Bundesliga 19/20

Atze-Peng

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If Bayern stays ahead against Schalke then it is 4 points between the first 4 positions. This could be an interesting and entertaining race for the championship.

Also Lewandowski is such a reliable machine. Maybe not the best 9 in the world, but for sure the most consistent in performance and physically. Massive Beast. If he gets injured Bayern is instantly out of winningchances for any competition and it just makes me flabbergasted how they have zero backup on the 9 at all.
 

do.ob

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If Bayern stays ahead against Schalke then it is 4 points between the first 4 positions. This could be an interesting and entertaining race for the championship.

Also Lewandowski is such a reliable machine. Maybe not the best 9 in the world, but for sure the most consistent in performance and physically. Massive Beast. If he gets injured Bayern is instantly out of winningchances for any competition and it just makes me flabbergasted how they have zero backup on the 9 at all.
Gladbach aren't good enough, Dortmund have looked fragile all season and Leipzig have yet to experience true title pressure. I reckon it will cut down to a 1on1 Bayern vs Leipzig or Dortmund within a month or two.
 

Atze-Peng

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Gladbach doesn't seem to really collapse this second half of the season like they did the years before. The way they played so far is identical to the first half. So they seem relatively stable and of the 4 teams they are the ones who have nothing to lose, but everything to win. They could easily be carried by enthusiasm this entire season.

Leipzig - as much as I dislike this club - has good management and a good coach. Yes, they lack experience with true title pressure, but that's pretty much the only thing that is speaking against them as a contender.

Dortmund's form is drastically going up ever since the system-change. Brandt finally has a position he can really shine - which he does. Reus and Akanji have been getting back into shape, so has Sancho (ridiculous to say that looking at his scorers in the first half). And with Haaland we finally have someone who radiates danger to any defense. Something that Paco was meant to do and did multiple times - but he simply lacks the physical aspect of being 1,94 together with his goalgetting skills (obviously he will not keep scoring every 12 minutes 'duh). Size does indeed matter. The loss against Hoffenheim and the draw vs Leipzig were the classical "should've won" games. Both games the opposition did 2 goals almost out of nowhere after having been overrun most of the game prior - which isn't to take away anything from them. Both have quality teams so this can happen - but if these games are played multiple times again I wager to say that Dortmund wins them most of the team.

And Bayern - well, it's Bayern. We will see. I still think their squad is too thin, so injuries are a massive risk for them.
 

do.ob

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Schalke just have a painful lack of quality upfront. Bayern can camp in their half all day long until a goal shakes loose, without being too afraid of getting caught out.
 

do.ob

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Gladbach doesn't seem to really collapse this second half of the season like they did the years before. The way they played so far is identical to the first half. So they seem relatively stable and of the 4 teams they are the ones who have nothing to lose, but everything to win. They could easily be carried by enthusiasm this entire season.

Leipzig - as much as I dislike this club - has good management and a good coach. Yes, they lack experience with true title pressure, but that's pretty much the only thing that is speaking against them as a contender.

Dortmund's form is drastically going up ever since the system-change. Brandt finally has a position he can really shine - which he does. Reus and Akanji have been getting back into shape, so has Sancho (ridiculous to say that looking at his scorers in the first half). And with Haaland we finally have someone who radiates danger to any defense. Something that Paco was meant to do and did multiple times - but he simply lacks the physical aspect of being 1,94 together with his goalgetting skills (obviously he will not keep scoring every 12 minutes 'duh). Size does indeed matter. The loss against Hoffenheim and the draw vs Leipzig were the classical "should've won" games. Both games the opposition did 2 goals almost out of nowhere after having been overrun most of the game prior - which isn't to take away anything from them. Both have quality teams so this can happen - but if these games are played multiple times again I wager to say that Dortmund wins them most of the team.

And Bayern - well, it's Bayern. We will see. I still think their squad is too thin, so injuries are a massive risk for them.

Gladbach have already begun dropping off towards the end of the "Hinrunde" and turning a 0-1 into a 3-1 against Mainz doesn't convince me they have turned that trend around. Leipzig, Bayern and Dortmund had a combined score of 18-1 against Mainz, they are no benchmark.
Gladbach easily have the worst squad among the top teams, they had their little purple patch in October/November culminating in that ridiculous win against Bayern, but then reality hit them. Thuram hasn't recorded a goal or assist in 5 matches now and Embolo hasn't been doing much better with just the one goal. Going forward they will be worrying about defending 4th place against Schalke and Leverkusen.

