Bundesliga Matchday 10 Preview: After the Pokal, Part Two


If you had a bet on Borussia Mönchengladbach being top of the table for three weeks running, you are still living in the 1990s since Germany has been part of the Euro since 1999. Also, you would be making a lot of money.

We still have just five points separating Gladbach from 10th place Hoffenheim, and we have our first Berlin derby this weekend. Welcome to Matchday 10 (All times CT).

HOFFENHEIM vs. SC PADERBORN (Friday at 2:30pm, FS2):

Having Andrej Kramaric has made a difference in Hoffemheim’s fortunes. He has scored in back-to-back matches after missing the first eight with a knee injury. The club themselves have won three on the bounce and got to the last 16 of the Pokal with a win over third-tier Duisburg on Tuesday.

Paderborn finally got their first win of the season last week over Fortuna Dusseldorf. The next competitive goal they score against Hoffenheim will be their first. The next time they win back-to-back games in the Bundesliga would also be their first. Their Pokal run was ended on Tuesday at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen. 


Frankfurt bounced back from their 4-2 defeat to Gladbach with a 2-1 Pokal win over St. Pauli in midweek. Bas Dost scored both goals in the win and made it five goals in seven appearances and will likely partner with Gonzalo Paciencia who himself has five goals in seven starts. Daichi Kamada will likely play the #10 role to complete the attacking trio with Andres Silva out with an achilles injury. 

Thomas Muller could make his 500th appearance for Bayern, but that could come as a sub as Philippe Coutinho is likely to start in his place. Robert Lewandowski set a record by scoring in nine successive games to start the season. Bochum produced a novelty in that they kept him off the scoresheet in the Pokal on Tuesday. Bayern still won that match, 2-1. 

BORUSSIA DORTMUND vs. WOLFSBURG (Saturday at 9:30am, FS2)

Jadon Sancho has three goals and five assists for BVB and is slated to feature again on Saturday. Paco Alcacer may return for the first time since Matchday 5 after an achilles injury. Otherwise, Mario Götze will again lead the lines for BVB. They face the team that last kept them off the scoresheet 30 matches ago. 

Wolfsburg are the league’s last unbeaten team and have the stingiest defense in the league allowing just five goals. However, they are no longer in the Pokal after a 6-1 thrashing by RB Leipzig. They are unbeaten in their last ten league matches, but winless in their last four. They are still fourth despite that. 

RB LEIPZIG vs. MAINZ (Saturday at 9:30am, Fox Soccer Plus)

Five second half goals gave Leipzig the 6-1 win in the Pokal over Wolfsburg. That ended a six-match winless run in all competitions. Now to end their four-match winless run in the league. Yussuf Poulsen should start alongside Timo Werner up frank while captain Willi Obranis out with a knee injury.

Mainz ended a four-match losing streak last week with a 3-1 win over FC Köln. That win lifted them away from the drop zone for the time being. They have the third-worst attack with only ten goals and the third most charitable defense in shipping 19. 

BAYER LEVERKUSEN vs. BORUSSIA MÖNCHENGLADBACH (Saturday at 9:30am, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Die Werkself ended a five-match winless run in all comps with a 1-0 win in the Pokal over Paderborn. Kai Havertz returned to action in the win. Leon Bailey (torn hamstring) and Charles Aranguiz (metatarsal) will miss the match as may Lars Bender (thigh). 

The Foals enter Matchday 10 top of the Bundesliga, but were shown the exit from the Pokal by BVB on Wednesday. Marcus Thuram will be relied upon for the scoring as Alassane Plea is a doubt for Saturday while Breel Embolo is definitely out. Matthias Ginter should return in defense, though.

WERDER BREMEN vs. SC FREIBURG (Saturday at 9:30am, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Bremen’s 4-1 win over Heidenheim in the Pokal made it five straight unbeaten in all competitions, but the other four have been draws. Captain Niklas Moisander may make his first start of the year after emerging from a calf problem. Josh Sargent has now started in six straight matches in all competitions. 

The beat goes on for Freiburg after a 2-1 win last week against RB Leipzig. That put Freiburg back into the top four, but a sub-par performance against Union Berlin in the Pokal put them out of that competition, 3-1. Philipp Lienhart and Lucas Höler are expected to return to the lineup after not starting the Pokal tie. 

UNION BERLIN vs. HERTHA BERLIN (Saturday at 12:30pm, FS1)

The Stadion An der Alten Försterei (Stadium at the old forester’s house) will play host to the first Berlin derby in the Bundesliga in 42 years. Union came close to getting a point against Bayern, but they did triumph in the Pokal against Freiburg in midweek. Union quartet Robert Andrich, Julius Kade, Christopher Lenz and Manuel Schmiedebach are all former Hertha players.

Tennis Borussia were the opposition the last time Hertha were in a Berlin derby in the Bundesliga. Ondrej Duda should be called up in his place joining an attack of Marius Wolf, Dodi Lukebakio, and Vedad Ibisevic with Vladimir Darida suspended. Hertha required penalties to dispatch of Dynamo Dresden in the Pokal in midweek. 

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF vs. FC KÖLN (Sunday at 8:30am, FS1)

Zack Steffen still leads the league in saves. It has not saved Fortuna from being 14th and being one of four teams on seven points with only Paderborn having fewer. Alfred Morales could return to the fold after featuring in the Pokal win over Erzgebirge Aue. 

Cologne were not so lucky as they fell to fourth-tier Saarbrücken. They are facing their Rhineland neighbors in the top flight for the first time in 22 years when they won both matches that season over Fortuna. In fact, their last loss to Fortuna in the Bundesliga was in 1983. 

FC AUGSBURG vs. SCHALKE (Sunday at 11am, FS2)

Four of the Augsburg’s last five fixtures have come against teams in the current top five and, while they took points off defending champions Bayern Munich and unbeaten Wolfsburg on Matchdays 8 and 9, respectively, Martin Schmidt’s side begin the weekend in the bottom two as one of four teams locked on seven points. Augsburg has won just once all season.

Weston McKennie is may be back in the fold after pulling out of the Revierderby against BVB through injury. He did feature in Schalke’s 3-2 Pokal win over Arminia Bielefeld. If he does feature, Rabbi Matondo would likely may way for him. The Royal Blues are winless in their last three in the league.


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