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Bundesliga Preview Matchday 24 – 11/03/17

Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt

After Xabi Alonso announced his retirement from football at the end of season on Thursday, Bayern Munich will be hoping they can move further clear of RB Leipzig at the top of the Bundesliga with a win against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Niko Kovac’ side did of course start their campaign will, sitting in third for most it – however a drop in form has season them lose four on the bounce, dropping to sixth in the league.

Bayern are in full confidence heading into this game with another 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal, whilst they remain unbeaten at home this season, a record that Carlo Ancelotti will want to keep intact.

Injuries and suspensions are hampering Eintracht’s season, whilst this is a game Bayern really should be dominating from the off, putting more pressure on Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Leipzig.

Hertha BSC vs Borussia Dortmund

Another team struggling to find their form of late is Hertha BSC; another team that started their campaign strong in the Bundesliga. With just two wins in their last five fixtures, Pal Dardai’s side face a free-scoring Borussia Dortmund, who put for past SL Benfica in the Champions League.

However, strong defensive performances at the Olympiastadion has seen Hertha win nine of their 11 fixtures at home – boasting the best record in the Bundesliga this season. If Thomas Tuchel is to guide his side to three points, they’re going to need Ousmane Dembélé and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at their best.

Expect this game to be a tight affair.

RB Leipzig vs Wolfsburg

After topping the Bundesliga for much of the Hinrunde, RB Leipzig are slowly dropping off the pace, but you can’t argue at what they’ve achieved in their debut season in the Bundesliga – it’s nothing short of remarkable.

Suffering back-to-back losses at the beginning of February, RB Leizpig have improved defensively. They’re no doubt missing Yussuf Poulsen up front which has resulted in a slight change of tactics, but it’s looking extremely likely that Hasenhüttl’s side should qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Wolfsburg appointed Andries Jonker as their new head coach, who did a reasonably good job against Mainz last weekend, earning a 1-1 draw. It’s his job to keep Wolfsburg up this season but they face a strong team in RB, who sit second.

Freiburg vs Hoffenheim

A manager that isn’t getting the credit he perhaps deserves this season in Freiburg’s Christian Streich. Bringing the Black Forest club up from the 2. Bundesliga, Freiburg currently sit in eighth, whilst producing eye-opening football.

First game back after the winter break, Freiburg almost managed a win over Bayern Munich; a result that would have certainly being deserved. If they continue their form this season, then there’s no reason as to why they can’t qualify for the Europa League, given Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha BSC’s drop in form.

Saturday afternoon sees them face Julian Nagelsmann’s TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. They will hope to keep the pace on Dortmund in that race for the third-place finish in the Bundesliga.

Sebastian Rudy and Nicklas Süle’s departure to Bayern Munich in the summer will hit them, but this young squad and balanced style of play Nagelsmann has brought in should stabalise Hoffenheim as a European challenger for at least the next couple of seasons.

Darmstadt vs Mainz

Perhaps this game will go under the radar, but it’s one that should be hitting the headlines for all the right reasons. Darmstadt have unveiled a one-off kit in honour of lifelong fan Jonathan Heimes who lost his battle with cancer one year ago. The Lillies have already renamed their stadium after him, whilst players will hope they can beat relegation in honour of him.

On the pitch, Darmstadt have lost 13 of their last 15 games. Since losing Sandro Wagner to Hoffenheim, they’ve looked a little lost going forward. With no real out ball, Darmstadt have been criticised for over playing, whilst they just haven’t scored enough goals this campaign (15).

Mainz on the other hand are in a relatively stable mid-table position, whilst they should be looking to pick up another three points on Saturday afternoon.

By Daniel Pinder.

 

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