Sure, Dortmund have been doing pretty well since switching to a back 3. But as the game against Augsburg reminded us all of their defensive issues and since Akanji has been an accident waiting to happen all season, age has really caught up with Piszczek and Balerdi still doesn't seem to be a factor at all I think those question marks will remain. You mention Brandt and it's absolutely true that he shines in an attacking sense, but for every great thing he does there is a sloppy pass or a little defensive slip up. As part of a 2man midfield he's a liability defensively as well. Not to mention Hakimi.
It also took Favre ages and one foot out of a job to switch his system, making me believe that (with them already being 4 points behind Leipzig) they will disappear from the title race if the other teams find a way to deal with the current setup.

Based on what I've seen so far I see little reason to expect Leipzig to implode, but you never know how a young squad and young coach will deal once the title race truly heats up. Werner's goals have been the centerpiece of their success and he in particular is someone who didn't always deal well with pressure in the past.



Schalke pulling a Dortmund on Bayern. Bet they didn't see it coming.
 
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ctp

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Can't be worse than Leipzig, surely? ;)
Probably not, but I'm not entirely confident.

At least we'll have Kunde back and we'll be able to drop Hack from the starting lineup. That should help, but our defence is just so bad this season...
 

strongwalker

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If Bayern stays ahead against Schalke then it is 4 points between the first 4 positions. This could be an interesting and entertaining race for the championship.

Also Lewandowski is such a reliable machine. Maybe not the best 9 in the world, but for sure the most consistent in performance and physically. Massive Beast. If he gets injured Bayern is instantly out of winningchances for any competition and it just makes me flabbergasted how they have zero backup on the 9 at all.
According to the redcafe, he's playing in a glorified pub team. For that, his performance the last few years have been above average!!1!
 

Atze-Peng

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Gladbach have already begun dropping off towards the end of the "Hinrunde" and turning a 0-1 into a 3-1 against Mainz doesn't convince me they have turned that trend around. Leipzig, Bayern and Dortmund had a combined score of 18-1 against Mainz, they are no benchmark.
Gladbach easily have the worst squad among the top teams, they had their little purple patch in October/November culminating in that ridiculous win against Bayern, but then reality hit them. Thuram hasn't recorded a goal or assist in 5 matches now and Embolo hasn't been doing much better with just the one goal. Going forward they will be worrying about defending 4th place against Schalke and Leverkusen.

Sure, Dortmund have been doing pretty well since switching to a back 3. But as the game against Augsburg reminded us all of their defensive issues and since Akanji has been an accident waiting to happen all season, age has really caught up with Piszczek and Balerdi still doesn't seem to be a factor at all I think those question marks will remain. You mention Brandt and it's absolutely true that he shines in an attacking sense, but for every great thing he does there is a sloppy pass or a little defensive slip up. As part of a 2man midfield he's a liability defensively as well. Not to mention Hakimi.
It also took Favre ages and one foot out of a job to switch his system, making me believe that (with them already being 4 points behind Leipzig) they will disappear from the title race if the other teams find a way to deal with the current setup.

Based on what I've seen so far I see little reason to expect Leipzig to implode, but you never know how a young squad and young coach will deal once the title race truly heats up. Werner's goals have been the centerpiece of their success and he in particular is someone who didn't always deal well with pressure in the past.
Obviously Gladbach has the worst Squad. No one said anything different. Which is why I said they are the outsider, the underdog in this case. But being the underdog also means you don't have the pressure on you like the other teams. I definitely _CAN_ see them staying up there.


And I am aware of the weaknesses of Dortmund's side currently. Still the squad is the second best in the league and they are improving ever since the change of systems - and they underperformed in the first half of the season. So to downplay their chances is ridiculous. Especially since a new system will almost always struggle defensively at first (except it is a system that is meant to be purely defensive). This is a normal development right now and personally I see improvements in the offensive AND defensive side of things.



According to the redcafe, he's playing in a glorified pub team. For that, his performance the last few years have been above average!!1!
As I said. He isn't the worlds best 9 (but he is definitely up there). But what Robert is is being reliable. You could put him as a 9 into every top team in the world and he would score and perform and not fall off (but also not really stand out).
 

