Bundesliga Preview 2020/21: Matchday 2
Sebastian Hoeness will face his former employer as Hoffenheim prepares to face Bayern Munich in matchday two of Bundesliga 2020/21
The top tier of German football prepares for its second round of the new season. In the previous matchday of the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich opened the season with a bang. Hertha Berlin, Borussia Dortmund, and RB Leipzig were also among the best performers from matchday one of the Bundesliga 2020/21.
FootTheBall takes you through a quick preview ahead of matchday two of Bundesliga 2020/21.
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt
(25 September, Olympiastadion)
The boys in blue from the capital city of Berlin opened their Bundesliga campaign for the season 2020/21 with an enthralling four-one victory over Werder Bremen. Bruno Labbadia takes on the Eagles at home in his next encounter on Friday night.
New signing, Jhon Cordoba and Matheus Cunha ran the show for Hertha last week. The Eagles opened their Bundesliga campaign against Arminia Bielefeld. The newly-promoted squad were a hard nut to crack as they held Eintracht to a one-all draw. Their hero, post the lockdown and now a permanent member of Adi Hutter’s squad, Andre Silva found his name on the scoresheet.
ℹ️ Dedryck #Boyata will lead the team out as captain for the 2020/21 season. ©️
— Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) September 22, 2020
Santiago Ascacibar returned to training for Hertha. In the latest reports, Jhon Cordoba picked up a minor knock in training on Tuesday. The former Effzeh forward should be ready for Friday’s clash though. Apart from Javairo Dilrosun, Labbadia has his full squad to pick from.
Jetro Willems and Evan N’Dicka are long-term absentees for the Eagles.
Expected Lineups –
Hertha (4-1-2-1-2): Schwolow – Pekarik, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt – Stark – Darida, Tousart – Cunha – Lukebakio, Cordoba
Eintracht (3-4-1-2): Trapp – Abraham, Hasebe, Hinteregger – da Costa, Kohr, Rode, Kostic – Kamada – Dost, Silva
Hertha were the victims of a four-one defeat at the hands of Eintracht at Olympiastadion in June this year.
Score Prediction: Hertha 2 – 2 Eintracht
Borussia Monchengladbach v Union Berlin
(26 September, Borussia-Park)
The Foals returned goalless from the Signal Iduna Park last weekend as they lost three-nil to Borussia Dortmund. Marco Rose’s decision to use an unusual three-man backline backfired. Dortmund punctured holes in Gladbach’s defense with their immense speed on counterattacks. However, the second-half introduction of Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea reflected light at the end of the tunnel.
Breel Embolo, Laszlo Benes, and Valentino Lazaro are unlikely to play their first home game of the season. Denis Zakaria is still a doubt for Gladbach’s second game of the season.
The Iron Ones also suffered a defeat in their first Bundesliga game of the season. FC Augsburg scored thrice in Union’s own backyard with two of them coming in the closing eight minutes of the game following Marius Bulter’s equaliser. Union were, nonetheless, the better team with higher number of shots and xG.
Anthony Ujah (knee problem) is a doubt for the Gladbach fixture. Max Kruse remains in contention to start after appearing for 20 minutes against Augsburg. Christian Gentner is out after the veteran midfielder injured his calf muscle against Augsburg. Keita Endo was back in the training for Union.
Expected Lineups –
Gladbach (4-2-3-1): Sommer – Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Neuhaus, Kramer – Hofmann, Stindl, Thuram – Plea
Union (4-1-4-1): Luthe – Trimmel, Friedrich, Knoche, Lenz – Andrich – Ingvartsen, Promel, Griesbeck, Bulter – Kruse
The last time these two sides collided in May this year, the Foals won by four goals to one at their home.
Score Prediction: Gladbach 3 – 0 Union
Bayer Leverkusen v RB Leipzig
(26 September, BayArena)
Die Werkself were constantly aiming to breach Wolfsburg’s defensive lines in their Bundesliga opener last weekend. The impact of Kai Havertz’s departure showed its side-effects as Bayer Leverkusen could not leverage their speed to find a way past Wolfsburg’s defense.
Peter Bosz would definitely be happy about Florian Wirtz’s performance. The teenager might just be the perfect replacement for Havertz. Leon Bailey could feature in Leverkusen’s first home game on Saturday after he returned to training on Monday. Paulinho remains out.
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) September 22, 2020
Their opponents, RB Leipzig delivered a solid performance against Mainz. The Red Bulls are in the same boat as Leverkusen after their star-striker, Timo Werner moved to Chelsea during the summer. Julian Naglesmann, nonetheless, looks fired up and ready to challenge for another Bundesliga title. His first game of the season saw his side earning three points against the 05ers.
