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Hannover finally find some game in time to ruin Hertha's Friday night!

Monday 11th April 2016
Hertha slip up badly and Leverkusen close the gap. Plus Augsburg/Hoffenheim take big strides towards safety. Here is the Game Week 29 Bundesliga wrap up from Mark Dannell.  

Hertha BSC vs Hannover 96 – 2:2

Utter card spoiler this one and a disastrous result for Hertha. Despite taking the lead in just the 3rd minute through Vedad Ibisevic, BSC seemed surprised by the intensity shown by Hannover, playing for the first time under new trainer Daniel Stendel.

After the poor start Hannover would normally have folded meekly, but they confounded those expectations, equalizing quickly through Artur Sobiech in the 18th minute and attacking confidently in a marked change from previous weeks. It remained 1:1 until half-time and the home fans were not amused.
After the break Hannover picked up where they left off, Hertha looked out of ideas in the middle of the park. Things looked bleak for the home side when Manuel Schmiedebach slotted home in the 58th minute against his former club. However the introduction of Julian Schieber sparked some life into the Hertha attack and he laid on the equalizer for Salomon Kalou.

The unexpected point means Hannover will probably not be relegated before GW 31 now, Hertha will be thanking their lucky stars that only Bayer Leverkusen were able to gain any ground this weekend.

Prediction–  Home Win, WEEKEND BANKER!- WRONG!

FC Ingolstadt 04 vs Borussia Mönchengladbach – 1:0

After the festival of goals last weekend Mönchengladbach put on an inept attacking display and were duly punished by an 87th minute winner from Moritz Hartmann. Ingolstadt were impressive when pressing and this led to a stop-start game with neither team really being able to take control.

In truth there was not much to write home about in this game and it was surprising that Ingolstadt ended up winning, even if the identity of the scorer was not. Hartmann scored for the 4th time in the last 5 games. Ingolstadt, while not mathematically safe, will be delighted with the last 2 weeks. Mönchengladbach will be absolutely kicking themselves after Hertha's slip up on Friday

Prediction–  Away Win-WRONG!

Hamburger SV vs SV Darmstadt 98 – 1:2

Well I expected to be made look a wally with my tip here and so it proved. Darmstadt take a giant stride towards safety and at the same time drag Hamburg back into the dog fight. The game was predictably scrappy, a header from a free kick by Aytac Sulu in the first half and a simple finish after excellent work from Sandro Wagner by Jerome Gondorf shortly after half-time but Darmstadt firmly in the driving seat.

Lewis Holtby pulled one back in injury time but it was far too little too late. Next week's trip to Dortmund is likely to see them even closer to the drop zone.

Prediction– Home Win-WRONG!

 VfB Stuttgart vs FC Bayern – 1:3

Finally a correct prediction, even including Stuttgart to score! Arturo Vidal was the story of the day, charging all over the pitch and committing so many fouls that Guardiola was forced to substitute him after just 27 minutes. That was after his team-mate Xabi Alonso showed him the middle finger! Vidal threw a massive strop, deliberately walking away from Guardiola and ignoring him for the rest of the game, even going so far as refusing to sit on the FC Bayern bench. It will be interesting to see how this gets dealt with.
As far as the game went Munich were rarely threatened, an own goal from Georg Niedermeier and one from David Alaba put them 2:0 up. Didavi pulled one back for Stuttgart but Douglas Costa secured the points late on.

Stuttgart are still looking over their shoulders but will have a decent chance next week when they play Augsburg.

Prediction–  Away Win-Spot On!

SV Werder Bremen vs FC Augsburg – 1:2

Massive three points went the way of Augsburg who confounded their slump with a somewhat fortuitous win against Werder.

Bremen were somewhat hampered by Claudio Pizarro missing out with a slight tear in the stomach muscle, but still dominated the game. They took the lead shortly before half-time via Florian Grillitsch and seemed sure to go on and claim the win. However a lucky equalizer from Alfred Finnbogason lead to Werder becoming increasingly nervous and ultimately substitute Jeong-Ho Hong secured the points for the Bavarian-Swabians. Next week an equally important game against Stuttgart.

Prediction–  Home Win-WRONG!

Eintracht Frankfurt vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim – 0:2

Just the second correct tip for this week and once again Frankfurt's failure to trouble the scorers was their downfall.  Despite starting better the poor offensive play of Frankfurt allowed Hoffenheim time to grow into the game and they used their 2 big chances clinically in the 62nd and 90th minutes. Nadiem Amiri and Mark Uth, both subsititutes scored the crucial goals that gave Hoffenheim their 10th point in the last 4 games.

Prediction–  Away win-Spot On!

  VfL Wolfsburg vs Mainz 05 – 1:1

A goal from Jairo in the 66th minute cancelled out Andre Schurrle's 52nd minute opener for Wolfsburg and enabled Mainz to leave with a well-deserved point.

Main set out their stall to go after Wolfsburg and take advantage of any tiredness. Hecking meanwhile rested Rodriguez and Vierinha. Draxler was suspended so Bas Dost came into the starting line-up for the first time in 3 months after his long injury lay off. An ultimately scrappy game got the result it deserved, Wolfsburg will be happy to have avoided injuries ahead of the return leg in Madrid, while Mainz can now start seriously thinking about Europa League action next year.

Prediction–  Draw-Spot On!

Schalke 04 vs Borussia Dortmund – 2:2

Thomas Tuchel sowed where his priorities lie with 8 changes for this derby game ahead of the return leg against Liverpool on Thursday. This lead to a disjointed first half with next to no action of note. Surprisingly the 2nd half was the polar opposite, Dortmund twice took the lead, first through Kagawa and then Ginter, only to be pegged back by goals from Sane and Huntelaar.

Overall the result was probably a fair one, however Bayern now have a 7 point lead in the race for the title and if Dortmund cannot get past Liverpool then Tuchel will have a few questions to answer.

Prediction–  Away Win- WRONG!

1.FC Köln vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen – 0:2

I made a tidy profit on this game after Hertha ruined my “safe” bet of the week. The joy I felt when Hernandez netted Leverkusen's second goal shortly before half-time was mainly down to the fact that I wouldn't have to eat dry Pasta this week!

Leverkusen were dominant throughout and it was somewhat of a surprise that they didn't score more in the 2nd half. Julian Brandt had opened the scoring and a fairly miserable display by Köln was topped off by a red card for Bittencourt in added time at the end of the game.

An important win for Leverkusen allows them to close the gap on Hertha to just a point and from nowhere 4 weeks ago they are now looking favourites to claim a Champions League spot.

Prediction–  Away Win-Spot On!

  • Worst week yet for my predictions with 4/9. Betting was a mixed bag but the 9/2 odds on Hernandez/Leverkusen came up trumps and allowed me a little profit this week.

  • Team of the Weekend: Bayer Leverkusen. A dominant display this week, allowed Köln not even a little sniff.

  • Player of the Weekend: No real standouts this week but Hannover's Hiroshi Kiyotake put in a huge shift with 12.2km covered and staggering 71% of tackles won which really epitomised the improved display against Hertha.

Here is your updated table, back on Thursday with predictions for Game Week 30!

Mark Dannell
Fan of most sports first and foremost, Tottenham fan born and raised. Currently living in Germany and married, avid follower of the Bundesliga and closet Dortmund fan since 1997 thanks to a very enthusiastic high school German teacher! Covering the Bundesliga in detail for itsroundanditswhite.co.uk, any questions, requests for features or general information required all welcome, either by mail or Twitter (@mdannell) preferable.

Total articles: 86

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