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PREVIEW | Looking ahead to Saturday’s Konferenz

The Bundesliga returns this weekend following the international break and there are five mouth-watering games in Saturday’s Konferenz. So, without further ado, let’s assess the action that lies ahead.

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich hold something of a curse over Eintracht Frankfurt, having not conceded in any of the previous eight games against Die Adler. Moreover, Bayern have come out on top in their last seven against Frankfurt, meaning that Niko Kovac’s side could be in for a rocky ride.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for the hosts; midfielder Makoto Hasebe returns from injury and they always have their impressive home record to fall back on, having lost just once in their last 10 games at the Commerzbank-Arena.

Prediction: The home side are a tough nut to crack at home, but this is Bayern Munich we’re talking about. An early goal for Carlo Ancelotti’s men could see them run riot, but I’ll got for 3-0 to the visitors.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs. SC Freiburg

Hoffenheim lie seventh in the Bundesliga, just one point ahead of their opponents this weekend Freiburg. They have also taken just one more point than the visitors in their last six games; however, they are unbeaten while Freiburg’s horrid form on the road has seen them lose three of their last six.

But while away form may not be on the visitors’ side, their record against Hoffenheim certainly is. Unbeaten in 10 of the last 11, this could be the game which puts an end to Christian Streich’s away day blues.

Prediction: This is bound to be a close encounter, as each side have things going for them. However, I think Freiburg may nick this in a narrow 1-0 win.

FC Augsburg vs. FC Schalke 04

Two sides who won’t be particularly content with the start they’ve made this season are Augsburg and Schalke. The former lie 12th, having won just seven of the opening 18 points on offer. The latter, however, have started in horrid fashion, losing five of their first six.

However, Schalke appeared to have turned a corner last time out after their resounding 4-0 defeat of Borussia Mönchengladbach, and will be hoping to continue their revival at the weekend. But the international break probably didn’t come at the best time for them, so getting back into that rhythm won’t be straightforward.

Prediction: I think Schalke will win this given that something clearly clicked against Die Fohlen. Given the quality they possess, I think 2-0 is a fair scoreline.

FC Cologne vs. FC Ingolstadt 04

The standout statistic in this one is the fact that Ingolstadt have not won in their last 17 away fixtures in the Bundesliga and, against a high-flying Cologne side, it looks set to be 18 after this weekend.

Perhaps worse than that, however, is the fact that Ingolstadt have not won yet this season and have just one point from a possible 18, meaning they’re wallowing in the Bundesliga relegation zone.

Prediction: Cologne, one of three sides still unbeaten, should have no difficulty with this. I think they’ll send the RheinEnergieStadion rocking again with a 2-0 victory.

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Hamburger SV

The only side doing worse than Ingolstadt this season are bottom side Hamburg, who also can boast just one point. There are few more unappealing grounds to go when in need of your first league win, too; Gladbach have won their last ten games at Borussia-Park.

Everything about this game points to a Gladbach win. As well as form, Johan Djourou and Bobby Wood are expected to be the big absentees for Hamburg meaning they’ll be depleted at both ends of the field.

Prediction: Hamburg haven’t scored in four games and without Wood, it could be five by Saturday evening. I think Gladbach will run out 3-0 winners at Borussia-Park.

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