Bundesliga Matchday 14 Preview: To Catch BVB


It looks like we are going from a season in which Bayern ran away with things to one where Dortmund may end up running away with things. Two of the nearest contenders to BVB not named Bayern lost last weekend giving the Black and Yellow a seven-point cushion at the top of the table. Let’s see if BVB can add to that cushion in the Revierderby. Welcome to Matchday 14.


This is not a drill. Josh Sargent will be in the senior squad on Friday for Bremen. That’s because Claudio Pizzaro and Yuya Osako are doubts after the loss to Bayern and Ludwig Augustinsson missed training on Tuesday due to a respiratory infection. Also, Niklas Moisander is suspended, Milos Veljkovic still has hip issues, and there are long-term worries Philipp Bargfrede, Aron Johansson, and Fin Bartles. Bremen are looking to break a five-match winless streak that has seen them drop to ninth.

Bottom-of-the-table Fortuna are reeling from a home loss to Mainz. They have yet to win away from home this season and are currently two points from safety. Dodi Lukebakio leads Fortuna with five goals on the year—three of them came two weeks ago against Bayern. 

FC SCHALKE 04 vs. BORUSSIA DORTMUND (Saturday at 8:30am CT, FS1)

Last year, Schalke finished runners-up while BVB finished fourth. This year, BVB leads the pack while Schalke have slumped out of the gates and are currently in 12th. The Royal Blues did take four points from their near-rivals last season and they have just lost once in their last five. While some eyes will be on Weston McKennie, another US forward, Haji Wright, could make just his third Bundesliga appearance this season after being included last week at Hoffenheim. 

Dortmund are winless in their last four trips to the Veltins Arena, but they are still unbeaten after 13 matches this season. BVB could be thin at center back with a left foot injury sidelining Dan-Axel Zagadou and leaving just Abdou Diallo and Omer Toprak as the only fit center backs. Paco Alcacer continues to be super sub after his ninth goal from the bench and tenth overall in last week’s win over Freiburg. 

BAYERN MUNICH vs. FC NÜRNBERG (Saturday at 8:30am CT, FS2)

Thiago is fit again after an ankle injury and might feature at the Allianz on Saturday. Kingley Coman also appeares to be on the road to recovery from his ankle injury leavig a plethora of options on the wings with Franck Ribery and the departing-after-the-season Arjen Robben. Serge Gnabry’s brace at Werder Bremen kept Bayern in the top four, but Bayern will have to make history to win a seventh straight title. They have never won it after trailing the leaders by nine points or more at this stage of the season.

Nürnberg are the worst away side in the Bundesliga with just two points away from home. They did get a point against Bayer Leverkusen on Monday, but it continued their winless streak to seven. They are 15th, but just on goal difference as they are level on points with Stuttgart. Worse, Hanno Behrens is out after tearing a stomach muscle in the draw on Monday. 

SC FREIBURG vs. RB LEIPZIG (Saturday at 8:30am CT, Fox Soccer Plus)

Since their win over Borussia Mönchengladbach in Matchday 9, Freiburg have amassed just two points out of a possible 12. The home game could work to their favor as Leipzig have lost their last three away matches in all competitions. While there was promise in the performance in last week’s loss to Dortmund, they will need more of the same on Saturday. 

Wjhen Timo Werner scores, it’s usually in pairs. He got two last week against Gladbach at Red Bull Arena Leipzig and also halted a losing streak in all competitions. Leipzig moved up to third last week with the win and are looking to consolidate their top four place. The club made news off the pitch with the signing of New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams who will join the squad in January. 

VfL WOLFSBURG vs. TSG 1899 HOFFENHEIM (Saturday at 8:30am CT, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

The Wolves will be a bit thin in the back after Willam and John Brooks both picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season suspending them from Saturday’s match. They have back-to-back wins which has vaulted them to eighth in the table. Wolfsburg has had their luck against teams competing in Europe this season as four of their five wins have been against those sides. They face another on Saturday in Hoffenheim.

Hoffenheim are unbeaten in their last six. However, their last two results in league play were draws which keeps them three points adrift of the top four. Reiss Nelson leads the club with six goals, but has played just 36 minutes in the last three matches for the Sinsheim side. They need him to be healthy if they are to return to the top four. 

BAYER LEVERKUSEN vs. FC AUGSBURG (Saturday at 8:30am CT, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Die Werkself has a return of just four points from their last four matches and are 11th, six points adrfit of the top six. They are off to their worst start after 13 matches since 2006. Leon Bailey and Julian Brandt could start upfront for Bayer, but Karim Bellarbi is fit again after a thigh injury. Sven Bender will miss the match after a hit to the head last Monday.

Augsburg are on a worse run—five points from their last seven matches—and are just two points clear from 16th. They practically did everything last week except find the net against Stuttgart who did last week. Alfred Finnbogason could return after an adductor problem.

HERTHA BERLIN vs. EINTRACHT FRANKFURT (Saturday at 11:30am, Fox Soccer Plus)

Hertha looks to be back on track with four points from the last two matches that has kept them in reach of the top six. Javairo Dilrosun (thigh), Niklas Stark (ankle), Karim Rekik (thigh) and Lukas Klünter (thigh) are all on the sidelines for the Captial Club, but Marko Grujic and Vladimir Darida look set to return to bolster ranks.

Eintracht’s seven-match unbeaten streak was ended by Wolfsburg last week. Luka Jovic will look to add to his joint-league leading ten goals on the year. Frankfurt are fifth in the table after the loss. Coach Adi Hütter will want his side to be more clinical and not as scruffy as they were last week. 

MAINZ 05 vs. HANNOVER 96 (Sunday at 8:30am CT, FS2)

Mainz are in the top ten after three wins from their last four matches. Their 18 points is their best return from 13 matches since 2013 when they had 19. Another stat to watch is that whenever Jean-Philippe Mateta has scored, Mainz have not lost this season. They play the only team they beat twice last season in Hannover.

The 96ers are currently second bottom after four points from their last six matches. Their latest loss was last week at home to Hertha which is their fourth in the last five. Keeper Michael Esser has saved more shots (51) than any other keeper in the Bundesliga, but his side still have the division’s third-worst defense with 28 goals conceded.


Gladbach was dealt a setback by RB Leipzig last week, but remain in second place in the table. They return to their confines at Borussia Park where they have a 100% record. They also have the joint second-best attack with Frankfurt at 30 goals on the season behind Dortmund’s 37.

While Gladbach have one of the best attacks, Stuttgart has the worst at just nine goals. They are in the relegation spot, two points clear of the bottom two. They did win two of their last three matches, against Nürnberg and Augsburg, but haven’t won back-to-back games since May. 


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