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Sports

DW experts try their luck again with forecasts for Bundesliga Round 2

This season, Deutsche Welle's sports team are laying it on the line and predicting the results of all the Bundesliga matches. After a less than successful start, see what we predict for the second round.

Hands around a crystal ball

After a trip to the repair shop, the DW crystal ball returns

It's Round 2 of the 2010/11 Bundesliga season and the DW experts are hoping to do a little better than last week when only one game was predicted correctly. The crystal ball was obviously on the fritz (see our results at the bottom of the page).

The opening weekend of the season is always a lottery for forecasters because there is very little of the season's form book to refer to so with a little more to go on, we hope to have more success with the next round of games.

Friday, August 27

Kaiserslautern – Bayern Munich

Bayern looked boringly comfortable for long stretches against Wolfsburg in their opening day win but finished the match with the margin a lot closer than it should have been. Kaiserslautern had a somewhat easier game against Cologne and performed well, scoring three goals away from home. Bayern showed class and strength in front of their own supporters but these qualities will be tested on the road. I can see the champions experiencing a slight, early blip in Kaiserslautern.

Prediction: 2-2

Saturday, August 28

Schalke – Hanover

Schalke blinked first in their match in Hamburg last week and as a result lost to one of the teams which could rival them in the race for European places this season. It's early yet and the defeat won't end Schalke's challenge, but coach Felix Magath will be upset to have conceded points to one of the top teams already. Expect the Royal Blues to respond to Magath's wrath by soundly beating Hanover in Gelsenkirchen with Raul marking his Bundesliga home debut with at least one goal.

Prediction: Schalke 3-1

Bremen – Cologne

Bremen's Claudio Pizarro, second from right, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Champions League qualifier

Bremen are back to winning ways. Bad news for Cologne

Few would have expected Bremen to be on the end of the kind of score line they normally inflict on the opposition. Losing 4-1 to Hoffenheim was the worst possible start for Thomas Schaaf's team. Luckily they had a confidence-restoring win in Europe during the week to get their heads straight again and with qualification for the Champions League group stages assured, Werder can focus on climbing back up the Bundesliga table. They will begin their climb with victory over Cologne who already look like relegation fodder after capitulating at home to Kaiserslautern.

Prediction: Bremen 3-0

Wolfsburg – Mainz

Steve McClaren's Wolves looked disjointed against Bayern, but did manage 20 minutes of supreme offensive fotball - enough to give the champions a scare. However, they looked far from cohesive at the back and even against Mainz in their first home game of the season, Wolfsburg may still not find the right gear. Mainz produced a good display to heap early woe on Stuttgart, a team which finished strongly last season. I think they'll worry Wolfsburg and grab a goal but the Wolves will snatch a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Frankfurt – Hamburg

Ruud van Nistelrooy celebrates scoring his side's second goal with Ze Roberto

Hamburg hit-man Ruud hopes to be on target again

Reports that Ruud van Nistlerooy's legs have gone appear to have been wildly exaggerated. The Dutch striker looked all the better for missing out on World Cup action this summer, and as a result Hamburg should get at least a good half-season out him before the inevitable wear and tear takes its toll. Frankfurt were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Hanover last week and I can see them having a harder time against HSV, especially if Ruud is still in the same mood as he was against Schalke. Hamburg didn't travel well last season, dropping crucial points away from home, but still I think they'll edge this one.

Prediction: Hamburg 1-0

Nuremberg – Freiburg

Freiburg are going to struggle this season as their opening day defeat to St. Pauli indicated. Losing 3-1 at home to a newly-promoted side does not bode well for a team which has a long-standing relationship with the lower reaches of the Bundesliga. Games like the one coming up against Nuremberg need to be won if this is not to be a long fight against relegation for Freiburg but I don't see them getting the full quota of points this week. The best Freiburg can hope for is a draw - but I think they'll get it.

Prediction: 1-1

St. Pauli – Hoffenheim

St. Pauli's players greet their fans in Freiburg

Hoffenheim will give St. Pauli more problems than Freiburg

St. Pauli will be flying after their victory over Freiburg but they are in danger of crashing to earth against Hoffenheim. They may have their special supporters behind them on Saturday but the gulf in class is likely to be too big for Pauli. One forgets that Hoffenheim were once the village team made good, such is their standing in the top division now. St. Pauli might appear to be lambs to the slaughter in the wake of Hoffenheim's giving Bremen a hiding, but I think the men from the Rhine-Neckar will have a harder job in Hamburg. That's not to say they won't still win, though.

Prediction: Hoffenheim 2-0

Leverkusen - Moenchengladbach

Bayer Leverkusen have started in much the same way as they began last season - and by beating Dortmund 2-0 away from home, Michael Ballack and Co. have laid down a marker. Dortmund were tough to beat last year and can be expected to be difficult opponents this season, a fact that adds even more gloss to Leverkusen's win. Ballack's boys will be too much for Gladbach who just scraped a draw with Nuremberg last week.

Prediction: Leverkusen 3-1

Sunday, August 29

Stuttgart – Dortmund

Stuttgart coach Christian Gross

Stuttgart boss Christian Gross hopes for something to clap

Both teams expected more from their opening games in which both were defeated, and both will be eager to put those false starts behind them. However, Stuttgart and Dortmund both saw Europa League action on Thursday and could be running on fumes as they seek full fitness in the early season. Whatever happens, these two sides will give whatever they've got. I see Dortmund edging Stuttgart through sheer power.

Prediction: Dortmund 2-1

Last week's result: 5 points

Bayern – Wolfsburg 2:1

(DW Prediction 3:1, one point)

Hoffenheim – Bremen 4:1

(DW Prediction 3:2, one point)

Moenchengladbach – Nuremberg 1:1

(DW Prediction 2:1, no points)

Cologne – Kaiserslautern 1:3

(DW Prediction 1:1, no points)

Freiburg – St. Pauli 1:3

(DW Prediction 1:1, no points)

Hanover – Frankfurt 2:1

(DW Prediction 1:2, no points)

Hamburg – Schalke 2:1

(DW Prediction 2:1, three points)

Mainz – Stuttgart 2:0

(DW Prediction 1:2, no points)

Dortmund – Leverkusen 0:2

(DW Prediction 2:2, no points)

Three points for a correct score prediction

Two points for a correct margin prediction

One point for a correct winner prediction

Author: Nick Amies

Editor: Chuck Penfold

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