Bundesliga Matchday 3 Preview

September 14, 2018

Bundesliga Matchday 3 Preview

It’s time for another Bundesliga matchday and in this article, we are here to preview this week’s fixtures that are coming up in the Bundesliga. We hope you enjoy this article and if you did then be sure to follow us on Twitter.

By Rob Parkinson

Axel Witsel

Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt

Dortmund stuttered in front of goal in the last matchday drawing a blank at the HDI Arena. Bringing to the fore concerns that despite possibly the best bunch of Attacking Midfielders in the league, they still lack a Number 9. An Aubemayang or Batshuayi type figure to lead the line. Enter new loan signing Pablo Alcacer from FC Barcelona who is expected to make his debut.  Its been an inconsistent start to the season for Eintracht. Yes, they won the season opener, But they lost to a late Rashica free kick on matchday 2 to Werder Bremen. The Supercup defeat to Bayern was humiliating, and the Pokal exit to fourth tier SSV Ulm was embarrassing. World Cup Star Ante Rebic is still sidelined by injury so I don’t expect Frankfurts luck to change on Friday night.

Prediction – Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt

Wolfsburg v Hertha Berlin

So here it is guys, the big one. The battle of those early season surprise packages VFL Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin. Both teams go into the match on 100% records. I bet you weren’t thinking that before the season began. Only champions Bayern Munich (whom you would expect) can match that with 6 points from the opening 2 matchdays

For the Wolves, Coach Labbadia will likely recall Goalkeeper Koen Casteels who missed Matchday2, but captain Joshua Guilavogui remains sidelined.

For Hertha, Karim Rekik is sidelined, but German International left back Marvin Plattenhardt is expected to return to the starting XI.

Could this one be as excited as last seasons 3-3 draw in the same fixture?

Prediction – Wolfsburg 2-2 Hertha Berlin

Fortuna Düsseldorf v Hoffenheim

Both teams have had injury concerns in the opening weeks of the season.

For Fortuna, Oliver Fink remains sidelined, but Adam Bodzek could return having played in a private friendly during the international break.  However, I’d expect Düsseldorf Boss Friedhelm Funkel to largely stick to the same team who held RB Leipzig to a 1-1 draw on Matchday 2.  Hoffenheim are expected to give a first start of the season to last seasons 13 goals man (and world cup finalist) Andrej Krameric. Naggelsmann could switch to 3 men up front in order to accommodate Krameric with Bundesliga Top Scorer Adam Szalai and the highly rated Brazillian Joelinton. In defense, both Adams Nuhu and Kevin Apkoguma are out following injuries in Matchday 2.

I’m expecting this to be a tight game, but I’m going to plump for Hoffenheim to sneak home due to their attacking options.

Prediction Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-2 TSG Hoffenheim

RB Leipzig Celebrating

RB Leipzig v Hannover 96

The Red Bull Arena welcomes Hannover 96 on Saturday, in what has been a solid start to the season for them with solid draws against Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund.  RB Leipzig will themselves be looking to get their Bundesliga season off and running after a disappointing draw last time out to League newcomers Dusseldorf. A game in which goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi was considered by many to be Man of the Match says it all. At the other end of the pitch, Jean-Kevin Augustin will look to improve his fine record in scoring in both of the opening two matchdays.

Prediction – RB Leipzig 2-1 Hannover 96

Mainz v Augsburg

Before the season began, both of these teams were tipped for lower mid table obscurity. Perhaps not bad enough to be considered relegation certainties, but not likely to be challenging for Champions League Qualification either. So its been encouraging for both to see a 4 point return and an unbeaten start to the season after 2 matchdays.  Mainz beating VfB Stuttgart 1-0, and drawing 1-1 with FC Nuremberg.  Summer signing Jean-Phillipe Mateta who scored 17 goals for Le Havre in the French Ligue 2 last season, will likely lead the line for Mainz 05 and will look to build on his first goal of the season last time out.

