Friday, September 14, 2007

Round 5: Preview

Borussia Dortmund 1 - 1 Werder Bremen

Without Harnik to provide a spark off the bench, I can see Bremen reverting to their stagnant form that has plagued them this season. Dortmund seems to be finding some form, although it must be noted that it was against some weak opposition. Game is on GolTV.

Stuttgart 4 - 0 Energie Cottbus

Cacau and Yildiray Bastürk return to a team that needs a turn in fortune in order to start aiming at a top spot, but also have their eye on a tough Champions League group. Cottbus is the perfect opponent for slotting these players back into the squad and helping one’s confidence. I predict that Stuttgart will explode this weekend. Game is on GolTV.

Bayern München 2 - 3 Schalke 04

Of course, my prediction is dependent on Slomka and the General’s tactical decisions, but if Slomka plays with five in the midfield, he can negate some of Ribery’s abilities, while giving Lucio a reason to move forward, allowing a Jones or Rakatic to slip in for goals. I also expect Podolski and Klose to start up front and am not convinced of Bayern under a 4-4-2. I expect the past week’s games will weight more heavily on Bayern as Lucio was in the states and Ribery was in two hard contests. Kevin Kuranyi leads the league in shots on target and will do something that has really yet to be accomplished this season: he will test Kahn often. Game is on GolTV.

Bayer Leverkusen 2 - 1 Bochum

Leverkusen has had a poor start to the season, but there’s a good chance that they will begin to gel against Bochum, who are reeling from three injuries to their backline. In addition, last year’s leading goal scorer Theofanis Gekas faces off with his old team for the first time, and that should put a little extra spring in his step.

Nürnberg 0 - 2 Hannover

Things just get worse for Nurnberg, as their two midfield stars Saenko and Galasek return from international duty injured. The 96ers’ talisman Arnold Bruggink should control the center of the pitch and Mike Hanke should have plenty of chances to continue his good start to the season.

Bielefeld 3 - 1 Hansa Rostock

Rostock are a poor side, bound for relegation. Bielefeld are riding high at the moment and should have no problem keeping pace at the top and could well see themselves at the top of the table come Sunday.

Frankfurt 1 - 2 Hamburg

Both teams have started the campaign well. I think Hamburg has the edge due to their midfield which seemed to blossom last week without Rafael van der Vaart. Castelan and Boateng are going to be stars. I expect Hamburg will win the game in center of the pitch and Zidan and Guererro will start to finish better, which is all HSV is missing right now.

Wolfsburg 2 - 0 Karlsruhe

Karlsruhe is bound to have a hangover from their derby win over Stuttgart. Wolfsburg is a hot/cold team, but typically runs hot at home.

Duisburg 1 - 2 Hertha Berlin

Something seems to be clicking at HSB and they could continue their surprising start against a Duisburg side that dismantled Bielefeld last time out. But Lucio has made the transition to the capital city seamlessly and should be the difference maker for Lucien Favre’s side.

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