Bundesliga, Week 9 preview and fixtures: Bayern look to continue perfect start

Joern Pollex

Bayern Munich will look to push their perfect start to the season to nine games.

The Bundesliga returns this weekend after a fantastic midweek of European matches for German clubs. They finished with six wins and one draw. As Bayern Munich continue to pull away from the rest of the league, Frankfurt and Schalke try to keep the pace while Borussia Dortmund cling to the hopes of a threepeat of Bundesliga championship.

Friday, October 26

Augsburg vs Hamburg - 20:30 CET / 2:30 PM EDT

Augsburg have picked up five of their six points over the last three matches. Markus Weinzierl was looking out of his depth as a Bundesliga manager, but recent results could be turning in his favor. Before last weekend's loss to Stuttgart, Hamburg were were on an amazing run picking up all 10 of their points in four weeks. The key man in this match is going to be Rafael Van der Vaart. The Dutch midfielder has been fantastic since his return to the Hanseatic club. His link-up play with Heung Min Son has seen the South Korean international score four goals so far this season. That connection will be instrumental in Friday's match.
Prediction: Augsburg 1 - 2 Hamburg

Saturday, October 27

Schalke vs Nürnberg - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM EDT

Schalke have the opportunity to finish one of their best weeks ever when Nürnberg visits this weekend. They won last weekend's Revierderby against Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion for the first time in two seasons, and they went to London and gave Arsenal their first loss at home to a non-English club in the Champions League since 2003. They're on quite the roll right now, and Klaas Jan Huntelaar looks to finding his form that saw him win the golden boot last season. Nürnberg have been struggling greatly since their brilliant start to the campaign. They've only picked up one of their last fifteen points. Things need to turn around quickly for Dieter Hecking, because the club keeps slipping closer and closer to the relegation zone.
Prediction: Schalke 3 - 1 Nürnberg

Freiburg vs Borussia Dortmund - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM EDT

After falling at home last week to Schalke in the Revierderby, BVB followed it up midweek with an impressive victory in the Champions League over Real Madrid. The return of Mario Götze to the lineup was huge especially with the loss of Jakub Blaszczykowski. While Götze's tan is becoming a little Tim Wiese-like, his play on the field will be instrumental if BVB are going to find their way back into this title race. They currently sit 12 points behind leaders Bayern Munich. Freiburg have quietly been putting together a solid season in Christian Streich's first full year in charge. They're currently only one point behind BVB in the standings. Daniel Caligiuri has been playing well as of late and could lead Freiburg to the upset.
Prediction: Freiburg 1 - 2 Borussia Dortmund

Mainz vs Hoffenheim - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM EDT

Mainz and Hoffenheim have been struggling with consistency so far this season, but Mainz have had the better run of form as of late. Since a loss to Schalke, they've won two and drawn one on the way to 11 points. Hoffenheim struggled to come back for a 3-3 draw with Greuther Fürth last week in an outstanding match, and they were handled by Bayern the previous matchday. Joselu scored twice last week, and he finally looks comfortable at the top of the Hoffenheim attack.
Prediction: Mainz 2 - 2 Hoffenheim

Greuther Fürth vs Werder Bremen - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM EDT

I like Bremen. I want them to be more consistent, and they can really play some good football. Fürth just isn't very good. Okay. Fürth is not good at all.
Prediction: Greuther Fürth 0 - 2 Werder Bremen

Fortuna Düsseldorf vs Wolfsburg - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM EDT

Fortuna Düsseldorf didn't concede a goal until Matchday 6. They conceded 8 goals in their next three matches. Wow. They've now conceded more goals than they've scored. Wolfsburg will be looking for the newly fired manager bump with Felix Magath getting the sack earlier this week. Dead last place is unacceptable for Wolfsburg with all of the money that has been spent by Magath to bring in players. There will be a weight lifted off of the shoulders of the Wolfsburg players, and they'll find a way to win.
Prediction: Fortuna Düsseldorf 0 - 1 Wolfsburg

Sunday, October 28

Stuttgart vs Eintracht Frankfurt - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM EDT

Frankfurt have started this season amazingly. They're sitting in second place five points behind Bayern Munich. They're only two points ahead of third place Schalke. Takashi Inui has been great this year, but a lot of the credit must go to Alexander Meier. The midfielder has banged in five goals so far this year. Stuttgart has struggled offensively until recently with Martin Harnik and Vedad Ibisevic finally finding some sort of form. This will likely be the match of the weekend.
Prediction: Stuttgart 2 - 2 Eintracht Frankfurt

Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen - 17:30 CET / 11:30 AM EDT

Mario Mandzukic has stepped in for the injured Mario Gomez and has done nothing but score goals. Oh, yeah, that Thoma Müller guy isn't bad either. The two have combined for 13 goals, and Müller has five assists to go along with it. Bayern will continue their stunning form in the league on their way to their ninth straight victory in the Bundesliga to start the season.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3 - 0 Bayer Leverkusen

Hannover vs Borussia Mönchengladbach - 17:30 CET / 11:30 AM EDT

This match is big for Gladbach. Their last three matches have seen them get crushed 0-5 to Borussia Dortmund, give Eintracht Frankfurt their first loss of the season 2-0, and another crushing loss 0-4 to Werder Bremen. Lucien Favre needs to figure out this defense. After conceding only 24 goals last season, Marc Andre ter Stegen has already been beaten 16 times. Hannover needs Szabolcs Huszti back to his crazy impressive form that he started the season with. Didier Ya Konan and Mame Biram Diouf are going to give the Gladbach backline fits.
Prediction: Hannover 2 - 2 Borussia Mönchengladbach

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