Bundesliga Matchday 11 Preview: Der Klassiker, Part 1


It’s Der Klassiker weekend, part 1. Dortmund host Bayern Munich. Gladbach, Leipzig, Frankfurt, and Werder Bremen look to continue to be in the mix. And Hannover, Fortuna, and Stuttgart all look not to be cut adrift. Welcome to Matchday 11.

HANNOVER 96 vs. VfL WOLFSBURG (Friday at 1:30pm CT, FS2)

Americans line up on opposite sides in this one. Bobby Wood is expected to line up for Hannover opposite John Brooks of Wolfsburg. Both have been called up for friendlies this week. Wood is looking to get his first goal in four matches as the 96ers look to give themselves some distance between themselves and the bottom two. 

Brooks has played every minute of every match so far for the Wolves who currently sit 11th in the table winning just once in their last eight matches. Wolfsburg are unbeaten in their last eight against the 96ers. 


Yes, Josh Sargent is still waiting for his maiden appearance for the Green-Whites who have lost back-to-back games. Claudio Pizzaro, 40, has scored consolation goals off the bench the last two games. Prior to Matchday 9, Bremen had been unbeaten in their last 16 at home.  

Eden Hazard’s younger brother Thorgan is joint-top scorer in the Bundesliga with seven. Hazard has spearheaded Gladbach’s rise to second place in the table scoring those seven in seven matches. Only Dortmund has scored more goals this season as a team than the Foals. 

TSG 1899 HOFFENHEIM vs. FC AUGSBURG (Saturday at 8:30am CT, FS2)

Hoffenheim are finding their feet again after a hot and cold start to the season. They are also coming off an impressive 4-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen and a 2-2 draw with Lyon in Champions League play. Reiss Nelson and Joelinton are proving to be quite the strike duo.

Alfred Finnbogason has score six goals in his last six matches for Augsburg who have lost just once in their last six matches. Their last match was a 1-1 draw with Nürnberg. The question this week is whether Finnbogason will get service with Michael Gregoristch a doubt and Andre Hahn definitely out. 

SC FREIBURG vs. MAINZ 05 (Saturday at 8:30am CT, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Last week, Lucas Höler’s 88th minute strike gave Freiburg its first point in Munich for 21 years. Freiburg are in 10th having lost just once in their last eight matches. Nils Petersen looks set to return to the lineup after missing the trip to Bayern.  

Mainz ended a six-match winless run with a 2-1 win over Werder Bremen last week. The win also lifted the 05ers to 12th in the table, six points clear of 16th-place Hannover. Robin Zentner looks to retain his spot in goal with Florian Müller still on the sidelines. 

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF vs. HERTHA BERLIN (Saturday at 8:30am CT, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Fortuna’s losing streak has now matched their goal total for the year which is six. As a result, they are level on points and goal difference with Stuttgart. Worse, Dusseldorf have scored just once in their last five matches. That goal came in the 7-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt. 

After defeating Bayern on Matchday 6, the Capital Club have gone winless in their last four league matches. What also has not happened since Matchday 6 is a goal from Vedad Ibisevic. Ondrej Duda has as many goals as the entire Fortuna team with six.

FC NÜRNBERG vs VfB STUTTGART (Saturday at 8:30am, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Nürnberg have some breathing room after back-to-back draws. Lukas Mühl was the hero against Augsburg to keep them out of the bottom three. Der Club have a good record at home amassing eight points out of fifteen. 

Stuttgart have just one point away from the Mercedes-Benz Arena and just four in it. None of those five points total have come in the three games since Markus Weinzierl replaced Tayfun Korkut as head coach. During that time, Stuttgart have shipped 11 goals. Mario Gomez, the only player who has scored multiple goals for the team, is an injury doubt.


We come to Der Klassiker and it’s BVB who are on top and undefeated in the Bundesliga. In fact, their loss on Tuesday to Atletico Madrid was their first in any competition this season. Dortmund’s attack has been the main attraction of the season so far, and captain Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho, and Paco Alcacer all expected to start. The only question is whether Christian Pulisic or Jacob Bruun Larsen gets the nod on the left wing.

Bayern enter this Klassiker four points behind BVB. Bayern have won four of their five away matches this season and have won three of their last five league visits to the Signal Iduna. James Rodriguez is expected to start as Robert Lewandowski will look to add to his goal total after scoring twice against AEK Athens on Wednesday. 

RB LEIPZIG vs. BAYER LEVERKUSEN (Sunday at 8:30am CT, FS1)

Timo Werner was rested in the 2-1 loss to Celtic on Thursday and is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday. He scored twice in the win last week against Hertha and in the Pokal win over Hoffenheim. On the other side of the ball, Leipzig have the stingiest defense in the league allowing just nine goals. 

A 4-1 home loss to Hoffenheim brought Die Werkself back to Earth, but they should be buoyed by Thursday’s win against Zurich in the Europa League. Karim Bellarabi has seven goals in his last five competitive matches, but his fitness for Sunday is a doubt. Their defense needs to be less of a doubt as only the bottom three have conceded more goals than Bayer’s 21. 

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT vs. SCHALKE 04 (Sunday at 11:00am, FS2)

Frankfurt are on a roll winning six of their last seven competitive matches scoring 23 goals in the process. Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic are joint-leaders on the scoring chart with Gladbach’s Thorgan Hazard and Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer. Haller also has five assists as he has been involved in more goals than any other player.

Schalke is on an unbeaten run of its own at five in all competitions, including a win on Tuesday over Galatasaray. They appear to have turned a corner after opening with five straight defeats. They are still 14th in the table, but things are looking up for The Royal Blues. 


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