DW′s pundits grab their lucky balls for match day 24′s Bundesliga lottery | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 25.02.2011
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DW's pundits grab their lucky balls for match day 24's Bundesliga lottery

Predicting the Bundesliga scores is a lottery so match day 24's predictions are presented this week by a cheesy TV presenter bellowing out the results as found on a bunch of brightly colored, numbered balls.

Lottery balls

According to the balls, Bayern will beat BVB 30-8 this week

After having a modicum of luck with last week's lottery numbers - winning enough to buy the office a small round of the cheapest drinks available - the DW soccer pundits decide to stay true to the utterly random practice of having numbered balls sucked out of a machine which resembles a large malfunctioning transparent vacuum cleaner. Swapping numbers for names and made-up scorelines, we therefore put our trust in our own Bundesliga lottery draw.

Friday, Feb. 25

Wolfsburg - Gladbach

New Gladbach coach Lucien Favre seems to have instilled a new confidence in his last-placed side and while the Schalke team they beat last week was woeful and wasteful, it was still an encouraging win for the bottom club. Wolfsburg, on the other hand, have had less luck under their new coach, Pierre Littbarski. Having lost both games since he replaced Steve McClaren, Littbarski finds himself managing a team which is struggling to comprehend the severity of its current plight. Gladbach will fancy their chances in this relegation clash.

Prediction: Gladbach 1-0

Saturday, Feb. 26

Schalke - Nuremberg

Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, right, and Schalke's Christoph Metzelder, left, react after receiving the second goal during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Schalke 04 in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011.

Schalke slipped up again with defeat to Gladbach last week

Nuremberg was one of only two teams to change position in the league last week, rising to eighth after the 3-0 win over Frankfurt, their fourth victory in a row. With Schalke letting a lead slip at Gladbach last week and leaving it late to secure a draw in their Champions League game against Valencia last week, the momentum should be with Nuremberg who also beat Schalke in their previous encounter this season. Schalke may have scrapped their way out of trouble but they have yet to convince anybody that their recovery can be sustained - including themselves.

Prediction: Nuremberg 2-1

Hoffenheim - Mainz

The Hoff were the only other team to shift position last week. Unfortunately it was a drop of one place to ninth after the 1-1 draw with Cologne. Their season has been on a steady downward trajectory since October with only rare glimpses of the quality needed to get back into European contention. Mainz have also seen their early promise dissipate but still remain in contention for the Europa League. Last week's defeat by Bayern was the second in a row and they now haven't won in four games. With both teams struggling to reignite their fire, this one could prove hard work for supporters and players alike.

Prediction: Draw 1-1

Cologne – Freiburg

Lukas Podolski

Things have slowly started to look up for Poldi & Co.

After waking up from what appeared to be a terminal coma, Cologne have bounded out of the relegation zone and – whisper it – look to be heading for safety after swapping some of the most abject performances of the entire season for a trio of the best – beating Bremen, Bayern and Mainz in the last month. Cologne finally look like they believe again. In the immortal (paraphrased) words of US soft rock outfit Journey, Freiburg haven't stopped believing and remain in touch with the European places. A seven-game unbeaten run came to an end at Schalke two weeks ago but last week's win over Wolfsburg got them back on track.

Prediction: Draw 2-2

Kaiserslautern - Hamburg

If Hamburg play the same way as they did last week, then third-from-bottom Kaiserslautern could be in for a torrid time. Bremen capitulated in the face of HSV's onslaught in Hamburg last week and despite the visitors' horrendous form, a 4-0 win over Werder should not be sniffed at. However, if they play like they did against city rivals St. Pauli in the 1-0 derby defeat recently, even Kaiserslautern could stand a chance. Then again, Kaiserslautern haven't tasted victory in seven games. But Hamburg have consistently blown hot and cold all season, and it's possible that this could be one of their off weeks.

Prediction: Kaiserslautern 1-0

St. Pauli - Hannover

Pauli seem to have arrested their slide and have dragged themselves up the league, despite losing to Dortmund last week. A five-game unbeaten streak which included three wins had lifted them high enough from danger that they could take the hit of that defeat and still remain eleventh. They aren't alone in losing to the league leaders but it remains to be seen if this loss has punctured their fragile confidence again. Hannover have recovered from their own dip in form and are still flying high. They'll want revenge on Pauli for the 1-0 defeat they suffered during that dip and are likely to get it.

Prediction: Hannover 3-1

Bayern - Dortmund

Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger, right, and Dortmund's Sven Bender challenge for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday , Oct. 3, 2010.

Bayern's fortunes have improved since the loss to BVB

The heavyweight clash of the weekend could have consequences for both teams. A victory for Dortmund would surely add to their already sky-high confidence and push them towards their first title in a decade. A loss could lead to BVB getting a case of the wobbles. Bayern could mathematically catch BVB but what is more likely is that a win would add to their momentum both domestically and in Europe. A defeat would end any remaining hope of defending their title. Bayern are a different proposition to the team BVB beat 2-0 in October but Dortmund are still in championship form so this should be a close one.

Prediction: Dortmund 3-2

Sunday, Feb. 27

Frankfurt – Stuttgart

Frankfurt are still on the slide after reaching fourth in November. Now at 12th, Frankfurt haven't won in six games and while they may be safe enough to avoid a late relegation fight, their form leaves a lot to be desired. Offer Stuttgart the chance of swapping places with Frankfurt and they'd snap your hand off. VfB's condition looks terminal and despite limping up to 14th for a couple of weeks, they've slipped back to 17th. They've conceded eight goals in their last two matches but at least they've been scoring themselves. Frankfurt haven't hit the net in seven games. A chance for Stuttgart perhaps.

Prediction: Stuttgart 1-0

Bremen – Leverkusen

Thomas Schaaf

Thomas Schaaf looks in the direction his team is heading

It's been six games since Bremen last won a match, losing three of those. But it has been the form that has seen them lose 11 in total, draw six and claim only six victories that sees them 14th and in danger of slipping into the drop zone. The 4-0 thrashing by Hamburg last week will have done their confidence no favors and despite being at home, they won't fancy their chances against a Leverkusen side which hasn't been out of the top four for over three months. Leverkusen have slipped up against lesser teams but will see Werder as a big scalp and will raise their game accordingly. It could be more bad news for Bremen.

Prediction: Leverkusen 3-1

Last week's results: 8 points

Total for the season: 103

Nuremberg - Frankfurt 3-0 (DW Prediction 2-0)

Dortmund - St. Pauli 2-0 (DW Prediction 3-1)

Hamburg - Bremen 4-0 (DW Prediction 2-1)

Hoffenheim - Cologne 1-1 (DW Prediction 3-0)

Freiburg - Wolfsburg 2-1 (DW Prediction 1-1)

Hannover - Kaiserslautern 3-0 (DW Prediction 2-0)

Mainz - Bayern 1-3 (DW Prediction 1-3)

Leverkusen - Stuttgart 4-2 (DW Prediction 2-1)

Gladbach - Schalke 2-1 (DW Prediction 0-1)

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: Michael Lawton

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