Bundesliga Matchday 12 Preview: Back from the break, part 3


As we come back from the third international break of the season, we still find Borussia Mönchengladbach four points clear at the top while second to eighth position is separated by just three points.

We will see two new managers this week in the Bundesliga as well. Welcome to Matchday 12 (All times CT).


Der Klassiker became Der Massacre as Dortmund were thrashed by Bayern Munich at the Allianz, 4-0. Jadon Sancho has not had a hand in a goal since the first week of October and was taken off in the first-half two weeks ago. Both Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer should feature again from injury, but Thomas Delaney will not after picking up an ankle injury with Denmark. 

Paderborn are bottom of the Bundesliga and have lost three on the bounce. They are also six points adrift of outright safety, eleven matches in. Not having Uwe Hunemeier due to injury is not helping matters. Five of their 11 goals have come in the first 15 minutes of matches, but they have also dropped seven points from winning positions so far this season.


It is not a stretch to say Zack Steffen has kept Fortuna from the danger zone. In fact, Fortuna are just two points above it thanks in large part to Steffen’s saves. Also helping are results like the 3-3 draw against Schalke before the break where Fortuna came from behind three times thanks to Rouwen Hennings.

Hansi Flick passed a major test two weeks ago in the Bayern hotseat by defeating Dortmund, 4-0. He is two-for-two so far as caretaker manager. That guaranteed he would be there until at least Christmas. It helps having Roberet Lewandowski continue to score at a torrent pace with 16 league goals on the year so far.  


Union have won three straight competitive matches and are 11th in the table in their maiden top flight season. Christopher Trimmel assisted on all three goals in the 3-2 win over Mainz and leads all defenders in assists. They will be playing without Robert Andrich, however, as he serves a one-match ban for yellow-card accumulation.

The Foals enter this match four points clear at the top of the table and will look to keep it that way in the Stadium near the forest. After being off the score sheet the first four matches of the year, Marcus Thuram has contributed either a goal or an assist every 53 minutes of play. He leads the club with five goals and five assists. 

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT vs. WOLFSBURG (Saturday at 8:30am, Fox Soccer Plus)

Frankfurt followed up their 5-1 win over Bayern with a 1-0 defeat to SC Freiburg that saw them finish with nine men. Both Gelson Fernandes and David Abraham were sent off in the match and Kevin Trapp went to Qatar for shoulder treatment. At least Andre Silva and Goncalo Paciencia are healthy as they look to keep the best home record in the Bundesliga.

Wolfsburg went from being unbeaten in the Bundesliga to losing their last four in all competitions and slipping to tenth in the table. The Wolves have scored just six goals in their last eight matches and Wout Weghorst has scored four of them. At least they have the best defence in the Bundesliga, allowing just ten goals so far this season.

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

Die Werkself ended their four-match winless streak at Wolfsburg. They will be without Kai Havertz (hamstring) and Leon Bailey (suspension), but Lars Bender is back from injury himself. Lucas Alario will look to rediscover the form that saw him score four goals in four matches for Leverkusen and Argentina in October.

Freiburg continued their best start ever with a 1-0 win over Frankfurt before the break. They are level on points with RB Leipzig and Bayern though below both of them on goal difference. Nils Petersen needs just one more goal to equal Joachim Löw’s all-time scoring record of 83 goals. They also have the third-best defence, shipping just 12 goals. 

WERDER BREMEN vs. SCHALKE (Saturday at 8:30am, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

The Green-Whites are winless in their last seven as losses to Leipzig and Gladbach sandwich five straight draws. Josh Sargent will likely be a substitute for a third straight match after coming back from international duty with the USA. 

The Royal Blues are seventh despite winning just one of their last five. Alessandro Schöpf is a doubt with a thigh injury while Benjamin Stambouli is also nursing an injury. Weston McKennie could well start at center back in this one. 

RB LEIPZIG vs. FC KÖLN (Saturday at 11:30am, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Leipzig are on a tear scoring 20 goals in their last four competitive matches including 12 in the last two league matches. Timo Werner has been involved in 13 of those goals. Their home form has not been the best so far though with two wins, two draws, and a loss at Red Bull Arena. Tyler Adams has resumed training, but is still unlikely to feature. 

The Billy Goats sacked coach Achim Beierlorzer after their loss to Hoffenheim before the break. Cologne are second from bottom after three straight losses. Former Hoffenheim manager Markus Gisdol will look to steer the Goats away from the drop zone and to figure out the league’s weakest attack which has scored just ten goals all season.  

FC AUGSBURG vs. HERTHA BERLIN (Sunday at 8:30am, FS1)

Die Fuggerstädter ended a six-match winless streak before the break with a 1-0 win over Paderborn. That win lifted them out of the danger zone for the time being. Alfred Finnbogason is out until the New Year due to a shoulder injury. Florian Niederlechner is expected to continue as the lone striker for a club that has just 13 goals in 11 matches on the year.

Hertha are winless in their last four matches. Ante Covic will have to select who of Marius Wolf, Lukebakio, Javairo Dilrosun, and captain Vedad Ibisevic will miss out on a spot in the starting XI. Defender Niklas Stark earned his maiden cap for Germany in midweek in the 6-1 win over Northern Ireland. 

HOFFENHEIM vs. MAINZ (Sunday at 11am, FS1)

Hoffenheim are the form team of the moment winning five on the bounce and in fifth place just a point behind the three teams immediately ahead of them. The fitness of Andrej Kramaric and Ihlas Bebou are concerns this week, though. Jurgen Locadia could see action again for the Sinsheimers. 

Achim Beierlorzer did not have to wait long for a new position. He has taken over at Mainz after they dismissed Sandro Schwarz. The 05s are in 16th position and in the relegation playoff place. Mainz have allowed as many goals in the last two matches as league-leaders Gladbach have all season at 11. 


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