opel Arena but failed to make any of their numerous chances count. Hannover meanwhile, took their only chance of the game and also took the three points back to the Niedersachsenstadion. Martin Harnik was the goal scorer. --- Hoffenheim put their loss to Liverpool to one side as they picked up a momentum boosting 1-0 win over Werder Bremen. Julian Nagelsmann’s side enjoyed a phenomenal season last year and they made a similarly good start to this one as Andrej Kramaric netted the winner with six minutes remaining. Hoffenheim will now be looking ahead to what looks like a tough run of fixtures. Next up for the German side is the second leg of their Champions League qualifier against Liverpool, an away trip to Bayer Leverkusen and a home game with Champions, Bayern Munich. --- Matthew Leckie scored twice as Hertha Berlin beat newly promoted VfB Stuttgart 2-0. Stuttgart will be hoping to produce a better showing next week against Mainz after only registering one shot on target. Hertha, on the other hand, looked good but the real test is yet to come as next week they take on Borussia Dortmund. --- A goal from Nicolai Muller in the opening 10 minutes earned Hamburger SV a slender 1-0 win against Augsburg. The visitors enjoyed more of the ball and were on the front foot for the majority of the game but in the end, they couldn’t break down the Hamburg defence. --- Sunday saw two games take place including the Rheinderby between Borussia Monchengladbach and FC Koln. Borussia took the lead early in the second half through Swiss defender Nico Elvedi. This was enough to earn them a 1-0 victory over their local rivals. --- The other game on Sunday was between Freiburg and Eintracht Frankfurt. While the scoreline might imply a bore fest, there were numerous efforts on target; most of which coming from Frankfurt. Nevertheless, both teams had to settle for a 0-0 draw. --- It was a good weekend of predictions with 6 correct picks from 9. Make sure you look out for next weekend’s preview featuring more match predictions. 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.
  20. Friday will see the return of the Bundesliga with a massive opener between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich to kick things off. Here is a round-up of all the fixtures on the opening weekend of one of the world’s best leagues. Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich (FRIDAY) Over the past five years, Bayern Munich have been pretty much unstoppable domestically. The consistency of the club is the envy of the footballing world. Carlo Ancelotti’s side will certainly be hoping to keep this up and start this upcoming campaign with a bang. However, that may be easier said than done. Bayern have some serious injury worries ahead of this opener with many of their first team players likely to miss out. Robert Lewandowski is one of them as his knee injury could prevent him from playing. Also doubtful are James Rodriguez, Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez and Juan Bernat. Leverkusen, on the other hand, come into this game with a pretty much full strength squad. New signing Sven Bender is their only injury worry. Heiko Herrlich’s side have lost a number of big names during this summer’s transfer period - nevertheless, you can never rule them out. Prediction: Bayern Munich have never lost when officially opening the season. I back them to continue that run. Schalke 04 vs. RB Leipzig (SATURDAY) What a game this could turn out to be! Both teams have made good signings over the summer and it wouldn’t be a shock if we saw both of these sides fighting in the top 4 come the end of the season. Schalke didn’t have the best of campaigns last year but the seven-time Bundesliga winners are fourth favourites with the bookmakers to win their first title since 1958. Leipzig shocked the footballing world last season when they finished runners-up. With Champions League responsibilities it will be interesting to see whether they have the strength in depth to keep up with this new level of intensity. Prediction: Schalke at the Veltins Arena should be good enough to get the job done. Wolfsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund (SATURDAY) Well if the match above looked appetising, this is no different. There was some optimism in the Wolfsburg camp ahead of last season with a number of additions but ultimately, it turned out to be a very difficult year with the club narrowly avoiding relegation. There hasn’t been too much business at the club this time round but with that, the level of expectation will certainly be minimal. The expectations for Dortmund meanwhile continue to remain at a high level. New manager Peter Bosz has brought in some interesting players however all the headlines continue to revolve around the future of Ousmane Dembele. The player looks to be on his way out and for Dortmund who are keen for this saga