Blodssvik

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Any Eintracht Frankfurt fans here? Going to my first game in a couple of weeks and meeting up for drinks with Gerre and Buffo from Tankard before the game. Seem to have pretty good atmosphere.
 

do.ob

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And I am aware of the weaknesses of Dortmund's side currently. Still the squad is the second best in the league and they are improving ever since the change of systems - and they underperformed in the first half of the season. So to downplay their chances is ridiculous. Especially since a new system will almost always struggle defensively at first (except it is a system that is meant to be purely defensive). This is a normal development right now and personally I see improvements in the offensive AND defensive side of things.
Dortmund's defensive weaknesses stem from a straight up lack of individual defensive quality, very attacking lineups (Brandt in a 2man midfield, coupled with Hakimi and Guerreiro on the flanks, if we're being honest Sancho isn't exactly a work horse either) and fact that the team's pressing is weak and gegenpressing is non existent (this being especially baffling for a coach who wants to have lots of the ball). All of which aren't growing pains of a by now two month old system, but the inherent weaknesses of these players and Favre. On the other hand Favre has got the attack firing (for now at least) and sometimes the "just score on more than them" approach actually works, but Leipzig and Bayern have a head start, are much more well rounded ("attack wins games, defense wins titles" and all that), Bayern in particular have regained their consistency under Flick and would be running away with it already if it wasn't for those two freak results against Leverkusen and Gladbach.
 

Atze-Peng

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Dortmund's defensive weaknesses stem from a straight up lack of individual defensive quality, very attacking lineups (Brandt in a 2man midfield, coupled with Hakimi and Guerreiro on the flanks, if we're being honest Sancho isn't exactly a work horse either) and fact that the team's pressing is weak and gegenpressing is non existent (this being especially baffling for a coach who wants to have lots of the ball). All of which aren't growing pains of a by now two month old system, but the inherent weaknesses of these players and Favre. On the other hand Favre has got the attack firing (for now at least) and sometimes the "just score on more than them" approach actually works, but Leipzig and Bayern have a head start, are much more well rounded ("attack wins games, defense wins titles" and all that), Bayern in particular have regained their consistency under Flick and would be running away with it already if it wasn't for those two freak results against Leverkusen and Gladbach.
I strongly disagree. Defending is always a team-effort and goes beyond just "being good at tackling". A centre-back that is comfortable on the ball is already the first step of defending - even if it's not a typically defensive skill in itself.

The issue Dortmund has is the lack of balance as of now. Not based on player-material, but on how the system is interpretated. Additionally sometimes there is a bit of an attitude problem.
 

do.ob

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I strongly disagree. Defending is always a team-effort and goes beyond just "being good at tackling". A centre-back that is comfortable on the ball is already the first step of defending - even if it's not a typically defensive skill in itself.

The issue Dortmund has is the lack of balance as of now. Not based on player-material, but on how the system is interpretated. Additionally sometimes there is a bit of an attitude problem.
I never said it's just tackling.
Akanji (who I think is one of the squad's better tacklers) for example has committed a significant blunder in basically half his games this season, I don't put much stock in Kicker's marks, but them ranking him 71st/79 defenders still gives you some idea of his season.
Piszczek has been a distinct weakness in Dortmund's buildup for quite some time and now that age is eating into his athleticism more and more he's not at level anymore where one could say he makes up for it defensively, yet he's 4th in the CB hierarchy.
Hakimi has significant issues with concentration and/or positional awareness, Augsburg's third goal was a perfect example of this as 70% of that goal was Hakimi ball-watching, while Max attacked the space behind him. As impressive as he is going forward, it's not the first time his poor game reading has opened up spaces for his opponents.
Brandt is a similar story, he is prone to unnecessary turnovers and has a tendency to be off the pace mentally during defensive transitions.


Unless the coach deploys some world class (counter-)pressing system (and Favre hasn't even tried to implement something like that at all, quite the opposite actually) these players (and Sancho) in such numbers are always going to cause trouble for their team's stability.
 

.mica

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Any Eintracht Frankfurt fans here? Going to my first game in a couple of weeks and meeting up for drinks with Gerre and Buffo from Tankard before the game. Seem to have pretty good atmosphere.
Yes, its great there. Wish you an exciting game and some fun!
 

uamini

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Any thoughts on Hertha's roster overhaul?

