This season, the DW Sports team are predicting the results of all Bundesliga matches. After the last match day's battering, our pundits hope they've got their heads back for match day eight.
If you look very hard, you might just find this constellation - promise
After a two-week international break, match day eight is in ascendance and the DW Bundesliga pundits are back at it. After a poor set of predictions on the last match day (see below), they've resolved to look to the stars for guidance.
This week's predictor hopes for the best, but has a ready excuse should things go awry: he's a Gemini, and can blame it on that other guy inhabiting his body.
Friday, October 15
Dortmund have gone from strength to strength this season, getting good individual performances from many a member of their young squad - and all the while, they've been working for each other on the pitch. Cologne have been mostly hideous, managing a fortunate win over St. Pauli and two backs-to-the-wall draws. Fan favorite and mercurial boy prince Lukas Podolski sounded off this week that his beloved FC was adrift, and hinted he would look for the exit if things didn't turn around soon. Off you go, then. Cologne deserve to be at the table's foot as richly as Dortmund do near the top, and the billygoats should get flogged on Friday.
Van Bommel and his, erm, passion will be missing form this match
Saturday, October 16
The opening weeks of the season for Hanover were surprisingly good - the team busted loose to a 13-point haul in their first six games. They're still in third place, but last week's limp home loss to St. Pauli highlighted their weakness: without a full-strength strike partnership of Mohamad Abdelloue and Didier Ya Konan, Hanover are far from dangerous. Ya Konan was out two weeks ago, this time it's Abdelloue. Bayern do have injury problems of their own (Diego Contento, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are still out, and Miroslav Klose, Mark van Bommel and Ivica Olic picked up injuries on international duty), but they should have more than enough quality to take this one.
The Bundesliga's two most hapless sides were all set to square off in a contest to decide who would see their name inserted into a flurry of “[Insert club name here] IN CRISIS” headlines, and whose coach would see a greater flurry of speculation surrounding his future. Then Stuttgart went and spoiled the fun, firing Christian Gross before the match had even been played. Probably for the best, really. Though there isn't much to separate these two in terms of form (both have been very poor), Schalke are at home and have a slightly better squad. Thus they should win.
Freiburg have been puzzlingly strong this season, defying the odds to win four of their first seven (including two away) and have risen all the way to fifth place. Bremen, meanwhile, have been in a funk. It's been down to a mixture of injuries to key players like Naldo, Per Mertesacker and Claudio Pizarro and the kind of sloppy defending Bremen have become famous for in recent years. Now Mertesacker is back in the starting line-up, Pizarro might be able to play as a substitute, and Sporting Director Klaus Allof's (possibly illegal) stunt of docking the players' pay after the 4-1 loss to Hanover in week six seems to have done the trick. Bremen could easily have won on the last matchday in Leverkusen, and should win easily at home on Saturday.
Settle down, Adam - your hat-trick came against San Marino
The little club that could may lose some steam from its engine following the international break, what with their young squad having had ample time to let success go to their heads. Then again striker Adam Szalai, who's just hit four goals in two games for Hungary, might just come back to Mainz on a justified high that will fire him up for more. Hamburg, for their part, showed signs of living up to their considerable promise in a gutsy win over Kaiserslautern in match day seven, and will be boosted by Paolo Guerrero's return from injury. On the other hand, they are still hobbled by 10(!) other players from the first-team squad laid low at the moment. I smell a draw.
A tough one to call, in that not much separates these two sides. Both have punched above the weight of their rather thin squads thus far, Nuremberg through a very organized defense, Pauli through fitness and a willingness to fight to the very end of a match. It's been seven home games since Hamburg's skull-and-crossbones appreciation society has seen their team get a win, and just as many matches since der Club has won away. May the streaks continue.
Both these sides haven't got out of the gate as strongly as they'd have liked, but neither the pharmaceuticals (in 4th place on 12 points) or the wolves (8th place, 10pts.) are so far off the pace for panic to have set in, and in fact are on good form. That's in part because both are starting to get good production from strikers who had looked out of it at the season's opening - Wolfsburg's Grafite and Leverkusen's Eren Derdiyok. I might have been inclined to go with the home side, but they will be missing goalkeeper Diego Benaglio, so a draw looks a good bet.
Eintracht's ultras are a real sharing, caring group of guys
Sunday, October 17
It's an intriguing match-up between a team that started poorly and may be beginning to fade (K-town), and another that stumbled at first but that now might be finding its sea legs (Eintracht). But nobody's talking about the game, they're talking about the potential for fan trouble. These two clubs are not natural derby rivals, but they are historically the two strongest in their region, and have a history. Eintracht's ultras, considered by many to be the nastiest "fans" in the Bundesliga, certainly are trumpeting this as a trip to see hated rivals, virtually promising violence in internet forums. Much as I'd like to see them disappointed, I see Frankfurt taking the points.
Gladbach lead the league by a comfortable margin in goals allowed with 20, but showed signs in their 1-1 match day seven draw against the often potent Wolfsburg that they might have found their way. Hoffenheim, meanwhile, have had a rough few weeks, losing at Mainz and Bayern (which is acceptable), and drawing away to Cologne (which isn't). A bright spot, however, has been the ice-cold free-kicks of their young Icelandic newcomer, Gylfi Sigurdsson. He's scored them in substitute appearances thus far, and now he's likely to get the start. I like him to score, and for the Hoff to win.
Last week's result: 5 points
Hanover-St. Pauli 0-1
(DW Prediction: 2-0)
(DW Prediction: 1-1)
(DW Prediction: 3-1)
(DW Prediction: 0-2)
(DW Prediction: 1-1)
(DW Prediction: 0-1)
(DW Prediction: 0-2)
(DW Prediction: 3-4)
(DW Prediction: 3-1)
Total for the season: 32
Three points for a correct score prediction
Two points for a correct margin prediction
One point for a correct winner prediction
Author: Matt Hermann
Editor: Rob Turner