Bundesliga Preview 2020/21: Matchday 3
Bundesliga will stage matchday three of season 2020/21 before the squads disperse for the first international break. Hoffenheim rocked Bayern in matchday two of the Bundesliga last week. The reigning champions will aim to get back to winning ways following their DFL Supercup victory over Borussia Dortmund. Der BVB will also aim to rectify their performance from matchday two of the Bundesliga where Augsburg won two-nil at the WWK Arena.
A lot more surprises are yet to be unboxed as we approach matchday three of Bundesliga 2020/21.
FootTheBall looks at the squad news, potential lineups, and score predictions from each game ahead of matchday three of Bundesliga 2020/21.
Union Berlin v Mainz
(02 October, Stadion An der Alten Forsterei)
The Iron Ones snatched a point in matchday two against Borussia Monchengladbach. Nico Schlotterbeck scored in the closing stages of the game. Urs Fischer will now open matchday three of the Bundesliga 2020/21 at home against FSV Mainz.
Union Berlin secured the services of Joel Pohjanpalo on loan from Bayer Leverkusen. Another loan signing, Loris Karius arrived from Liverpool FC. Fischer is yet to decide on who will start between the sticks against Mainz. Anthony Ujah and Christian Gentner are injured.
🗣️ Fischer: I'm very happy with the last three new arrivials: Awoniyi, Karius and now Pohjanpalo. I believe simply that we've added quality, but also depth. We said that before the season that it'll be a hard campaign. We can be happy how it has worked out.#FCUM05 | #fcunion
— 1. FC Union Berlin (@fcunion_en) September 30, 2020
The visitors are without a win this season. Mainz suffered two heavy defeats at the hands of RB Leipzig and VfB Stuttgart. Their head coach, Achim Beierlorzer was relieved of his duties following a review of the club’s ongoing sporting circumstances. Mainz’s former assistant coach, Jan-Moritz Lichte will take over as their head coach.
Stefan Bell, Pierre Kunde, and Edimilson Fernandes returned to training from their quarantine, having previously contracted Covid-19. Ridle Baku has played his last game for Mainz last week as the right-back moved to Vfl Wolfsburg. Moussa Niakhate is suspended and won’t feature against Union Berlin.
Expected Lineups –
Union (3-4-3): Luthe – Friedrich, Knoche, Schlotterbeck – Trimmel, Promel, Andrich, Lenz – Becker, Awoniyi, Bulter
Mainz (4-2-3-1): Zentner – Mwene, St. Juste, Hack, Brosinski – Barreiro, Latza – Onisiwo, Boetius, Quaison – Mateta
Mainz held Union in a one-all draw when they last visited Berlin in May 2020.
Score Prediction: Union 1 – 1 Mainz
Borussia Dortmund v SC Freiburg
(03 October, Signal Iduna Park)
Dortmund face another stern test after a shocking defeat against FC Augsburg in matchday two of the Bundesliga 2020/21. Der BVB failed to get their hands on the DFL Supercup despite a strong fight against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
Jadon Sancho and Roman Burki missed the DFL Supercup as they were, reportedly, suffering from a respiratory infection. They remain a doubt for the Freiburg game. Nico Schulz is fit and was back in the training. It was a similar case for Lukasz Piszczek who returned to training following his back problems. Thorgan Hazard, Mateu Morey, Marcel Schmelzer, and Dan-Axel Zagadou are injured.
Freiburg have had a decent start to the new Bundesliga season. They have four points in two games and will look to make it at least five points before the international break. Dominique Heintz is a doubt for this game. Guus Til is also unavailable. Mark Flekken is a long-term absentee.
Expected Lineups –
Dortmund (3-4-2-1): Hitz – Can, Hummels, Akanji – Meunier, Witsel, Bellingham, Guerreiro – Brandt, Reyna – Haaland
Freiburg (4-2-2-2): Muller – Schmid, Lienhart, Gulde, Gunter – Santamaria, Hofler – Sallai, Grifo – Holer, Petersen
Dortmund edged past Freiburg in their previous clash at the Signal Iduna Park.
Score Prediction: Dortmund 2 – 1 Freiburg
Eintracht Frankfurt v TSG Hoffenheim
(03 October, Commerzbank-Arena)
The Eagles got back to winning ways after a heroic display against Hertha Berlin in matchday two of Bundesliga 2020/21. Andre Silva was on the scoresheet, yet again. Adi Hutter will now go head-to-head against Sebastian Hoeness on Saturday.
