It has been several weeks since it was announced that Goretzka is going to make the switch to Bayern at the end of the season which wasn’t received very well by Schalke fans. This matchday marks his visit to his soon-to-be new club.
Action starts on Friday (8.30 CET) when Augsburg visits Leipzig. After beating Frankfurt last week, Augsburg might or might not be a part of that group behind Bayern that is quarrelling over Champions League places but since this is Bundesliga it’s hard to know what is going on. All we know is that Leipzig should win this and clearly have the better players because if they lose Augsburg will just be one point behind them.
Saturday afternoon – 3.30 – also offers some interesting matchups. Struggling Dortmund is hosting Hamburg who are looking right into the abyss and need some wins to make this not the season where the big Bundesliga clock stops. The same applies to Mainz who have fallen to the relegation-play-off place and they travel to Hoffenheim who also need some points to get out of the rut they are currently in. Frankfurt plays against Köln who are again all but relegated with now 7 points between them and the 15th and 16th place. Freiburg – who haven’t lost a game in the Rückrunde so far and won points against both Dortmund and Leverkusen – are on their way to northern Germany to meet Hannover and Leverkusen has to crack a nut named Hertha Berlin.
At 6.30 Schalke has an almost unsolvable task to solve when they are away to the one team that is above all the rest in the league – Bayern. The two interesting points here are how Schalke is going to approach this and what kind of reception Leon Goretzka is going to get from both Schalke and Bayern fans. But if nothing special happens, Bayern end the day with 3 more points.
Our first Sunday match (3.30) features two teams who aren’t in the greatest of shapes. Stuttgart – who sacked their manager two weeks ago and have just collected 5 points from the last 9 games meet Gladbach who have fallen to 8th as a consequence of only winning one game in the Rückrunde so far putting a lot of pressure on Dieter Hecking whose managing credentials are often questioned. A loss against Stuttgart could speed that process up a lot.
Action is concluded Sunday evening (6.00) with Bremen – Wolfsburg, two teams who had to say goodbye to their cup ambitions in midweek losing to Leverkusen and Schalke. But Bremen is still on a high from the win against Schalke last weekend that lifted them out of the relegation places for the first time in a long place. But with Wolfsburg really liking draws and with Bremen’s offensive record not being very good this screams draw – a result that would help Wolfsburg more than it does Bremen.