Bundesliga 2012, Week 10 preview and fixtures: Hamburg look to prove strength against Bayern

Joern Pollex

Bayern Munich travel to Hamburg as they look to shrug off last week's loss to Bayer Leverkusen.

We were treated to midweek matches in the DFB Pokal this week, and Bundesliga clubs dominated play. Aside from the one match that featured two Bundesliga clubs, no top flight club was eliminated. Coming after a first round where a record six were knocked out, the second round matches will be a relief to a majority of clubs.

This weekend, the two big matches to keep a close eye on take place in Dortmund and Hamburg where Borussia Dortmund host Stuttgart and Hamburg host Bayern Munich.

Friday, November 2

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Greuther Fürth - 20:30 CET / 3:30 PM EDT

Frankfurt lost for only the second time last week when they dropped a 2-1 decision away to Stuttgart. They will feel slightly hard-done by in that match when a good goal was incorrectly called back for offside in the dying minutes of the match. Alexander Meier has been great so far this season with six goals and two assists to his name. Fürth actually picked up their first ever home point in the Bundesliga last week with a draw against Bremen. Frankfurt is too strong and should have their way with them.
Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 3 - 0 Greuther Fürth

Saturday, November 3

Borussia Dortmund vs Stuttgart - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM EDT

This match will be entertaining for the masses. Borussia Dortmund are still the champions and have looked really good in recent weeks aside from their loss in the Revierderby to Schalke. They've been a bit shaky defensively this season, but we know they can perform at an elite level. I picked Stuttgart to finish just behind BVB in third place this year, and it was looking horrible at the beginning of the year. After only taking two points out of their first 15, they've picked up 10 out of the last possible 12 points. Things are looking up for them, but the defensive presence in the center of midfield isn't strong enough at this point.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2 - 2 Stuttgart

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Freiburg - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM EDT

Juan Arango is playing some absolutely brilliant football for Gladbach so far this season. The Venezuelan has three goals and four assists to his name this season and will be called upon more often now that Luuk de Jong is out for several weeks. Freiburg ended Felix Magath's Wolfsburg career two weeks ago before falling in the snow last week against Borussia Dortmund. Christian Streich's side will be prepared, but Gladbach will find a way.
Prediction: Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - 1 Freiburg

Hannover vs Augsburg - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM EDT

Hannover have not been playing well in recent weeks taking only one point out of a possible twelve. They've conceded twice as many goals than they've scored. The defense needs to figure out how to solve their issues. There is not a better side for Hannover to figure things out against than Augsburg. The Bavarian club has struggled in all facets this year. They've scored the fewest goals in the league so far this season and moves will have to be made in the winter transfer window if things are going to change.
Prediction: Hannover 2 - 0 Augsburg

Nürnberg vs Wolfsburg - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM EDT

The "Fire Felix Magath Bump" rolls into Nürnberg this weekend, where Bas Dost and Diego will be putting on a show at the Frankenstadion. Dost has scored three goals in the two matches since Magath was sacked while former castoff Diego has two goals and two assists. Wolfsburg has the talent to make a run toward the European spots as the season moves forward. Nürnberg are in big trouble. After picking up seven points in their first three games, they've only managed to gain one point out of the last possible eighteen. Dieter Hecking needs to figure this team out. Now.
Prediction: Nürnberg 1 - 2 Wolfsburg

Hoffenheim vs Schalke - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM EDT

Hoffenheim have been so up and down this season. They were terrible for three games, great for three games, and then terrible again for three games. What do almost all of those terrible games have in common? Tim Wiese has started five of them. (This doesn't include the 4-0 shellacking in the first round of the DFB Pokal against Regionalliga side Berliner AK.) It's time for Markus Babbel to accept what everyone else already knows: Tim Wiese is not good. It's time for Koen Casteels to be the club's number one goalkeeper as we move forward. Want to talk about Schalke, now? Y'all, they're good. Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Lewis Holtby, Jefferson Farfan, and Ibrahim Afellay are killing it so far this season. Schalke should ease to a win.
Prediction: Hoffenheim 1 - 3 Schalke

Hamburg vs Bayern Munich - 18:30 CET / 1:30 PM EDT

Hamburg have put together a good run of results after losing their first three matches. Rafael Van der Vaart and Heung Min Son have really grabbed this team by the scruff of the neck to bring them from the depths of despair. They've come a long ways defensively, and Michael Mancienne is looking like a Bundesliga quality centerback. Bayern are coming off of their first dropped points in the league this season after last weekend's 2-1 loss at home to Bayer Leverkusen. They dominated the match but spent too much of the contest launching crosses from all over the field to no avail. Hamburg will have their work cut out for them as Bayern will have everyone sans Mario Gomez available up front. As long as Bayern avoid falling into the trap of sending in fifty crosses, they'll handle Hamburg's backline. Look for Mario Mandzukic to have an amazing game.
Prediction: Hamburg 0 - 2 Bayern Munich

Sunday, November 4

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

After their first win over Bayern Munich in Munich since 1989 last week, Bayer Leverkusen host Fortuna Düsseldorf in a match they should win easily. Düsseldorf has been in a free fall since losing to Schalke in Matchday 6. They've conceded twelve goals in the last four matches, and Leverkusen have scored at least two goals in each of their last five matches. Stefan Kießling has been one of the best goalscorers in Germany over the last year, and he's bound to score on this struggling defense.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 2 - 0 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Werder Bremen vs Mainz - 17:30 CET / 11:30 AM EDT

I've been becoming more and more impressed with this Mainz team each week. They're up to 6th in the table, and their defense has been stout as of late. However, I'm concerned for them this week. Bremen are slowly starting to figure things out on the offensive end of the field. Thomas Schaaf has realized that he must have Nils Petersen on the pitch for his offense to truly click. Once Kevin de Bruyne, Marko Arnautovic, and Eljero Elia really begin finding their groove, things could be special in Bremen again. Aaron Hunt has been doing an impressive job pulling the strings from deep in midfield and will be vital this weekend.
Prediction: Werder Bremen 3 - 1 Mainz

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