to finally end in order to concentrate on this upcoming season. Prediction: Dortmund look good enough to take the three points back home. Hoffenheim vs. Werder Bremen (SATURDAY) Julian Nagelsmann took over at Hoffenheim with minimal expectations on his shoulders. However, his first full season in charge proved to be an unforgettable one. The team remained unbeaten at home and only lost four games throughout the entire league season; only Bayern Munich lost fewer (2). Werder Bremen, on the other hand, finished eighth last season and were only three points away from a place in the Europa League qualifiers. This season the team will be without marquee names Serge Gnabry and Claudio Pizarro. Looking at recent arrivals its hard to imagine that Bremen will improve on last season’s placing. Prediction: Hoffenheim will be eyeing Liverpool in the Champions League qualifiers. Therefore, I have to go for a draw in this one. Other Fixtures Hertha Berlin vs. VfB Stuttgart (SATURDAY) Newly promoted Stuttgart will be looking to start with an impact. I don’t think things will go their way in Berlin. Prediction: Hertha Berlin Mainz vs. Hannover (SATURDAY) Mainz avoided a relegation play-off on goal difference last season. Fans will be expecting a win over Hanover. Tough one to call which is why I’m going for a… Prediction: Draw Hamburger SV vs. Augsburg (SATURDAY) Hamburger SV will certainly want to improve on last season. A good start to the season is critically important and I believe they’re going to win here. Prediction: Hamburger SV Borussia Monchengladbach vs. FC Koln (SUNDAY) What a season it was for FC Koln last year. Finishing fifth has earned them a well-deserved run in the Europa League. It will be interesting to see what Monchengladbach have to offer after a rocky campaign last year. Dieter Hecking might look like the guy from Goodfellas but he’s also a good football coach. If anyone can reignite the flame at Borussia it’s certainly him. Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach Freiburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (SUNDAY) Freiburg are another side who enjoyed a good season last year. Plus, with home advantage they should be able to do a job on Frankfurt who started well last season but dropped off towards the end. 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.
  21. Liverpool have been handed a tricky draw against Bundesliga side Hoffenheim for a place in the Champions League group stage. Jurgen Klopp's charges are away in Germany for the first leg on either 15 or 16 August, with the return leg to be played at Anfield on 22 or 23 August. Scottish champions Celtic, meanwhile, meet Kazakh counterparts Astana in their play-off round tie, with the home leg first. The 10 winners from the play-off stage will join the 22 teams who have already qualified for the group stage. Full draw Champions route Qarabag (Azerbaijan) v Copenhagen (Denmark) Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus) v Slavia Prague (Czech Republic) Olympiakos (Greece) v HNK Rijeka (Croatia) Celtic (Scotland) v Astana (Kazakhstan) Hapoel Beer Sheva (Israel) v Maribor (Slovenia) League route Istanbul Basaksehir (Turkey) v Sevilla (Spain) Young Boys (Switzerland) v CSKA Moscow (Russia) Napoli (Italy) v Nice (France) Hoffenheim (Germany) v Liverpool (England) Sporting Lisbon (Portugal) v Steaua Bucharest (Romania) 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.
  22. Hoffenheim have completed the signing of West Ham midfielder Havard Nordtveit on a five-year contract for an undisclosed fee. The Norway international joined the Hammers from Borussia Monchengladbach last summer but struggled to force his way into Slaven Bilic's starting lineup on a regular basis. He made just 11 Premier League starts during his one season in England and has now completed a move back to the Bundesliga on a long-term contract that will keep him at Hoffenheim until 2022. "He is much more than just a strong addition to our squad on a sporting level. Havard is also a big personality off the pitch. Without his willingness to make a personal financial sacrifice, this transfer would never have been possible," Hoffenheim director of football Alexander Rosen told the club's official website. "Despite having already played at the highest level in the Bundesliga for a number of years, his development is by no means over. He is thoroughly convinced that working under Julian [Nagelsmann] will be able to help him further improve his game." Nordtveit added: "I obviously know the Bundesliga very well from my years at Gladbach and I'm convinced I will be able to make the impact that TSG are hoping for. Hoffenheim's playing style and Alex and Julian's extensive efforts to bring me to the club were decisive factors in reaching a decision." 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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