Bundesliga 2013, Week 24 preview and fixtures: BVB will try to regroup against Hannover

Dennis Grombkowski

After being knocked out of the DFB Pokal midweek at the hands of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund will look to get back on track against Hannover. They have a busy week ahead including the Champions League and the Revierderby.

There was DFB Pokal action midweek where Freiburg, Wolfsburg, Stuttgart, and Bayern Munich have advanced to the semifinals to make it an all-Bundesliga affair. The big headline coming out of the round is that Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund for the first time in six matches. The other big story is Freiburg's fantastic comeback from two goals down after four minutes to win 3-2 in Mainz.

However, it's time that we turn our attention back to regular league action for the weekend.

Friday, March 1

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Mönchengladbach - 20:30 CET / 2:30 PM ET
Friday's match features a struggling Eintracht Frankfurt against a struggling Borussia Mönchengladbach. Frankfurt have been shut out in each of their last three matches and have gone over 320 minutes without scoring a goal. Frankfurt can take heart in the fact that their opponents on Friday haven't kept a clean sheet in their last five matches. Gladbach have struggled with consistency thus far, but I guess losing the spine of your team in one summer will do that to you. However, for all of their struggles, Lucien Favre's side are well within striking distance of a European place. A good performance against Frankfurt this weekend could go a long ways toward determining what the remainder of Gladbach's season looks like.
Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 1 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach

Saturday, March 2

Borussia Dortmund vs Hannover - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM ET
Borussia Dortmund are in the midst of a five match in fourteen day run. Jürgen Klopp ran out a first choice lineup midweek in the DFB Pokal and has a Champions League match and the Revierderby to worry about next week. It'll be interesting to see how he treats this match against Hannover which, in the grand scheme of things, is almost a throwaway match. Unfortunately for Hannover, they'll be without the services of Szabolcs Huszti for several weeks while the midfielder recovers from an injury. They'll be relying heavily on the scoring ability of Mame Biram Diouf up top. The Senegalese forward has the ability to threaten the BVB back line, especially if it's not a first choice eleven.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 1 - 1 Hannover

Nürnberg vs Freiburg - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM ET
Freiburg's DFB Pokal quarterfinal started in absolute disaster, but it ended in glory. They conceded twice in the first four minutes before scoring twice in the dying minutes and winning in extra time. It's tough to argue against this Freiburg side acquiring more results on their way to a spot in Europe next season. Max Kruse and Daniel Caligiuri are the linchpins to their success. If those two can stay healthy, Freiburg will be playing in Europe next year. Nürnberg were unbeaten in the month of February and will be hoping that they can get a good start to the month of March.
Prediction: Nürnberg 1 - 2 Freiburg

Werder Bremen vs Augsburg - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM ET
Are we going to be witness to the great escape, Augsburg-style? While they have a ways to go to get completely out of the relegation zone, there remains a great chance that they'll be able to hold on to the promotion/relegation playoff place. They're unbeaten since returning from the winter break, and the win over fellow relegation candidate Hoffenheim last week was huge. Werder Bremen are coming off of last weekend's 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich. However, they could put together a nice little run here and move up the table.
Prediction: Werder Bremen 2 - 1 Augsburg

Hamburg vs Greuther Fürth - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM ET
Hamburg had the opportunity to push ever so close to a Champions League place last weekend, but they were on the wrong end of a 5-1 beat down from Hannover. Expect a better performance this weekend and a likely win. Greuther Fürth played better in their first match after the sacking of Mike Büskens, but that's expected these days.
Prediction: Hamburg 2 - 0 Greuther Fürth

Wolfsburg vs Schalke - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM ET
I'm on the Schalke bandwagon for the "They found back some of their form." group. They'll beat Wolfsburg this weekend and move back into a Europa League place. It'll also put them back within striking distance of a Champions League place. Wolfsburg struggled at the beginning of the year under Felix Magath and are struggling now under Dieter Hecking.
Prediction: Wolfsburg 1 - 2 Schalke

Bayer Leverkusen vs Stuttgart - 18:30 CET / 12:30 PM ET
Bayer Leverkusen need a good performance. They don't necessarily need to win this game, but they need to put together a solid ninety minute performance. They only have one win in their last five league games and found themselves knocked out of the Europa League. Stuttgart have only won once in their last seven games, and that was against lowly Hoffenheim. They advanced to the DFB Pokal semifinal midweek, and Bruno Labbadia will be hoping that his side is ready to go for the stretch run of the season.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 1 - 1 Stuttgart

Sunday, March 3

Hoffenheim vs Bayern Munich - 15:30 CET / 9:30 AM ET
Bayern Munich are coming off a massive victory over Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal midweek, and there's a slight concern about a potential dip in form after such an emotional win. Haha. Sorry. Hoffenheim are really bad. Jupp Heynckes will likely make a few changes this weekend, but Bayern should still steamroll this Hoffenheim team.
Prediction: Hoffenheim 0 - 4 Bayern Munich

Fortuna Düsseldorf vs Mainz - 17:30 CET / 11:30 AM ET
Fortuna Düsseldorf thought that they were going to come away from the Veltins Arena with a point last week, but they ended up with zero after a second goal by Joel Matip of all people. Unfortunately, they get Mainz this weekend after their late collapse Tuesday in the DFB Pokal. Teenage forward Shawn Parker scored one minute into the Pokal match, and I like his chances again this weekend.
Prediction: Fortuna Düsseldorf 1 - 2 Mainz

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