Bundesliga Matchday 29 Preview: Last Lap for Bayern?

The third matchday in the span of a week is set to begin tonight, as Matchday 29 of the Bundesliga kicks off. Let’s take a quick look at all of the matches.

FRIDAY:

SC Freiburg vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen:

8th-placed Freiburg host 5th-placed Leverkusen, with both sides looking for three points to fuel their European ambitions. Freiburg would move up to 7th and only be a point behind Wolfsburg. A win for Leverkusen, though, would see them jump up to third. Freiburg head into this match on the back of a thrilling 3-3 draw against Frankfurt, whereas Leverkusen were hit for 4 by Wolfsburg in midweek. It promises to be an exciting contest.


Player to Watch: Edmond Tapsoba – A player who’s gone under the radar for Leverkusen. Even in the battering they received at the hands of Wolfsburg, he looked strong in defence, and will have to contend with Nils Pedersen and Luca Waldschmidt. His side’s success will largely depend on his success in this duel.

Prediction: 2-1

SATURDAY:

1. FSV Mainz 05 vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim:

15th-placed Mainz take on 7th-placed Hoffenheim on Saturday. Mainz will desperately be searching for points to keep their survival hopes alive, as they are separated from a revived Düsseldorf by a solitary point. Hoffenheim still have an eye for the European spots, and a win would take them level on points with Wolfsburg. Both sides participated in games which saw red cards brandished last time around, as Mainz had to settle for a draw against Union, whereas Hoffenheim won 3-1 against Köln which saw only 20 players in action for 40 minutes. Let’s hope they can keep it clean this time around.

Player to Watch: Christoph Baumgartner – The 20 year-old midfielder bagged a brace in midweek, which moved him up to 6 goals for the season. He will look to add to his tally against a Mainz side who have failed to keep a clean sheet since the restart.

Prediction: 0-2

VfL Wolfsburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt:

6th-placed Wolfsburg welcome 14th-placed Frankfurt to the Volkswagen Arena, with the hosts looking for a win to cement their European spot for next season. Frankfurt, however, are only 2 points adrift of the relegation playoff place, and will desperately try to pick up as many points as they can in their quest to stay in the Bundesliga. Wolfsburg will be bolstered by their 4-1 victory against high-flying Leverkusen, but Frankfurt only managed a draw against Freiburg after a late comeback.

Player to Watch: Maximillian Arnold – The Wolfsburg midfielder came away with a goal and two assists from the midweek clash against Leverkusen, and all of them came from set-pieces. Frankfurt will have to be very careful and not give away any needless free-kicks, otherwise this man will certainly make them pay.

Arnold celebrating with his teammates after scoring

Prediction: 2-1

FC Schalke 04 vs SV Werder Bremen:

9th-placed Schalke play hosts to 17th-placed Bremen, who will do anything to get maximum points to bolster their survival hopes. They currently sit 5 points adrift of the relegation play-off spot, and though they have a game in hand, it’s about time they start collecting points. Schalke are desperate for points too, as they have gone without a win in their last 10 games. Their European dream seems dead, and David Wagner is most certainly fighting for his job now. Schalke lost to Fortuna in midweek, whereas Bremen managed to hold Gladbach in a 0-0 draw. Both sides need points, and this fixture may settle their fate.

Player to Watch: Weston McKennie – The young American has managed to impress in all of the games after the restart, even though his side has been utterly shambolic. His maturity and versatility have made him the heartbeat of the Schalke midfield. He even got the opening goal for his side in midweek.

Prediction: 1-2

Hertha Berlin vs FC Augsburg:

10th-placed Hertha welcome 12th-placed Augsburg to the Olympiastadion, with the sides separated by four points. Hertha go into this match on the back of a strong showing in a 2-2 draw against RB Leipzig, and remain unbeaten under new coach Bruno Labbadia. Augsburg also managed a similar result, but it was a disappointing shutout against bottom-placed Paderborn.

Player to Watch: Matheus Cunha – The Brazilian was an incessant threat to the Leipzig defence in midweek, as his silky footwork reduced Leipzig to 10 men, and later earned his side a penalty. He was very close to scoring too. He’s been in fine form since the restart, and will look to continue that.

Prediction: 1-1

FC Bayern München vs Fortuna Düsseldorf:

The record champions and league leaders Bayern will play 16th-placed Fortuna in the Allianz Arena. Riding high on the back of a Klassiker victory, Bayern can see an eight-consecutive Meisterschale in their hands, and are only a few wins away from it. Fortuna have improved a lot after the restart, and even managed to win against Schalke last time around, but will have a tough time against the prolific Bayern München.

Kimmich’s chip goal against Dortmund

Player to Watch: Joshua Kimmich – Phillip Lahm’s prophesied successor got the solitary goal against Dortmund with an outstanding chip, and he worked his socks off in midfield to keep Borussia at bay. After slightly disappointing performances post-restart, he has taken his game up a notch when he was most needed. A similar performance on Saturday will surely see Fortuna blown away in midfield.

Prediction: 3-0

SUNDAY:

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Union Berlin:

4th-placed Gladbach take on 13th-placed Union on Sunday. The Foals can go third with a win, and Union can jump up to eleventh, which will probably beat away any relegation fears that they may have. Gladbach drew against Bremen in midweek without scoring, and similarly, the 10 men of Union battled to a 1-1 draw against Mainz. This will certainly be an interesting match.

Player to Watch: Christopher Trimmel – The Austrian veteran fought valiantly for his disadvantaged side in midweek, guiding them to a 1-1 draw. He’ll need a similar performance this week to keep the Gladbach attackers at bay.

Prediction: 0-1

SV Paderborn 07 vs Borussia Dortmund:

Bottom club Paderborn host runners-up Dortmund for the last match of the weekend. Paderborn managed a draw against Augsburg on Wednsesay, whereas Dortmund lost to Bayern on Tuesday. Paderborn are 8 points away from the relegation play-off spot, whereas Dortmund are 7 points adrift of Bayern. Both sides’ main goal seems to be lost, but the match will still be exciting.

Player to Watch: Mats Hummels – The former world-cup winner was a rock in defence for Dortmund in Der Klassiker, as he kept his former teammate Lewandowski at bay. A solid defensive performance from him will certainly see his side maintain 2nd place, as their attack guarantees goals.

Prediction: 0-2

MONDAY:

1. FC Köln vs RB Leipzig:

11th-placed Köln take on 3rd-placed Leipzig for the last match of the matchday. The billygoats can go 9th with a win, whereas Leipzig will want the points to cement their Champions League spot. The hosts lost to Hoffenheim last time around, whereas Leipzig only managed a 2-2 draw against Hertha. It will certainly be an interesting fixture.

Player to Watch: Tyler Adams – The American was only introduced into the starting eleven due to a late injury to Kevin Kampl, but he certainly made the most of his good fortune, as he excelled down the right wing. He will be tasked with keeping Ismail Jakobs at bay, and if he can do that, his side will have a massive advantage.

Prediction: 2-3

With the other leagues set to kick-off soon, the Bundesliga will certainly deliver in the remainder of the time it has in the global spotlight. Be sure to stay tuned for the match reports as well.