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Bundesliga Weekend Preview: Round 2

Saturday 15th August (all times local)

15:30 Bayern Munich – Werder Bremen
15:30 VfB Stuttgart – SC Freiburg
15:30 Hamburg – Borussia Dortmund  
15:30 Bayer Leverkusen – 1899 Hoffenheim   
15:30 Hannover - Mainz
15:30 Eintracht Frankfurt – 1.FC Nurnberg
18:30 1.FC Koeln – VfL Wolfsburg

Sunday 16th August

15:30 Borussia Moenchengladbach – Hertha Berlin
17:30 Schalke – VfL Bochum

Bundesliga Results/ Table 

Bayern Munich – Werder Bremen  

Week two of the new Bundesliga sees a real cracker served up at the Allianz Arena with both Bayern and Werder still looking for their first three points of the season.  

The Bavarians will not be too disappointed at only taking a point away at Hoffenheim last weekend and will be keen on gaining revenge over a Werder side that thrashed them 5-2 in the corresponding fixture last season when Bayern were in the midst of their worst start to a league campaign in 30 years.  

Nothing seems to change with Werder. Last weekend saw them start the season with the usual highly entertaining, goal-filled match that the fans at the Weser Stadion have come to expect, only it was Eintracht Frankfurt who left the happier of the two teams after a 3-2 win. A better showing will be needed against Bayern this weekend.  

Prediction: Bayern 1-0 Werder  


VfB Stuttgart – SC Freiburg  

VfB faced a tough opening fixture last week when they travelled to the Volkswagen Arena to face reigning champions Wolfsburg and held their own until midway through the second-half when they were reduced to ten-men with an injury to full-back Christian Traesch having already made all their substitutions.   

Trainer Markus Babbel will be expecting a reaction from the Swabians as they face one of the newly-promoted sides so early in the season for their first home game of the new campaign.  

This is something of a local derby for Freiburg with Stuttgart less than 200km away. The Breisgauer began well last weekend holding Hamburg to a 1-1 draw after going 1-0 down very early in the game and Robin Dutt’s side will want to continue their bright start this weekend even though they are still finding their feet in the top flight.    

Prediction: Stuttgart 2-0 Freiburg      


Hamburg – Borussia Dortmund  

There are already a few murmurs in Hamburg about the team’s chances this season after a relatively slow start. HSV struggled in the DFB Pokal first round, needing penalties to overcome Fortuna Dusseldorf, and were not exactly convincing in their Europa League second-leg encounter with Danish side Randers FC.   

The Rothosen under new trainer Bruno Labbadia were then outplayed for large periods of their game against Freiburg on Sunday and had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw. A tough match awaits them this weekend with the visit of Borussia Dortmund.     

Juergen Klopp’s Dortmund managed to begin the season with three points at home to Koeln although they should have scored more than the solitary goal. They were the strongest team at home last season, and they now need to start picking up a few more points on their travels if they are to progress. Three points at the HSH Nordbank Arena would be a great start.     

Prediction: Hamburg 1-1 Dortmund  


Bayer Leverkusen – 1899 Hoffenheim  

Leverkusen were title contenders in the first-half of last season only to fall away in the second-half and fail to qualify for Europe for the second successive season. They were held to a 1-1 draw by newly-promoted Mainz last weekend and new trainer Jupp Heynckes will be demanding three points from his side when they entertain Hoffenheim on Saturday. 

Hoffenheim’s fall in the second-half of last season was all the more spectacular having topped the table at the half-way stage. They do however have top striker Vedad Ibisevic back from injury and with some clever additions to the squad will be hoping to challenge at the top end again this season.   

A 1-1 draw last weekend against Bayern was a solid enough start. They now need another decent performance at the newly developed Bay-Arena.  

Prediction: Leverkusen 1-1 Hoffenheim
   

Hannover – Mainz  

The pressure is already on Hannover trainer Dieter Hecking following elimination from the DFB Pokal and a defeat last weekend in their opening fixture away at Hertha Berlin. Their away record was awful last season, so their home form needs to be good this season. New signing Konan Ya should be available, but could start on the bench.   

The promoted side began life in the Bundesliga with a more than creditable draw last weekend at home to Bayer Leverkusen. No offence to Hannover, but the Mainzer will see this as an excellent opportunity for their first three points. A win would also take the attention off of new trainer Thomas Tuchel, who was installed last week following the sacking of Jorn Anderson.      

Prediction: Hannover 1-1 Mainz    


Eintracht Frankfurt – 1.FC Nurnberg  

Frankfurt emerged from the Weser Stadion rather surprisingly with all three points last weekend after coming out on the right end of a 3-2 scoreline. Striker Ioannis Amanatidis scored twice before half-time to prove something to everybody after being stripped of the club captaincy.   

Nurnberg were the only promoted side to lose their first game and they will want to do everything in their power to avoid two successive losses at the start of the new season.      

Prediction: Frankfurt 2-1 Nurnberg    

1.FC Koeln – VfL Wolfsburg  

An expectant crowd at the Rhein-Energie Stadion can’t wait to see the prodigal son Lukas Podolski back in a Koeln shirt and Saturday’s game with champions Wolfsburg may see their wishes granted. The ‘Billy Goats’ lost last week at Dortmund despite a fantastic performance by keeper Faryd Mondragon. The Colombian will have to be on his toes once more to stop the strike force of Grafite and Edin Dzeko.  

Pedro Geromel and Milivoje Novakovic are back in contention, but may have to settle for a place on the bench.    

Armin Veh saw his side start the defence of their Bundesliga crown with a win against his former side Stuttgart last week and will be keen on a second successive win this weekend.  Thomas Kahlenberg is still out injured, while Obafemi Martins is chomping at the bit for some action. 

Prediction: Koeln 2-2 Wolfsburg  


Borussia Moenchengladbach – Hertha Berlin  

Gladbach will be kicking themselves that they let slip a 3-0 lead last Sunday at Bochum and will want to see a repeat of their first-half performance rather than their second when they face Hertha at the Borussia Park this weekend.   

Defender Dante is suspended for this game following the red card he picked up last week against Bochum for a professional foul.   

Hertha have been predicted to endure a tougher season this time around, but they started the new campaign with a home win last weekend over Hannover with Serb midfielder Gojko Kacar adding to his growing reputation with a top performance.   

Prediction: Gladbach 0-0 Hertha    

Schalke – VfL Bochum  

Felix Magath takes charge of his first home game as Schalke boss and will want to see his charges pick up another three points after an impressive start last weekend when they beat Nurnberg 2-1. A local derby with Bochum is his first challenge at the Veltins Arena.     

Kevin Kuranyi will want to add to the two goals he scored last week, while new signing Mineiro will have to wait for his chance to join the match-day squad.   

Bochum will be full of self-belief following their tremendous fight back against Moenchengladbach from 3-0 down to finish all-square at 3-3.  Marc Pfertzel is a slight doubt, so Matias Concha could step in.   

Prediction: Schalke 2-0 Bochum

Mathew Burt, Goal.com