Hoeness did the unthinkable last week. Hoffenheim battered Bayern by four goals to one. They now sit on top of the Bundesliga table after a perfect start to the season. Andrej Kramaric is the one to watch. The in-form Croatian striker has scored five goals in two games.
Jetro Willems started with a few fitness sessions but still needs time to get back on the pitch for Eintracht. Markus Schubert joined from FC Schalke. He will be the number two keeper for Adi Hutter’s side. Schalke are looking to secure the services of Danny da Costa after bringing in Frederik Ronnow. Almamy Toure seems to be Hutter’s favourite for the right-back role at Eintracht which further adds fuel to da Costa’s potential move to Schalke. Filip Kostic will not be available for several weeks after suffering from a knee injury last week.
Ermin Bicakcic will not be available in the coming months. The centre-back tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Bayern Munich. Benjamin Hubner is still a doubt and might not feature against the Eagles.
Expected Lineups –
Eintracht (3-4-1-2): Trapp – Abraham, Hasebe, Hinteregger – Toure, Rode, Ilsanker, Zuber – Kamada – Silva, Dost
Hoffenheim (3-4-3): Baumann – Posch, Vogt, Akpoguma – Skov, Samassekou, Geiger, Kaderabek – Baumgartner, Dabbur, Kramaric
Hoffenheim suffered defeats on both the occasions against Eintracht last season.
Score Prediction: Eintracht 2 – 3 Hoffenheim
FC Koln v Borussia Monchengladbach
(03 October, RheinEnergie Stadion)
It’s a derby day in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Billy Goats will lock horns with the Foals in this season’s first Rhineland derby.
Koln have suffered consecutive defeats and remain desperate to win their first three points of the season. Their opponents have also had a poor start to the Bundesliga season 2020/21 campaign. Gladbach lost three-zero in their opening game against Dortmund and were held by Union Berlin last week.
Koln’s captain, Jonas Hector is a doubt for their next game. He was substituted at half-time last week against Arminia Bielefeld. Florian Kainz, Jorge Mere, and Ismail Jakobs trained individually this week. Benno Schmitz was back in the team training but he remains a doubt for the derby clash against the Foals.
Bad news for the visitors as Marcus Thuram might is a doubt for Saturday’s game. The Frenchman is, reportedly, ill and pulled back from the training on Tuesday. However, Marco Rose expects Thuram to be available for the derby. It was a similar story for Nico Elvedi and Rose is keen to add him to the starting lineup. Breel Embolo is edging closer to his return as he completed team training for the first time since his injury. Laszlo Benes is a doubt.
🎙️ #Rose: "We need to be cautious with Breel #Embolo after his injury. We're still not sure if we will even use him in Cologne. Keeping him healthy is the most important thing."#DieFohlen #KOEBMG pic.twitter.com/VzXkPj40LF
— Gladbach (@borussia_en) October 1, 2020
Expected Lineups –
Koln (4-2-3-1): Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, J.Horn – Skhiri, Drexler – Rexhbecaj, Duda, Thielmann – Andersson
Gladbach (4-2-3-1): Sommer – Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Kramer, Neuhaus – Hofmann, Stindl, Thuram – Plea
The last Rhineland derby took place at Gladbach’s home where the hosts earned the bragging right following a two-one victory over Koln.
Score Prediction: Koln 1 – 2 Gladbach
Werder Bremen v Arminia Bielefeld
(03 October, Weserstadion)
Die Werderaner bagged their first victory of the season against FC Schalke last week. Niclas Fullkrug scored a hattrick to claim three points for Florian Kohfeldt’s army. Debutant, Jean-Manuel Mbom caught the eye of Kohfeldt after his impressive display last week.
Davy Klaassen may well be out on his way to Ajax in the coming days. Kevin Stoger is targeted as a replacement should Klaassen sign for the Dutch giants. Omer Toprak is getting close to making his first Bundesliga appearance after taking part in several training sessions. His appearance against Arminia, however, is a doubt. Milot Rashica is still a doubt to start his first Bundesliga game this season.
