Die RotenThe Hard Tackle presents you a brief preview of Matchday 11 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga campaign as we brace ourselves for the much-awaited Klassiker this weekend.
Matchday 11 of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season will provide us with some of the most anticipated fixtures in the German top flight, including Bayern Munich’s visit to Dortmund in this weekend’s topspiel.
Hannover 96 will kick off the matchday as they face VfL Wolfsburg at the HDI Arena. On Saturday, Hoffenheim will face FC Augsburg while SC Freiburg, coming on the back of a draw with Bayern last weekend, will take on 1.FSV Mainz.
Newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf will test their mettle against Hertha Berlin, who will be looking for their first league win since September. Fellow promoted club Nurnberg will entertain bottom club VfB Stuttgart, who are in dire need of a win this weekend.
As for Werder Bremen, they will face Borussia Monchengladbach at the Weserstadion before league leaders Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich at the Signal Iduna Park in Der Klassiker.
On Sunday, RB Leipzig will lock horns with Bayer Leverkusen at the Red Bull Arena before Eintracht Frankfurt wrap this weekend’s round of fixtures by hosting Schalke, in what will be yet another smashing contest. The Hard Tackle now takes a look at the pick of the matches from Matchday 11.
Hannover 96 vs VfL Wolfsburg
Hannover will entertain Wolfsburg on Friday, just a few weeks after they met in the second round of the DFB Cup. Wolfsburg had emerged victorious on that occasion as a comfortable 2-0 win knocked Hannover out of the cup. The hosts will thus, be seeking revenge this week. But, having failed to win in any of their last four matches, it will be interesting to see how they fare on Friday.
Wolfsburg will once again rely on the services of Wout Weghorst, who also scored in the 2-0 win over Hannover at the end of last month. As for the Reds, they will be hoping that their defence can stay resolute this time around, having failed to keep a clean sheet since the start of September.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs FC Augsburg
Hoffenheim have been on a scintillating scoring run of late, having scored 13 goals in their last five matches in all competitions. However, during this period, they have won only two games with their latest result being the 2-2 stalemate against Olympique Lyon in midweek.
As for Augsburg, they have had a decent campaign so far and will rely on the services of star striker Alfred Finnbogason. The Icelandic international has already plundered six goals in five matches after returning from a long-term injury.
Philipp Max will also play a key role as his accurate crosses could provide some serious danger to the Hoffenheim defence, that has conceded seven goals in their last five matches.
Werder Bremen vs Borussia Monchengladbach
Following an impressive start to the season, both Werder Bremen and Borussia Monchengladbach have gone off the radar a little bit. While Gladbach suffered back-to-back defeats against SC Freiburg and Bayer Leverkusen before a 3-0 triumph against Dusseldorf last weekend, Werder are winless in their last two matches, a mini run in which they have conceded eight goals.
Therefore, it promises to be an exciting contest with both teams searching for a much-needed win. It will be interesting to see how Gladbach forward Alassane Plea fares this weekend, having failed to score in each of his last three Bundesliga matches. As for Bremen, they will be hoping that Maximilian Eggestein retains his excellent form as they look to dominate the sturdy Gladbach midfield.
Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich
For the first time since Matchday 30 of the 2011-12 Bundesliga campaign, Borussia Dortmund will go into Der Klassiker ahead of Bayern Munich on the Bundesliga table. But, the Black and Yellows did suffer their first defeat of the campaign against Atletico Madrid in the midweek as they failed to muster a single shot on target. Thus, the league leaders will need to rekindle their form this weekend.
Bayern Munich, on the other hand, have had a disappointing campaign thus far, securing only 20 points from a possible 30. However, they are coming on the back of a 2-0 win over AEK Athens and will be full of confidence as they face the Bundesliga leaders this weekend.
Robert Lewandowski will undoubtedly be the danger man in this fixture, having scored an astounding 12 goals in just 15 matches against Dortmund in all competitions. However, all eyes will be on Paco Alcacer, who will be playing in his first ever Klassiker.
The Spaniard has netted seven goals in just five Bundesliga games this season and is leading the scoring chart alongside Sebastien Haller, Luka Jovic and Thorgan Hazard.
RB Leipzig vs Bayer Leverkusen
RB Leipzig have been in splendid form, following a rather slow start to the season. But, a shocking 2-1 defeat at the hands of Celtic was a disappointment and they will thus, be looking to bounce back to winning ways as they host Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
The visitors have had a topsy-turvy campaign but have managed to win three of their last four matches in all competitions, the most recent of which came against FC Zurich in midweek. All eyes will be on the in-form duo of Kevin Volland and Karim Bellarabi while Leipzig will rely on the services of Yussuf Poulsen and Timo Werner upfront.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs FC Schalke 04
It’s probably safe to say that Eintracht Frankfurt have been one of the best performers from Germany this season. The Eagles have fared well in the league, notching up 17 points from 10 matches while they also secured a ticket for the knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa League earlier this week, from a group which included last season’s champions Marseille along with Lazio and Apollon Limassol.
On the flip side, Schalke have been a huge disappointment this season, languishing on the bottom end of the table with just 10 points on the board. That being said, they have won their last three matches in all competitions and it will be interesting to see how they fare against an in-form Eintracht side this weekend.
Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller are the danger men, having 14 league goals between them this season. Ante Rebic could also cause some problems for the Schalke defence with his driving runs while the visitors will be relying on the form of Mark Uth and Nabil Bentaleb, both of whom have played exceptionally well in recent games.