After being the league's stingiest team for an entire decade they finally went on an epic spending spree thanx to their new investor's money and their new coach Jürgen Klinsmann who obviously didn't like the way the squad had been assembled. It's a new German record for the winter break transfer window.

In: Piatek (AC Milan), Cunha (RB Leipzig), Ascacibar (Stuttgart), Toussart (Lyon, will join next summer)
Out: Duda (on loan to Norwich), Löwen (Augsburg), Selke (on loan to Bremen), Jastrzembski (on loan to Paderborn), Krebs (Chemnitz), Redan (on loan to Groningen, will most likely return afterwards), Kalou (no team yet, but pretty much a done deal)

In other news both their only German NT player Stark and their highest rated starlet Maier have found themselves relegated to the bench. Both asked to be sold but got their request denied.

Some of these moves are very risky and pretty unpopular so if it doesn't pan out Klinsmann will have a lot to answer for. I do believe those transfers could work out though. They may have overspent a little but they got a bunch of young players in return who were all highly rated 1-2 years ago but have seen their value dip this season. At the very least those players feel like an (expensive) upgrade to the players they'll have to replace.

Hertha won't do much this season but if they manage to fill a few more holes in the summer( maybe a new right back) then they should have a pretty strong team next year.
 

do.ob

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Any thoughts on Hertha's roster overhaul?

After being the league's stingiest team for an entire decade they finally went on an epic spending spree thanx to their new investor's money and their new coach Jürgen Klinsmann who obviously didn't like the way the squad had been assembled. It's a new German record for the winter break transfer window.

In: Piatek (AC Milan), Cunha (RB Leipzig), Ascacibar (Stuttgart), Toussart (Lyon, will join next summer)
Out: Duda (on loan to Norwich), Löwen (Augsburg), Selke (on loan to Bremen), Jastrzembski (on loan to Paderborn), Krebs (Chemnitz), Redan (on loan to Groningen, will most likely return afterwards), Kalou (no team yet, but pretty much a done deal)

In other news both their only German NT player Stark and their highest rated starlet Maier have found themselves relegated to the bench. Both asked to be sold but got their request denied.

Some of these moves are very risky and pretty unpopular so if it doesn't pan out Klinsmann will have a lot to answer for. I do believe those transfers could work out though. They may have overspent a little but they got a bunch of young players in return who were all highly rated 1-2 years ago but have seen their value dip this season. At the very least those players feel like an (expensive) upgrade to the players they'll have to replace.

Hertha won't do much this season but if they manage to fill a few more holes in the summer( maybe a new right back) then they should have a pretty strong team next year.
Reminds me of West Ham or Stoke. Too much flash, too little imagination. The same can be said about appointing Klinsmann (what has he done to earn this job?). If you suddenly have a lot of money and you want to invest it into a better future you do it the Rangnick way, imho. Building structures, trying to spot talents early, identify a clear identity.
Hertha even had some pretty good value transfers (Weiser, Stark, Darida, Duda, Lazaro, Rekik, Dilrosun) before they came into money, but now it feels like they are trying to take short cuts. Piatek probably didn't have a shabby wage at Milan considering they bought him for €40m, Tousart and Cunha are coming from CL clubs as well. I doubt they will take a pay cut. There has to be a reason why they join Berlin and I bet you it isn't Hertha's football. Lukebakio is another category of player I don't think a club like Hertha should sign - €20m based on one season alone where he got to finish Düsseldorf's counter attacks, leave that stuff to clubs who can afford for him to flop.
If they are hits then fair enough, Preetz is a daring strategist and I'm an idiot who has to eat his words. But should they flop (or sulk, because they don't get to play in Europe) and that's actually greatly helped if you throw them into a patchwork team with Klinsmann at the helm, no one will pay big money for a two time flop and the club will be crippled by their wages.



I guess Stark thoroughly earned his demotion with his numerous mistakes?! And Meier's troubles have been injury related?
 

uamini

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I guess Stark thoroughly earned his demotion with his numerous mistakes?! And Meier's troubles have been injury related?

