German Bundesliga 2011, Week 11 Preview And Fixtures: Hannover Battling Schalke Highlights Weekend

The German Bundesliga returns on Friday at the beautiful Coface Arena in Mainz as they host Stuttgart. Saturday sees Borussia Dortmund host Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen host Köln and Hamburg traveling to Bayer Leverkusen. Bayern Munich, Hannover, and Schalke are in action on Sunday.

The most entertaining league in the world returns this weekend with a some interesting games and Sunday's enticing fixture of Hannover 96 against Schalke 04. Will you be watching? You better. 

Friday, November 4

1. FSV Mainz 05 vs VfB Stuttgart

It seems like week after week I come here and talk about how awful Mainz has been performing this year. I expect Stuttgart to show their class in this one, show their class, and take all three points. Shinji Okazaki and Martin Harnik up front will enjoy themselves against a Mainz backline that has conceded 22 goals this year. Pick: 1. FSV Mainz 05 0 - 2 VfB Stuttgart

Saturday, November 5

Borussia Dortmund vs VfL Wolfsburg

The champs are coming off of a Champions-League-campaign-saving win midweek, and will be looking to pick up a victory before the international break after last week's disappointing draw in Stuttgart. Jürgen Klopp made a gutsy decision in that match to bench Shinji Kagawa and start Ivan Perisic, and it worked for that night. Does Klopp go with Perisic again? Or, does he star Lucas Barrios up top and drop Robert Lewandowski into one of the three attacking midfield positions. His decision there will be interesting. Wolfsburg need a great performance to come away with a point from the Westfalenstadion. Ugh. The Magath is going to be ANGRY. Pick: Borussia Dortmund 3 - 0 VfL Wolfsburg

SV Werder Bremen vs 1. FC Köln

This is a must win for Bremen and their title aspirations. Köln have been all over the place this year with their performances. They have big wins over Hoffenheim, Hannover, and Bayer Leverkusen. They have also been hammered by Schalke, Hertha Berlin, and Borussia Dortmund. Ståle Solbakken has done a good job so far this season with this Köln side, and he'll be counting on Lukas Podolski to continue to work his magic. Pick: SV Werder Bremen 2 - 2 1. FC Köln

1. FC Nürnberg vs SC Freiburg

I don't know what to predict here. I'm just not interested in it. This could be just awful to watch. Pick: 1. FC Nürnberg 1 - 1 SC Freiburg

1899 Hoffenheim vs 1. FC Kaiserslautern

Only four points separate the two sides in the table, but the difference in quality is far more than that. Vedad Ibisevic has marked his return from injury with a goal in each of his last two games. It's going to be interesting to see how this team clicks once they've had a few games to play together. Kaiserslautern are going to struggle to stay in the Bundesliga this season. This side just isn't good enough to compete at a high level in the league. Pick: 1899 Hoffenheim 2 - 0 1. FC Kaiserslautern

Hertha BSC Berlin vs Borussia Mönchengladbach

Confidence is building in this Berlin side. Who would've thought that two of their wins so far this season would be against Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund? Raffael and Pierre-Michel Lasogga have done an adequate job scoring goals and keeping them involved in same games they shouldn't be. The match-up with Gladbach will be one to watch to see just how serious Gladbach is at hanging upper mid-table this year. Marco Reus is such a fantastic player to watch. If you haven't taken the time to watch him on the field, then stop what you're doing and watch him. Pick: Hertha BSC Berlin 0 - 2 Borussia Mönchengladbach

Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs Hamburger SV

Hamburg are going to be missing both of their starting centerbacks this weekend with Slobodan Rajkovic suspended and Jeffrey Bruma out with a groin injury. This could be catastrophic for Hamburg in this match. After their midweek loss to Valencia, Leverkusen will be pushing forward in attack in numbers. :Leverkusen are talented going forward. Sidney Sam and Andre Schürrle will be cutting into the middle and causing havoc to a depleted backline. Pick: Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 - 0 Hamburger SV

Sunday, November 6

Hannover 96 vs FC Schalke 04

The match of the weekend takes place in Hannover when Schalke visits. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is doubtful for the match after suffering a likely broken nose in Schalke's Europa League match against AEK Larnaca. A win in Hannover would be huge for the club's confidence heading into the international break. Jefferson Farfan has been sensational in the league since his return from injury earlier this season, and he'll be causing havoc down the flank all night. Hannover pulled out a massive victory at home against Bayern Munich two weeks ago, but they suffered a quick letdown against Borussia Mönchengladbach. They'll need another full ninety minute performance against Schalke if they have thoughts on winning. Didier Ya Konan has been quiet so far this year. It's about time for him to break out, right? Pick: Hannover 96 2 - 2 FC Schalke 04

FC Augsburg vs FC Bayern Munich

Bayern will look to fill Bastian Schweinsteiger's position with a variety of possibilities. There are two possibilities that really stand out. Option one is to play Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Luiz Gustavo in the midfield. The issue there is that both players are very similar, and then your midfield is devoid of creativity. The other scenario that I would prefer, would be to drop Toni Kroos into that spot and bring David Alaba into the starting eleven. Regardless of what Jupp Heynckes decides to do this weekend, I fully expect Bayern to win easily. Augsburg will be without goalkeeper Simon Jentzsch due to a lingering finger injury? I expect Bayern to win very easily. Pick: FC Augsburg 0 - 4 FC Bayern Munich

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