Bundesliga Preview: Trio Of Top-8 Battles Headline Weekend
Tomorrow night, Bundesliga matchday 25 will kick off with a top-six battle. Augsburg moved into the sixth spot last week on goal differential and now host fourth place Schalke. Augsburg has conceded at least one goal in over 90 percent of their home matches, and Schalke is coming off a four goal performance.
Augsburg has been scoring consistently and their matches average over 2.5 goals. Schalke has also scored 11 goals in the final 15 minutes of their matches this year. Given the form of these teams and the stats of the matchup, it looks like a draw that leaves both teams wanting more.
Augsburg has been unable to beat Schalke over their last five head-to-head matches. The task became a bit tougher as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar returned to the Royal Blues and scored a hat trick last week against Hoffenheim. There are still injury concerns for Schalke in the midfield, so Julian Draxler will be asked to carry the load.
There are a lot of factors that keep either team from getting the advantage on paper in this match up. Schalke need the points, but Augsburg has lost only once in their last 12. The opening match of the weekend could be a struggle in the center of the pitch.
Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Leverkusen has been one of the better away teams in the Bundesliga this year, but now they have to go face undefeated Bayern Munich. Leverkusen was officially eliminated from the Champions League this week, while Bayern moved on to the next round. Now Leverkusen can focus only on staying a top-three team in the league although they now claim that spot only on goal differential. They are 2-1-5 over the last eight matches, so they need to turn it around quickly.
Leverkusen will not be the favorite in this match and could find themselves out of the top three after this weekend. A Bayern win would give them a 50-game unbeaten streak in the Bundesliga.
Borussia Dortmund vs. Borussia Monchengladbach
One point for Monchengladbach over the last 11 is horrible, and now they go on the road where they have only secured 10 points all year. However, Dortmund is dealing with more injuries than at any other time of the year. Marco Reus has been all but ruled out for the Saturday match. Robert Lewandowski is a game time decision. Henrikh Mkhitaryan must sit out from yellow card accumulation.
If Gladbach can control the midfield, they have a chance to end their current streak.