Ibrahima Konate is expected to return by the end of this month. Konrad Laimer will probably make a return in a month’s time. However, Leipzig have bolstered their attacking options after they announced the signing of Alexander Sorloth from Crystal Palace. The 24-year old might start against Leverkusen.
Expected Lineups –
Leverkusen (4-3-3): Hradecky – L.Bender, S.Bender, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven – Wirtz, Aranguiz, Demirbay – Bailey, Schick, Diaby
Leipzig (3-4-3): Gulacsi – Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg – Haidara, Sabitzer, Adams, Angelino – Hee-chan, Poulsen, Nkunku
Die Werkself and the Red Bulls shared the spoils in each of their league games last season.
Score Prediction: Leverkusen 1 – 2 Leipzig
Mainz v VfB Stuttgart
(26 September, Opel Arena)
Achim Beierlorzer and Pellegrino Matarazzo will vie to earn their first three points of the season on Saturday. Despite picking up momentum in the second half against Leipzig last week, Mainz returned home without any points. Stuttgart, too, failed to steal a point against SC Freiburg. Die Schwaben grabbed two second-half goals which were not sufficient to surpass Freiburg’s score of three.
Stuttgart’s Nicolas Gonzalez and Erik Thommy are bound to miss their second game of the new Bundesliga season. Konstantinos Mavropanos remains a doubt for Saturday’s fixture. Philipp Forster will have to wait before he features for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.
Expected lineups –
Mainz (4-2-3-1): Zentner – Baku, St. Juste, Niakhate, Brosinski – Barreiro, Latza – Burkardt, Quaison, Onisiwo – Mateta
Stuttgart (3-1-4-2): Kobel – Anton, Kamisnki, Kempf – Endo – Massimo, Castro, Mangala, Wamangituka – Kalajdzic, Didavi
Mainz have won four of their last five encounters with Stuttgart.
Score Prediction: Mainz 2 – 3 Stuttgart
FC Augsburg v Borussia Dortmund
(26 September, WWK Arena)
Augsburg face the Bundesliga juggernauts, Borussia Dortmund in matchday two of the Bundesliga 2020/21. Both teams fired three goals in the first round of this new season. Augsburg claimed three points in Berlin, while Der BVB conquered the battle of the Borussias on their home turf.
Heiko Herrlich boasts a strong attacking lineup. The addition of Daniel Caligiuri has certainly brought a new flair. He was the creative genius operating from the right flank as he shone in his debut appearance.
We have a similar case for Dortmund’s young gun, Jude Bellingham. The former Birmingham City midfielder was a treat to watch. His exquisite passing abilities and presence in the heart of the midfield were enough to rip Gladbach’s defense.
Open for a dub pic.twitter.com/R4MubIqZnm
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) September 23, 2020
Thorgan Hazard will be out for weeks after he suffered a muscle strain against the Foals. Raphael Guerreiro’s return to training will be a sigh of relief for Lucien Favre.
Expected Lineups –
Augsburg (4-2-3-1): Gikiewicz – Framberger, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Iago – Gruezo, Khedira – Caligiuri, Gregoritsch, Vargas – Niederlechner
Dortmund (3-4-3): Burki – Can, Hummels, Akanji – Meunier, Witsel, Bellingham, Guerreiro – Sancho, Haaland, Reus
Augsburg versus Dortmund produced an eight-goal thriller in their previous meeting at the WWK Arena with Dortmund scoring five goals.
Score Prediction: Augsburg 2 – 4 Dortmund
Arminia Bielefeld v FC Koln
(26 September, SchucoArena)
A resolute display from Arminia saw them scoop a point in their first top-flight game against Eintracht last weekend. They will play their first home game in Bundesliga 2020/21 against Effzeh. The Billy Goats had a neck-to-neck encounter with TSG Hoffenheim. Unfortunately, Markus Gisdol had to open his account without a point.
Andreas Voglsammer will be unavailable and will have to wait for his first Bundesliga start this season. Nathan de Medina won’t be available to face the Billy Goats. Arminia’s skipper, Fabian Klos wounded his foot against the Eagles but should be fit in time before Saturday.
Sebastian Andersson was on target for his new club last week. However, he is unlikely to feature in FC Koln’s next game after he limped off in training. Anthony Modeste can find himself playing upfront for the Billy Goats on Saturday.
Expected Lineups –
Arminia (4-1-4-1): Ortega – Brunner, Pieper, van der Hoorn, Laursen – Prietl – Soukou, Consbruch, Hartel, Cordova – Klos
Koln (4-2-3-1): Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach – Skhiri, Hector – Drexler, Duda, Thielmann – Modeste
The Billy Goats won by five goals to one against Arminia in March 2019 when the two sides met in the second tier of German football.