"Ömer #Toprak will return to team training during the international break. @milotrashica took part this week, but he isn't yet ready to go in the Bundesliga. All the other players are fully fit."#SVWDSC #werder pic.twitter.com/0sFz1WHi4J
— SV Werder Bremen EN (@werderbremen_en) October 1, 2020
The new boys are enjoying their start in the top flight of German football. Having earned a point against Eintracht a fortnight ago, Arminia defeated Koln by one-nil in matchday two of the Bundesliga 2020/21. They now face Werder Bremen and a victory on Saturday would see them further cement their position in the top six before the international break.
Nathan de Medina and Andreas Voglsammer are out with injuries.
Expected Lineups –
Werder Bremen (4-3-3): Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Friedl, Augustinsson – Mbom, Eggestein, Klaassen – Osako, Selke, Sargent
Arminia (4-3-3): Ortega – Brunner, Pieper, van der Hoorn, Lucoqui – Doan, Prietl, Hartel – Soukou, Klos, Cordova
Arminia last met with Werder Bremen in the DFB Pokal fixture of 2015 where Die Werderaner lost by three goals to one.
Score Prediction: Werder 1 – 1 Arminia
VfB Stuttgart v Bayer Leverkusen
(03 October, Mercedes-Benz Arena)
Featuring one of the best attacks in the Bundesliga, Stuttgart are back with a bang. The Swabians have scored six goals in their opening two games, accumulating four points in the process. Sasa Kalajdzic and Silas Fundu Wamangituka are running the show for Pellegrino Matarazzo. Their next fixture will be a real test as they face Bayer Leverkusen.
🇨🇩 Silas Wamangituka (20) is enjoying life in the Bundesliga with @VfB so far:
✅ 2 games
⚽️ 2 goals
🅰️ 1 assist
🔑 3 key passes
⚔️ 5 tackles won
💪🏿 15 duels won
🔀 3 dribbles won
He was risen to the level of the Bundesliga with even more to come! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/b8EjpoLsFW
— Football Wonderkids (@fbwonderkids) September 27, 2020
Die Werkself are one of the best defensive sides in the Bundesliga. Peter Bosz has been given a tough start this season but the Leverkusen head coach has got two points so far. Bayer Leverkusen saw their first two games ending in stalemates against Bundesliga juggernauts, Vfl Wolfsburg and RB Leipzig.
Pascal Stenzel will not be available for Stuttgart’s next fixture. The centre-half received his second yellow card in the penultimate minutes of the match against Mainz last week. Erik Thommy returned to the training ground but shall not be available to feature in the starting lineup for Stuttgart.
The visitors might be without Lucas Alario who suffered an injury in a training session. Patrik Schick is expected to lead the line for Leverkusen. Die Werkself are, allegedly, in talks with Arsenal to bring Sead Kolasinac back in the Bundesliga.
Expected Lineups –
Stuttgart (3-5-2): Kobel – Anton, Kaminski, Kempf – Wamangituka, Mangala, Endo, Castro, Sosa – Didavi, Kalajdzic
Leverkusen (4-1-4-1): Hradecky – L.Bender, S.Bender, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven – Aranguiz – Bailey, Wirtz, Demirbay, Diaby – Schick
Leverkusen knocked Stuttgart out of the DFB Pokal Round of 16 last season following a two-one win.
Score Prediction: Stuttgart 2 – 1 Leverkusen
RB Leipzig v FC Schalke
(03 October, Red Bull Arena)
It has been a mixed start to the new season for Julian Nagelsmann. A firm victory over Mainz in the first matchday was followed by a draw at the BayArena last week. RB Leipzig welcomes FC Schalke in a late-night fixture on Saturday.
Ademola Lookman will not feature for the Red Bulls after moving on loan to Fulham FC. Leipzig’s new signing, Alexander Sorloth is the favourite to lead the attack in place of Yussuf Poulsen. The Dane suffered from an adductor injury and was substituted in the first 30 minutes against Leverkusen last week. Marcel Halstenberg, who missed the matchday two action due to personal reasons, is in contention to start at home against the Royal Blues. Marcel Sabitzer is a doubt.
🗣 Julian #Nagelsmann:
"@s04_en have a new coach and of course it's not so easy to prepare yourself for a team with someone new in charge. However, I think I have a good idea of what Manuel Baum is planning."
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) October 1, 2020
Schalke did not show any signs of improvement. David Wagner failed to better Schalke’s post-lockdown form of the preceding season. The Royal Blues fell victims to Bayern’s eight-nil battering in the opening matchday. Werder Bremen caused further damage in the following week. Schalke currently sit at the bottom of the league table.
