Bundesliga Matchday 24: Robben looks to extend career-best form | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 05.03.2015
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Bundesliga Matchday 24: Robben looks to extend career-best form

Bayern Munich's 31-year-old Dutch winger is in the form of his life, scoring more goals than ever before in his career. Bundesliga hipsters Augsburg and Wolfsburg face-off, while Schalke look to cure their derby woes.

It's not often in football that a player continues to up his game as he enters his thirties. That's exactly what Arjen Robben is doing at Bayern Munich. The Dutchman has already reached a career-best 17 goals this season and in the last six domestic games - all Bayern victories - he has been involved in 13 goals (scoring seven, assisting six).

This weekend, Bayern play a Hannover side that Robben has scored six goals against in their last seven meetings. Not only that, if Bayern collect another three points he will also set a new Bundesliga record for the shortest number of games played (126) before reaching a century of wins.

Alexander Meier, the Frankfurt striker who is closest to Robben in the Bundesliga scoring charts, knows just how hard it is to catch a flying Dutchman. "Every week Bayern score five or six, and Robben gets two or three of them," he says.

More goals seem inevitable for the Munich man, as does another league victory on Saturday for Pep Guardiola, who retains his sense of focus despite his side sitting on an eight-point cushion at the top of the table.

"We can't drop our performances," the Bayern coach said at his press conference on Friday. "Dost, Schürrle, De Bruyne and Caligiuri are all in great form (for second-placed Wolfsburg)."

Hannover have yet to register a competitive win in 2015 and while head coach Tayfun Korkut has deflected the pressure off his team, the 40-year-old is running out of time to turn things around. If they are to pick up their first win since December at home, it will be the first time Hannover have beaten the Bundesliga's record winners since October 2011.

Bundesliga hipsters face-off

The remarkable rise of Augsburg has seen Bundesliga fans dub the "other" Bavarian club "the new hipster team of Germany". Since Marwin Hitz's dramatic injury-time equalizer against Leverkusen though, Markus Weinzerl's side have been short of the form that saw them climb into European contention. After a disappointing loss at struggling Hertha BSC last weekend, Augsburg will want to clinch a third win since the turn of the year, but in their way stand the Bundesliga's newest rising force.

Fußball Bundesliga 11. Spieltag SC Freiburg FC Schalke 04 Roberto Di Matteo

Time for Di Matteo to change his defensive set-up?

Wolfsburg are unbeaten in 11 matches and are cruising towards the Champions League next season. Star men Bas Dost and Kevin de Bruyne have been involved in 38 of the clubs 53 goals this season, with 13 goals coming from Dost and a league-high 15 assists provided by de Bruyne. The Wolves are currently ten points clear of third-placed Gladbach. A win for the visitors will keep the faint title-race alive, while the hosts are now in need of three points to keep in touch with an ever-changing pack.

Schalke look to bounce back

After the embarrassment of last weekend's 3-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Ruhr derby, Roberto Di Matteo's Schalke desperately need a change in form after four defeats on the bounce. Mustering just two shots on goal at the Signal Iduna Park and allowing 31 to BVB - a new record for Dortmund - means a change of tactics is a must for the Royal Blues.

"We were garbage," said Marco Höger immediately after the game, with captain Benedikt Höwedes adding that he thought Schalke would be able to stop BVB by playing two holding midfielders. "That didn't work at all," Höwedes conceded.

Di Matteo must be more positive if his side are to beat Saturday's visitors Hoffenheim at the Veltins Arena. Markus Gisdol's team are just two points behind Schalke and arrive with 22-year old wonderkid Kevin Volland returning to form, having scored three in his last three domestic games.

Bundesliga Matchday 24 fixtures: Stuttgart vs. Hertha BSC (Friday), Hannover vs. Bayern Munich, Schalke vs. Hoffenheim, Augsburg vs. Wolfsburg, Hamburg vs. Borussia Dortmund, Freiburg vs. Werder Bremen, Mainz vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (late Saturday), Cologne vs. Frankfurt (Sunday), Paderborn vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Sunday).

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