Score Prediction: Arminia 1 – 2 Koln
FC Schalke v Werder Bremen
(26 September, Veltins-Arena)
After a humiliating defeat in Bavaria last week, David Wagner will hope to start a normal life in the Bundesliga. The Royal Blues will host Werder Bremen in a late-night fixture on Saturday. The visitors were also battered by Hertha Berlin at home last week.
David Wagner might change his playing eleven for their next clash as Vedad Ibisevic is yet to feature in Schalke’s attack. Club captain, Omar Mascarell was back in the training and also played a part for the U23 squad in the Regionalliga on Saturday. Suat Serdar injured his thigh against Bayern and might not feature at the Veltins-Arena against Werder Bremen.
Omer Toprak is out with an injury. Milot Rashica took part in a number of training sessions on Tuesday. His progress will be assessed over the next two days before a decision is made on his selection against Schalke. Yuya Osako is also expected to play as he took part in normal training sessions. There were initial concerns after the Japanese attacker suffered from a head injury against Hertha.
Expected Lineups –
Schalke (4-1-2-1-2): Fahrmann – Rudy, Kabak, Mascarell, Oczipka – Stambouli – Uth, Bentaleb – Harit – Ibisevic, Paciencia
Werder Bremen (3-4-1-2): Pavlenka – Moisander, Veljkovic, Friedl – Gebre Selassie, Klaassen, Eggestein, Augustinsson – Osako – Chong, Sargent
Die Werderaner got away with a slender one-nil victory in their last visit to the Veltins-Arena.
Score Prediction: Schalke 1 – 1 Bremen
TSG Hoffenheim v Bayern Munich
(27 September, PreZero Arena)
Andrej Kramaric, the hattrick hero, continued with his post lockdown form to earn three points for his new head coach, Sebastian Hoeness. The 38-year old head coach will go head to head against his former employer. Hoeness led Bayern Munich’s reserve team to 3. Liga title last season.
Bayern Munich, on the other hand, will aim to extend their seemingly perennial winning streak.
Is there any team that can stop Bayern?
Bayern showing no mercy on opening day 🔴
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) September 23, 2020
We shall find the answer on Sunday if Sebastian Hoeness has coded a new formula to hack Hansi Flick’s infallible system.
The Bavarians have another important fixture to cater to on Thursday. Bayern will compete with Sevilla for the UEFA Super Cup 2020. Robert Lewandowski is a doubt to feature in Budapest. The Polish forward underwent load management training on Monday. He shall, however, make it in time for the Hoffenheim clash. David Alaba will also be available for selection on Sunday.
Stefan Posch has reportedly recovered from his injury and shall see his name in the starting lineup against Bayern. Robert Skov is doubtful for Hoffenheim’s first home game of the season.
Expected Lineups –
Hoffenheim (3-4-3): Baumann – Posch, Vogt, Bicakcic – Akpoguma, Geiger, Gacinovic, Kaderabek – Baumgartner, Kramaric, Dabbur
Bayern (4-2-3-1): Neuer – Pavard, Sule, Alaba, Davies – Kimmich, Goretzka – Sane, Muller, Gnabry – Lewandowski
Eight – the number of goals Bayern scored last week against Schalke. The Rekordmeister hit six against Hoffenheim in their previous encounter in the Ruckrunde last season as Manuel Neuer kept a clean-sheet.
Score Prediction: Hoffenheim 1 – 5 Bayern
SC Freiburg v VfL Wolfsburg
(27 September, Schwarzwald-Stadion)
Christian Streich was the beneficiary of Freiburg’s first-half performance last week as he started the new Bundesliga season with a victory over Stuttgart. They will host Wolfsburg in the final game of matchday two. Die Wolfe will also look for their first win of the season. They shared the spoils with Bayer Leverkusen in a goalless draw.
Freiburg’s newcomer, Guus Til will have to wait for his debut. He is reportedly unavailable for the next two games.
The visitors will be without William for their trip to Freiburg. Marin Pongracic is doubtful. Joshua Guilavogui is available after serving his suspension.
Expected Lineups –
Freiburg (4-1-2-1-2): Muller – Schmid, Lienhart, Heintz, Gunter – Hofler – Sallai, Grifo – Woo-yeong – Petersen, Holer
Wolfsburg (4-3-3): Casteels – Steffen, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon – Arnold, Guilavogui, Mehmedi – Brekalo, Weghorst, Victor
While Wolfsburg dropped two points after Freiburg’s comeback in a two-all draw in June, they lost the game by one-nil at the Schwarzwald-Stadion last season.
Score Prediction: Freiburg 2 – 1 Wolfsburg
(Featured Image: Twitter/@Bundesliga_EN)