Wagner was immediately given his marching orders. Manuel Baum takes over as the new head coach for Schalke. Alongside the managerial change, Guido Burgstaller decided to join FC St. Pauli. Ozan Kabak faces a five-match ban. This punishment comes after Kabak spat towards Ludwig Augustinsson last week. Suat Serdar spent some minutes in the training session with the new head coach, Manuel Baum, and will likely return to the starting eleven after the international break.
Expected Lineups –
Leipzig (3-4-2-1): Gulacsi – Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg – Haidara, Adams, Kampl, Angelino – Nkunku, Forsberg – Sorloth
Schalke (4-4-1-1): Fahrmann – Rudy, Sane, Stambouli, Oczipka – Boujellab, Mascarell, Bentaleb, Raman – Uth – Paciencia
Leipzig smashed five past Schalke in their previous encounter while keeping a clean-sheet.
Score Prediction: Leipzig 3 – 0 Schalke
Vfl Wolfsburg v FC Augsburg
(04 October, Volkswagen Arena)
Die Wolfe will host FC Augsburg in the first game on Sunday. Oliver Glasner is in a dire need of a victory. Wolfsburg have got two points so far in the Bundesliga 2020/21. They are defensively one of the best teams in the country albeit urgent attention is required to their attacking department.
Glasner added Ridle Baku to his defensive cavalry. Kevin Mbabu is not expected to return before November. Baku is a favourite to fill the right-back spot on Sunday. Joao Victor is a doubt and will probably not feature in the Europa League clash against AEK Athens. Koen Casteels might have to sit out against Augsburg due to an injury. Wout Weghorst, who has been given a green light to play in Athens after his initial injury scare, remains the number one choice to lead the attack on Sunday.
FC Augsburg are on cloud nine. Fuggerstadter are the only ones alongside Hoffenheim to grab six points in two games. They sit on the second spot after a resolute display against Dortmund last week. Ruben Vargas seems fit to start against Wolfsburg after recovering from his muscular problems.
Expected Lineups –
Wolfsburg (4-2-3-1): Pervan – Baku, Lacroix, Guilavogui, Roussillon – Schlager, Arnold – Steffen, Mehmedi, Brekalo – Weghorst
Augsburg (4-2-3-1): Gikiewicz – Framberger, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Iago – Khedira, Gruezo – Caligiuri, Gregoritsch, Vargas – Niederlechner
The two sides met in May last time. Wolfsburg won by two-one.
Score Prediction: Wolfsburg 0 – 0 Augsburg
Bayern Munich v Hertha BSC
(04 October, Allianz Arena)
The quintuple success cannot overshadow what Bayern went through at the PreZero Arena last week. Hansi Flick and men have been crushed between a cluttered fixture list. Success comes at a prize and Bayern might have just paid their first installment against Hoffenheim.
The champions face Bruno Labbadia’s Hertha in the final game of matchday three of Bundesliga 2020/21 on Sunday. Victory is of utmost importance to Flick and his red army. Hertha possesses immense speed and an attacking threat in the likes of Jhon Cordoba, Matheus Cunha, and Dodi Lukebakio. They pack the power and finesse to repeat what Andrej Kramaric and Moanes Dabbur did last week.
Bayern’s wafer-thin squad might be a problem for them this year. The Bavarians will have to do without Leroy Sane who might not be available for the next four weeks. Flick currently does not have any other major injury concerns to deal with.
Hertha are sitting level on points with Bayern. The blue boys from the capital city suffered a three-one loss at home against Eintracht. Arne Maier will out for several weeks. Mathew Leckie and Jordan Torunarigha should be able to make it in time for Sunday’s game.
Expected Lineups –
Bayern (4-2-3-1): Neuer – Pavard, Sule, Alaba, Davies – Kimmich, Goretzka – Gnabry, Muller, Coman – Lewandowski
Hertha (4-1-2-1-2): Schwolow – Pekarik, Boyata, Torunarigha, Mittelstadt – Stark – Darida, Tousart – Cunha – Lukebakio, Cordoba
Bayern and Hertha shared a point in their previous meeting at the Allianz Arena following a two-all draw.
Score Prediction: Bayern 3 – 1 Hertha
(Featured Image: Twitter/@Bundesliga_EN)