After random midweek international matches, the Bundesliga returns on Saturday for a full slate of matches. There's no Friday game this week due to the international matches being on Wednesday. The big match this weekend is the oldest Bavarian Derby as Bayern Munich travels to Nürnberg
Saturday, November 17
Borussia Dortmund vs Greuther Fürth - 3:30 PM CET / 9:30 AM EST
The champions welcome Fürth this weekend in a match that will likely see the return of Jakub Błaszczykowski to the side. The midfielder has been out for several weeks after injuring his ankle, but he is expected to be on the bench for this match. There's no doubt that BVB have been disappointing so far this season. They're still in fourth place, but they're eleven points behind leaders Bayern Munich. Fürth have been playing some better football in recent weeks. Last week's loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach snapped a streak of three straight draws. Turning the one point into three has been difficult for Fürth this year, and they have only one win in their first eleven matches. Getting a point in Dortmund would be a crazy impressive accomplish. I don't think it's happening.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 3 - 0 Greuther Fürth
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Stuttgart - 3:30 PM CET / 9:30 AM EST
Gladbach have picked up seven points in their last nine and will host Stuttgart this weekend. The visitors conceded four second half goals last week in a loss to Hannover to end a five match unbeaten run. Expect goals in this one as Gladbach and Stuttgart have the second and fourth worst defenses in the league at this point through the season. Juan Arango has been playing some brilliant football this season for Gladbach and has three goals and four assists to his name. Stuttgart's main man is Bosnian striker Vedad Ibisevic. He has six goals this season and will be itching to go against this Gladbach backline.
Prediction: Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - 2 Stuttgart
Hannover vs Freiburg - 3:30 PM CET / 9:30 AM EST
No Bundesliga side has played more exciting games this season than Hannover. The 96ers have seen a total of 42 goals scored in their eleven matches this season which is the most in the division. Szabolcs Huszti started brilliantly for Hannover, but he has cooled significantly since that time. After picking up three goals and seven assists in his first four matches, the Hungarian has managed zero in both accounts in the last six league matches. While getting him back on form will be important as the season continues, figuring out the defensive mess is more important at this point especially with a trip to Munich on the table for next weekend.
Prediction: Hannover 2 - 1 Freiburg
Nürnberg vs Bayern Munich - 3:30 PM CET / 9:30 AM EST
Bayern Munich head to Nürnberg this weekend looking to tie the Bundesliga record for most consecutive away wins with eight. They'll have to do so without Arjen Robben. The midfielder suffered a "slight muscle tear" in a friendly for the Netherlands midweek against Germany. Bayern have the players to still run past this Nürnberg side who have been generally horrible after a great start. They picked up seven of their first nine points, but have been a disaster since. With six losses out of their last eight matches, Nürnberg find themselves out of the drop zone by the grace of goal differential. Dieter Hecking has his work cut out for him this weekend if he expects any points.
Prediction: Nürnberg 0 - 3 Bayern Munich
Hamburg vs Mainz - 2:30 PM CET / 9:30 AM EST
Hamburg will attempt to get back on the winning side of things this weekend when Mainz comes to Imtech Arena. They were hammered by Bayern Munich two weeks ago and held on to a scoreless draw against Freiburg last week. Rafael Van der Vaart made it through his midweek friendly without any injuries and will be back pulling the strings in the midfield. The focus will be on the South Korean Heung-Min Son. If he can get going, Mainz could be in some trouble.
Prediction: Hamburg 2 - 1 Mainz
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Augsburg - 3:30 PM CET / 9:30 AM EST
After a flying start to the season, Frankfurt has taken a dip in recent works and fallen back to earth. They've only managed to take one point out of their last nine. When they're not pounding the goals into the net, they're conceding them. I think their struggles will continue this week when a desperate Augsburg comes to town.
Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 1 - 1 Augsburg
Bayer Leverkusen vs Schalke - 6:30 PM CET / 12:30 PM EST
Schalke have been doing the little things right so far this year and are rightfully second in the table. The big improvement has been defensively where Huub Stevens has been playing several guys at several positions due to injuries and just trying to figure out his best lineup. The big revelation has been the play of Ibrahim Afellay on loan from Barcelona. He's picked up a knock this week and will likely start the match on the bench with Julian Draxler taking his place. Leverkusen are coming off of a big loss last weekend to Wolfsburg and will be looking to put that behind them quickly. A win against Schalke this weekend will pull them within two points of the Gelsenkirchen side.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 1 - 3 Schalke
Sunday, November 18
Werder Bremen vs Fortuna Düsseldorf - 3:30 PM CET / 9:30 AM EST
Is there a player in better form than Aaron Hunt to start the season? The dude is playing some really good football in the middle of the park for Bremen and has somehow scored six goals already this season. They need to shape up the defense if a push for the European places will come to fruition. Düsseldorf has been struggling to keep goals from being scored against them in recent weeks, and it's not stopping this weekend.
Prediction: Werder Bremen 2 - 0 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Hoffenheim vs Wolfsburg - 5:30 PM CET / 11:30 AM EST
Hoffenheim will be boosted by the news that teammate Boris Vukcevic has woken from his coma this week. They earned a hard draw last weekend against Fortuna Düsseldorf and will need to build upon that going forward. They've been shocking defensively this season, and that needs to improve and improve quickly. Wolfsburg smashed Leverkusen last weekend thanks to the outstanding play of Diego.
Prediction: Hoffenheim 1 - 2 Wolfsburg