Bundesliga Team of the Week: Round 6

Clark Whitney selects the best of the best from this weekend’s Bundesliga fixtures.
Goalkeeper

Raphael Schaefer (Nuernberg)

His second consecutive appearance as 'keeper of the week. Not the best goalkeeper in the Bundesliga, but makes the grade again due to his quality in dealing with a flurry of shots from Bayern’s attack. Although he allowed two goals, neither was his fault, and he did well to save several shots from Thomas Mueller, Ivica Olic, Arjen Robben, Miroslav Klose and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.

Defenders


Pascal Bieler (Nuernberg)

His team may have lost 2-1, but it was not Bieler’s fault. Defended his flank superbly, keeping Arjen Robben at bay before the Dutchman wandered away in search of a less tightly-defended area.

Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke)

Caught looking as Edin Dzeko headed in Wolfsburg’s opener, but made amends with his late equaliser. Aside from his one mistake, Hoewedes was a rock in defence, keeping striker Grafite closely marked throughout the match.

Rafinha (Schalke)

Technically could be called a midfielder in Felix Magath’s system, but regardless, the Brazilian wing-back had a very good game. Perhaps Schalke’s most technical player (along with Jefferson Farfan), Rafinha was bothersome on the right flank, setting up plays and drawing a number of fouls.

Midfielders:


Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim)

Scored a crucial free kick from the corner, even if it was mostly the result of poor goalkeeping. After the break, Salihovic (and attacking midfield partner Carlos Eduardo) orchestrated Hoffenheim’s epic comeback. The Bosnian assisted a number of opportunities for his team-mates, including Maicosuel’s equaliser.

Nuri Sahin (Dortmund)

The youngest player ever to feature in the Bundesliga, 21-year-old Sahin has been playing top flight football for five years. The Turkish international led Dortmund’s attack well, threatening Florian Fromlowitz’s goal and setting up his team-mates. Scored the opener to cap a fantastic first half performance.

Ivica Banovic (Freiburg)

Freiburg climbed out of the relegation zone on Sunday with a convincing 4-0 victory over Hertha Berlin, and much credit should go to the Croatian central midfielder. Although Hertha won the majority of possession, Banovic was able to make a huge impact on the game, scoring twice, assisting once and setting up his team-mates for a number of opportunities.

Ze Roberto (Hamburg)

At 35, Ze is still playing at the top level. After his team’s midweek trouncing, the Brazilian responded with a morale-boosting goal just eight minutes into their match with Frankfurt. Although Hamburg ultimately drew 1-1, Ze had a great game in central midfield. Dropped back to play defence, setup play from deep and ran forward to threaten Oka Nikolov’s goal. I wonder if he’ll ever retire?

Strikers:


Edin Dzeko (Wolfsburg)

The way Dzeko plays, there’s no doubt he’s one of Europe’s finest strikers. Ghosted in for Wolfsburg’s opener, and did the same to put his team in front. Always a threat in and around the penalty area.

Andre Schuerrle (Mainz)

Who is this guy? Before Saturday, I’d never heard of him. Against Bochum, he was rather silent before bursting onto the scene with the equaliser and winner. Not bad for the 18-year-old.

Mohammadou Idrissou (Freiburg)

The Cameroonian striker was in superb form Sunday and, along with Banovic, made the difference for Freiburg. Although he was formally a striker, Idrissou did very well to setup his team-mates and made two fine assists to complement his goal.

Schaefer

Rafinha Hoewedes Bieler

Sahin Banovic Ze Roberto Salihovic

Idrissou Dzeko Schuerrle

Honourable Mentions:

Frankfurt goalkeeper Oka Nikolov did well to hold Hamburg to just a single goal after conceding early. Made several good saves in the second half.

Carlos Eduardo didn’t show up on the scoresheet and failed to assist a goal, but played a vital role in Hoffenheim’s comeback. Ultimately, his contribution was overshadowed by that of Salihovic.

Had he scored, Bayern starlet Thomas Mueller would easily have made the first XI. He threatened Raphael Schaefer’s goal several times late and provided some good lead-up play, including the assist for Ivica Olic’s opener and Mario Gomez’s near-miss.

Wolfsburg No.10 Zvjezdan Misimovic also had a great performance, threading passes through a highly compact, defensive Schalke. Didn’t score and didn’t assist, so he couldn’t make the starting XI ahead of any of the above.

Midfielder/striker Marko Marin also had a stand-out performance, but was surprisingly substituted early in the second half.

Goal.com welcomes your opinion…

Clark Whitney, Goal.com