Augsburg, on the other hand, beat Fortuna Düsseldorf on the opening matchday and followed that up by beating Borrus Mönchengladbach. Augsburg with Rani Khedira, Juventus Star Sammi’s younger brother, and ex Mainz attacking midfielder Ja-Cheol Koo will look to last seasons top scorer Michael Gregoritsch for the goals.

Prediction – Mainz 0-1 Augsburg

Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen

Before the season began, I had Leverkusen down to improve on last seasons 5th position and be good to challenge the likes of Dortmund Schalke and TSG Hoffenheim for a Champions League spot. I did worry a bit about them defensively. Those concerns have been realised in the opening two matchdays shipping 5 goals. Bayern, are well….. just Bayern. It will be a huge surprise if the home team doesn’t carry on their 100% record, and the away teams return of 0 points for the season goes on for at least another week.

Prediction – Bayern Munich 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Borussia Mönchengladbach v FC Schalke 04

Bit of a Nord-Rhein-Westphalia derby this one. Maybe not with the intensity of a Dortmund-Schalke, or Cologne-Gladbach derby but will have added spice given the contrasting starts to the season for both teams. Gladbach has started the season impressively collecting 4 points from their opening fixtures.

Schalke haven’t collected a point as yet following losses to Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg.  As far as the team news, the Ukranian winger Yevhen Konoplyanka is suspended after his late Red Card in the defeat to Hertha. Guido Bergstaller is tipped to start in his place. They also have ex-Manchester City central defender Matija Nastasic returning to the team. Weston McKennie the promising American talent who played for the US National team in the international break will likely make way.

For Gladbach I expect Thorgan Hazzard, Fabian Johnson, and Raffael to lead a 3 pronged attack, in the same team which claimed a point at Augsburg last time out. Swiss International Nico Elvedi may be recalled at right back, however.

Schalke don’t have a good record at Borussia Park either, their last win there was in 2013. Therefore I predict Schalke’s first Bundesliga win of the campaign to have to wait.

Prediction – Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-1 Schalke o4

Claudio Pizarro

Werder Bremen v FC Nürnberg

In the first of Sunday’s matches, Nuremberg faces the long trip north to Weser Stadium following their first point of the season in the last matchday.

Bremen have made an unbeaten start to the season topped with a 90th minute deadball winner from Milot Rashica at the Commerzbank Arena in the last matchday.  Transfer Deadline day capture Nuri Sahin from Borussia Dortmund will be keen to make his debut in the position Thomas Delaney left vacant in the summer. But his fitness is questionable so may not be risked. I’m expecting Nürnberg to name the same team as the last matchday with Ewerton still out injured.

Despite many ‘experts’ predicting Bremen for a top half finish and to do better than in recent seasons, I’m not convinced.  This may be the first season in the Bundesliga top division for four seasons for FC Nurenburg, but their recent record in Bremen is still good. Therefore I reckon they will get a point, even if it isn’t pretty.

Prediction – Werder Bremen 0-0 FC Nürnberg

SC Freiburg v VfB Stuttgart

Well, here we have an early contender for relegation 6 pointer, in the battle of the basement. These teams haven’t got a point between them, and their combined goal difference of scored 1, conceded 9 doesn’t look too good either. I’m predicting it will be a long Winter ahead at the Schwarzwald Stadion. Freiburg just doesn’t have the budget or the squad depth of most teams in the league.

They would probably be happy getting off the mark with their first point of the season in this one, but I can’t see it, despite having last seasons 2nd highest leading marksman behind Lewandowski in their ranks.

After the thrashing to Bayern in the last matchday, I expect VfB Stuttgart to finally get off the mark in this one. We might even see Mario Gomez get off the mark in a scrappy win. He does have a remarkable record against Freiburg and I expect him to get the better of Nils Peterson in this game, just like he did in the final die Mannschaft squad named for the World Cup last summer.

Prediction – SC Freiburg 0-1 VfB Stuttgart

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