Bundesliga Beat: Round 7 Preview



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Posted Saturday, October 02, 2010 by YAHOO Sport

With a win this weekend, Mainz can equal the German record for wins to start a season, although, they might just want to avoid it altogether. The record of seven wins to start a season has been set twice, once by Bayern Munich, and once by Kaiserslautern. The bad thing to come from that record is that neither side managed to win the league when they started out so well. Maybe then this weekend it would be a good idea for Mainz to avoid winning their game against Hoffenheim? Don't be silly.

Wolfsburg have a chance to get into a top five spot for the first time this weekend, should they beat Borussia Moenchengladbach. After the worst start imaginable under new manager Steve McClaren, losing their first three matches, Wolfsburg have gone through a mini revival, winning their past three games. Even Grafite, who, when not scoring goals, is whining about something or another, has decided to show up recently, scoring four goals in the past two games. With Edin Dzeko, Grafite and Diego firing on all cylinders, Wolfsburg will be a dangerous team to watch out for.

And if you are keeping track at home, Mario Gomez still has just one goal this season. The German striker continues to come off the bench for Bayern Munich, in Louis van Gaal's hapless attempt to get Gomez to get a goal or two. Don't let that lone tally fool you either. It was scored in the DFB Pokal, in a match against a side in the fifth tier of German football.


Table Topping Matchup:

Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich (October 3, 11:30 a.m. EST)
With all due respect to the Mainz and Hoffenheim match, this actually might be the game of the week. Depending on the result in the Mainz match, Dortmund might have the opportunity to go to of the league by the time they kick off against Bayern on Sunday. Having won five of the six matches so far this season, Dortmund have been one of the best sides in Germany, thanks to their two main cogs, midfielders Nuri Sahin and Shinji Kagawa. Between the two, they have managed five goals in league play, and five assists. Both are some of Europe's brightest young midfielders, despite the lack of acknowledgement either might receive.

Dortmund will fancy their chances against a Bayern side that frankly has been less than impressive in league play this year. Despite having some of the best attacking players in the league (at least based on reputation), Bayern has only managed five goals in six league matches, good enough for the least amount of goals scored by a team this season. Shameful really. When you realize that Gomez has been brought on as a sub in most of those matches, that record is slightly less surprising.

Dortmund 2 - 1 Bayern

Relegation Battle:

VfB Stuttgart vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (October 3 9:30 am EST)
This game has the potential to be a drab affair, or one of the best encounters of the weekend. Neither team is in an ideal position, with Stuttgart occupying 18th place and Frankfurt in 13th. So far this season, Frankfurt has done well when Theofanis Gekas scores a goal. He has four to his name this season, and when he has scored, Frankfurt has won two of the three games. No coincidence then that Frankfurt has won just the two games this season then. Key there is to get the Greek striker a goal, which is harder said than done.

Some consistency from Stuttgart would be nice, but that's like asking Lindsay Lohan to report to rehab on time. After starting the season off right with three straight losses, Stuttgart opened a big ol' can of whoop-ass on 'gladbach several weeks back, winning 7-0 at home. Since then though, Die Roten lost to Nurnberg, before they were spanked at home last week by Leverkusen. This team had European aspirations at the start of the season, but those seem to have all but faded by now. Unless of course manager Christian Gross can work his magic once more.

Stuttgart 1 - 1 Frankfurt

Let Down Match:

Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. VfL Wolfsburg (October 2, 9:30 am EST)
This game has all the makings of a goal bonanza, which means that it could end up as a snooze fest. Five a side games, known for their goals, usually end up with less goals than a 'gladbach game this season. The Foals have given up 19 goals in just six games this season, helped by the fact that they conceded seven to Stuttgart, four to Frankfurt, and three to Leverkusen. In fact, they have given up at least one goal in every match this season.

Which especially bodes poorly with the fact that Wolfsburg are coming into town. Whereas 'gladbach is the worst defensive team in the league, Wolfsburg is one of the best, with 11 goals to their name. Those 11 goals come with a caveat though—they have only been scored by three different players. Edin Dzeko leads the way with five, the ever sulking Grafite has chipped in with four in the past two games, and Diego has the other two.

It's a good thing to have your goal scorers getting goals, but its not so good when no one else is. There might be plenty of goals this game, but it will be too one-sided to make it worthwhile to watch.

Moenchengladbach 0 - 2 Wolfsburg 

Game of the Week:

FSV Mainz vs. 1899 Hoffenheim (October 2, 9:30 am EST)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Mainz are included in the game of the week for the second round in a row, but for a perfectly legitimate reason. This is the game of the round Hoffenheim currently sit fourth in the league, after they failed to win their past two games. But don't let that fool you, they are a good side, worthy of the praise that they have received thus far. It's going to take quite the performance to beat Mainz though, as so far, Mainz have literally been unbeatable this season.

A big reason for that this season has been the play of Lewis Holtby, the young midfielder on loan at Mainz from Schalke. The U21 German captain has been more than influential in Mainz's amazing start to the season, as he has provided two goals and five assists this season. He's not your typical German either, as he plays with outward confidence and flair rarely seen amongst German footballers. Holtby also recently stated that he'd still consider playing for England, as his father is an Englishman. Doubt England has any room for a player of his high calibre though. Who needs a Holtby when you have Shaun Wright Phillips?

Mainz 3 - 2 Hoffenheim

Player to watch out for:

Papiss Demba Cisse: The little known Senegalese striker currently leads the league in goals with six, which has helped Freiburg to three wins this season. The only problem is that Cisse has six of the eight goals scored by Freiburg this season, so when he is not scoring, the team is struggling. Cisse will be excited to play against Cologne this weekend though, as they have already conceded 10 goals in six games this weekend, and will be ripe for picking at home for Cisse.

Remaining Games:
10/1—Hannover 96 vs. FC St. Pauli
10/2—Hamburger SV vs. Kaiserslautern, SC Freiburg vs. vs. FC Cologne, FC Nurnberg vs. Schalke 04
10/3—Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs. SV Werder Bremen



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