The best of German football from the Bundesliga and beyond
Another new regular feature from FourFourTwo.com, and it's a big hello to Daniel Moore, covering all things German...
Let's face it; it's going to take something special to stop the FC Bayern juggernaut between now and the season's end. One defeat in their last 21 competitive games sort of confirms this.
On Saturday they travel to FC Köln's Rhein Energie Stadion, where one man in particular will be hoping to throw a spanner into die Bayern's title-winning works.
“Lu-lu-lu, Lu-kas Pod-ol-ski!” will be ringing around the ground come the weekend, but despite the former Bayern man being a hero at international level, his domestic form of late has flagged somewhat... and that's putting it nicely.
Since his big-money return to Köln last year, the Polish-born striker has but one goal to his name in 19 games.
A few members of Bayern's squad seem to be under the impression that they've got the title all wrapped up since they regained top spot last weekend after a 652-day hiatus.
Speaking to German daily paper Bild, full-back Phillip Lahm poked fun at their nearest rivals Bayer Leverkusen, stating “Leverkusen have enough quality to keep second place.”
The cheek! Maybe someone ought to remind him that, while Bayern are top of the league, Leverkusen are actually the only unbeaten team in the division and are fighting tooth and nail to win it.
Anyway back to Poldi, or Prinz Poldi as he is often referred to amongst the national team's fans. It doesn't take a genius to see that he's got an abundance of talent, but put him in a struggling team and he's seemingly unable to carry them in a way that somebody like Cacau of Stuttgart, for example, is.
Whilst on the subject of Cacau - just to interrupt the terrible tarnishing of Podolski's name for a slight second – could he be the secret weapon for Joachim Löw at this summer's World Cup?
If he can perform for the national team like he did against Barcelona recently in Stuttgart's Champions League match, then Poldi might have to add another name to the list of people waiting to take away his starting spot. In fact, add young Thomas Müller's name to that list, as national coach Löw this week mentioned him as a possible squad member for their World Cup campaign...
Podolski would be well advised that any talk about a big-bucks move to Barcelona this summer should be put on the back burner, for his performances recently would leave him struggling to break into Burnley's XI. Actually, let's not go OTT – of course he would, but you see the point.
Although it looks like the title is going to either Bayern, Leverkusen or Schalke, the latter of whom will be buzzing after an exciting 2-1 derby victory over Borussia Dortmund last week, the race for a Europa League spot is wide open. Wouldn't it be lovely to see Eintracht Frankfurt back in European competition?
It looks the two spots are to be fought out between Hamburg, Dortmund, Werder Bremen, Frankfurt and Stuttgart. Last season's champions, Wolfsburg, are languishing in 11th after a truly, truly horrible season.
This weekend's fixtures, along with The Fundesliga's predictions:
Saturday: FC Köln 0-2 FC Bayern MünchenWerder Bremen 2-2 VfB StuttgartHamburger SV 3-1 Hertha BSCEintracht Frankfurt 1-2 FC SchalkeSC Freiburg 0-0 Hannover 96VfL Wolfsburg 2-3 VfL Bochum
Sunday:Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Borussia M'gladbach1.FC Nürnberg 1-2 Bayer 04 Leverkusen1899 Hoffenheim 1-1 1.FSV Mainz 05
Any other predictions, anybody?
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Oooo, not sure about that Wolfsburg prediction! I know Bochum have been very impressive since the turn of the year but Wolfsburg have shown their quality recently. Grafite hitting the onion bag on a regular basis again. I say Wolfsburg come out on top 2-1.
I'd say it's pretty unlikely Freiburg - Hannover will finish goalless - both defences are diabolical! Even Clarke Carlisle would walk into either of those sides! Apart from that though some sound predictions.
One thing is for sure: It's bound to be another thrilling weekend of action in the "Fundesliga".
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