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Bayern plays crisis-stricken Schalke; a look ahead to Bundesliga Match day 21

February 7, 2013 By Samrin Hasib
Bayern will aim to keep a huge gap between themselves and Borussia Dortmund when they take on crestfallen Schalke this weekend.

The Big Matches

Sacking Huub Stevens was supposed to be the answer to an upturn in fortunes for the Royal Blues. In truth, Schalke’s poor form at the end of the previous calendar year was perhaps down to weariness rather than poor management. Jens Keller has done a poor job so far; Schalke has been consistently poor aside from one game against Hannover.

Currently down to perhaps their lowest point in terms of dressing room harmony during this season, Schalke must travel to the lion’s den. Mario Mandzukic and co is perhaps currently licking their lips ahead of this clash. Bayern’s points tally at the top of the table should be enough warning for Schalke ahead of this one. The only consolation for the Royal Blues is perhaps the fact that Bayern has been better away from home this season.

Schalke’s Ruhr rivals Dortmund take on the team which handed them a historic loss at the beginning of this season, Hamburger SV. Hamburg was handed a loss by Frankfurt last week. Thorsten Fink definitely did not set his team out as he should have for this clash. HSV beat BVB with efficiency in their previous meeting this season. They will have to be careful this time as Dortmund is coming into this match on the back of a win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Leverkusen meets Borussia Mönchengladbach this week. Gladbach’s meetings with Leverkusen have produced some strange results down the years, including a 3-6 in favor of Gladbach in 2010. The two played to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season when Leverkusen equalized through Michal Kadlec after Patrick Hermann had opened the scoring. Leverkusen, despite losing to Dortmund, showed how far they have come. They controlled the game after a slow start but their inefficiency cost them. Gladbach went down to Nürnberg 2-1 last week.

A Continuation of Bavarian Troubles

Three of the bottom five sides hail from Bavaria. Despite the fact that all three collected points last week, the fight for survival continues. Greuther Fürth’s shocking victory over Schalke saw them stay within four points of the relegation playoff berth. They play a Wolfsburg side which managed to collect only a single point against Augsburg.

Augsburg’s assignment is a tough one in Mainz. Mainz, after keeping Bayern at bay for more than 40 minutes, succumbed rather meekly to the quality of the Bavarians, 3-0. They will be confident of winning this one nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Nürnberg has a very difficult assignment in Frankfurt. The gap between fourth placed Frankfurt and fifth placed Mainz is six points. Frankfurt seems to be a great bet for the Champions League qualifying spot already. They have managed to bring their good form into the second half of the season. There is no time for Nürnberg to celebrate their previous win with the visit of Die Adler on the cards.

Battles of Inconsistency

Hannover 96 and Hoffenheim have been rather inconsistent throughout the season. Hannover, despite having some good chances, was brought down by a Nils Petersen master-class last week. Hoffenheim surprisingly beat Freiburg. Their new keeper Heurelho Gomes stood in between the posts for this one as Tim Wiese was relegated to the stands. Hannover is a good bet to win this clash as they have a good record at home.

In the second battle between two inconsistent sides, Stuttgart takes on Bremen. Stuttgart has lost each and every one of their games in the Bundesliga in 2013. They went down to Fortuna Düsseldorf, 3-1, last week. Bremen is coming into this one on the back of a good showing. However, considering the unpredictable nature of these two sides, it is difficult to predict which side will win this clash.

Finally, inconsistent Düsseldorf takes on Freiburg. Düsseldorf has created an eight point gap between themselves and the relegation play-off berth. They have shown that they have what it takes to survive in the Bundesliga. Freiburg will not win this one easily.

 

Will Dortmund and Bayern keep winning? Tune in this weekend to find out!

 


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