Bundesliga Matchday 24 Preview: At Foal Throttle


Remember when Borussia Mönchengladbach had a 100% record at home, a huge away win against Bayern Munich, and considered a dark horse for the title? Well, the rematch at home against Bayern is this Saturday, but the Foals have stumbled mightily recently—including a pair of 3-0 losses at home. Also, could the Foals and RB Leipzig be facing a challenge to their top four spots? That and more as we welcome you to Matchday 24.


(Matchday 7:  Borussia Dortmund 4-3 FC Augusburg)

Daniel Baier’s injury suffered last week against Freiburg is not as serious as feared and Andre Hahn could feature after a calf injury. That is welcome news for Augsburg as a 5-1 loss to Freiburg has left them just two points clear of the danger zone. However, Alfred Finnbogason is unlikely to be risked as he is still recovering from his calf injury.

BVB got back to winning ways last week with a 3-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen that keeps them top of the Bundesliga by three over Bayern Munich. They are likely to welcome back Marco Reus who has missed the last five matches due to a calf injury. They will also be looking to get Paco Alcacer back on the scoresheet as he has not scored in his last seven matches.

FC NÜRNBERG vs. RB LEIPZIG (Saturday at 8:30am CT, FS1)

(Matchday 7:  RB Leipzig 6-0 FC Nürnberg)

In the reverse fixture at Red Bull Arena (Leipzig), Der Club were thumped, 6-0. That would be the start of a 17-match winless streak. Despite that, Der Club are just three points adrift of 16th place and six back of outright safety. Goals were certainly be hard to come by for Nürnberg as they have the most anemic attack at 18 goals while Leipzig have the stingiest defense having conceded just 20. 

Timo Werner did not feature in Leipzig’s 1-1 draw last week with Hoffenheim. They have won their last three away from home and could jump to third after this week if they win and Gladbach fail to do the same against Bayern. In addition to the best defense, they have the leading scorer among defenders in Willi Orban who has four.

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT vs. TSG 1899 HOFFENHEIM (Saturday at 8:30am, FS2)

(Matchday 7:  Hoffenheim 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt)

Frankfurt is back in the top six after a win over Hannover 96 last week. They are unbeaten in their first six Ruckrunde games for the first time since 1990. Luka Jovic, who scored last week, leads the Bundesliga with 15 goals. Jovic has also been involved in all nine of the Eagles’ counter attack goals this season. Something for Hoffenheim to watch out for. 

Hoffenheim must see this match as a chance to climb back into the top six with matches against Nürnberg and Stuttgart coming up. The Sinsheimers may be a bit thin at the back with both Benjamin Hübner (knee) and captain Kevin Vogt (hamstring) both out while Pavel Kaderabek is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. 

FC SCHALKE 04 vs. FORTUNA DUSSELDORF (Saturday at 8:30am CT, Fox Soccer Plus)

(Matchday 7:  Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-2 Schalke)

Few would have predicted that Schalke would be below Fortuna in the table at this point int he season, but that’s where things are. The Royal Blues are also coming off a bad loss to Mainz. They won just one of their last six and it’s looking ever more likely that there will be no European football at the Veltins next season. Weston McKennie missed last week with a thight sprain, but could be back in the XI if passed fit this week. 

Fortuna are edging closer to safety after a win against Nürnberg last week. However, the changes may be rung in for this week. Jannickl Thiessen may debut in goal after Jaroslav Droby fractured his hand last week. It could be a more defensive posture like in the last away match with Dodi Lukebakio as the lone striker. 

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

(Matchday 7:  SC Freiburg 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen)

Die Werkself’s four-match winning streak was snapped last week against Dortmund. They will try and get back into the top six this week. Wendell is expected to return to the lineup while the attacking quartet of Leon Bailey, Kai Havertz, Julian Brandt, and Kevin Volland are all expected to retain their places. 

Freiburg ran rampant against Augsburg last week. It could be a different story at the BayArena, though. Freiburg have won just twice in their last 11 matches away. Mid-table safety is the likely destination for Freiburg as they are 11 points clear of the danger zone and ten points out of the top six.

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

(Matchday 7:  Mainz 05 0-0 Hertha Berlin)

The Capital Club enter this week five points out of the top six and with four teams to pass to get there. Salomon Kalou is expected to keep his place alongside Davie Selke up front, but Karim Rekik will not in the back after being sent off against Bayern last week. Marvin Plattenhardt and Jordan Torunarigha are also on the sidelines for Pal Dardai. However, Jaivairo Dilrosun could come back after missing the last twelve matches. 

While 40 points may be the safety target in the English Premier League. No team who has amassed 30 points after 23 matches has ever been relegated. That is where Mainz are after their 3-0 win over Schalke. However, the flu bug struck this week and has struck Gaëtan Bussman, Alexander Hack, and Pierre Kunde. 


(Matchday 7:  Bayern Munich 0-3 Borussia Mönchengladbach)

The Foals looked like they were going to pick up where they left off with three straight wins to start the Ruckrunde. However, they just have one point in their three matches since and two home losses. Also, they have scored just six goals in their last six matches. As a result, they are eight points adrift of their opponents on Saturday whom they defeated 3-0 on Matchday 7.

Meanwhile, Bayern have won five of their last six to get back into the title race. Gladbach have been a bogey side for Bayern in recent times, though. No team has picked more points off Bayern in the last nine (14 points) than the Foals. Joshua Kimmich is the joint-leader in assists this season with ten along with Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.

VFB STUTTGART vs. HANNOVER 96 (Sunday at 8:30am CT, FS1)

(Matchday 7:  Hannover 96 3-1 VfB Stuttgart)

The last time Mario Gomez scored, Stuttgart won. That was Matchday 15. Stuttgart has amassed just two point since. They are just two adrift of outright safety, but also just two clear of outright relegation ahead of their opponents on Sunday. Like their opponents, they have a league-high 15 defeats. 

It’s been 24 away matches since Hannover last won one. Hannover also have conceded one fewer than Stuttgart who have shipped 51 goals. The 96ers are coming off back-to-back 3-0 losses to Hoffenheim and Frankfurt. 


(Matchday 7:  Werder Bremen 2-0 Wolfsburg)

Wolfsburg are coming off back-to-back 3-0 wins that have seen them vault to fifth in the table. Admir Mehmedi scored twice off the bench to help down Gladbach at Borussia Park. He may start on Sunday while John Brooks impressed in the presence of US National Team coach Greg Berhalter last week and will look to do so again. 

Berhalter is also likely to keep an eye on Josh Sargent who was just handed a contract extension this week after making his first start with the Green-Whites. Bremen are also unbeaten in the Ruckrunde so far with two wins and four draws and are also unbeaten in their last three away from the Weser Stadion. 


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