Yeah, Stark is incredibly overrated to me. And Boyata (who was a free transfer) has been great so letting him play does make sense. As for Maier he's been injured for almost a year now but he was widely considered to be the best German 20-year-old not named Kai so buying some expensive central midfielders feels like an odd choice. I guess Ascacibar could be seen as a replacement for Skjelbred and Toussart will take Grujic's place but Klinsmann just doesn't seem to be a fan of Maier.

Which leads us to the main question: who exactly is going to coach this team next season and will they agree with the decisions that are currently being made?
 
mid season update

do.ob

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Time for a little mid season update [as of February 1st]:

current standings:


coaching changes:
  1. Niko Kovac -> Hansi Flick - Bayern, Nov 3rd
  2. Achim Beierlorzer -> Markus Gisdol - Cologne, Nov 9th
  3. Sandro Scharz -> Achim Beierlorzer - Mainz, Nov 10th
  4. Ante Covic -> Jürgen Klinsmann - Hertha, Nov 27th
  5. Friedhelm Funkel -> Uwe Rösler - Düsseldorf, Jan 29th

Winter transfers by club:
FC Bayern:
in:​
Alvaro Odriozola - Real Madrid - Loan​

out:​
-​

Borussia Dortmund:
in:​
Erling Haaland - RB Salzburg - €20m​
Emre Can - Juventus Turin - Loan/~€25m app triggered obligation to buy​
Hotman(!) El Kababri(RB, 20) - undisclosed - loaned to Zulte Waregem​
out:​
Paco Alcacer - Villareal - €23m/up to €30m​
Julian Weigl - Benfica - €20m​
Jacob Bruun Larsen - Hoffenheim - €9m/up to €14m​
Rasenballsport Leipzig:
in:​
Dani Olmo - Dinamo Zagreb - €20m/up to €30(?!)m​
Angelino - Man City - Loan​
out:​
Matheus Cunha - Hertha - €15m​
Diego Demme - Napoli - €12m​
Marcelo Sarrachi - Galatasaray - Loan​
Stefan Ilsanker - Eintracht Frankfurt - €500k​
Jean-Kevin Augustin - Leeds Utd - Loan/€20m promotion triggered obligation to buy​
Luan Candido - Rasenball Bragantino - Loan​
Bayer Leverkusen:
in:​
Edmond Tapsoba(CB, 20) - Vit Guimares - €18m​
Exequiel Palacios(CM, 21) - River Plate - €17m​
out:​
Joel Pohjanpalo - Hamburg - Loan​
Panagiotis Retsos - Sheffield Utd - Loan​
Gladbach:
in:​
-​
out:​
Jordan Beyer - Hamburg - Loan​
Andreas Poulsen - Austria Wien - Loan​
Julio Vilalba - SCR Altlach - Loan​
Other noteworthy transfers:

Hertha:

in:​
Krysztof Piatek - AC Milan - €27m​
Lucas Tousart - Olympique Lyon - €25m/loaned back until summer​
Matheus Cunha - Rasenballsport Leipzig - €15m​
Santiago Ascacibar - VFB Stuttgart - €11m​
Schalke:
in:​
Jean-Clair Todibo - FC Barcelona - Loan for €1.5m/€25m up to €30m option to buy/€50m up to €60m buyback for Barcelona​
Michael Gregoritsch - FC Augsburg - Loan​
out:​
Nabil Bentaleb - Newcastle Utd - Loan for €1m/option to buy for €10m​

A little GoalImpact vs "market value" [TM.com] diagram


Updated title/relegation odds:
 
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do.ob

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I think this winter window has been quite remarkable by Bundesliga standards.

Bayern have "only" loaned Odriozola, but as defensive depth has been their biggest weakness and the team seems to be back on track otherwise I think they won't bee too unhappy with their window.

Dortmund of course upgraded Alcacer with Haaland, whose first steps speak for themselves thus far. In Can they also found an experienced and somewhat high profile player to address their defensive inconsistencies (Akanji) and the lack of depth that came from switching to a back three mid season, coupled with Balerdi not cutting it thus far.

Leipzig didn't rest on their "Herbstmeister" laurels, but instead underlined their ambition to win the title this season, by buying Olmo and adding some flair to their midfield they perhaps lacked a bit against teams like Union and Frankfurt, lately. Loaning Angelino looks like a logical band-aid to their injury crisis at the back.

Leverkusen also adressed the fact that neither Demirbay nor Amiri look like they can step into Brandt's shoes thus far, as well as signing someone who I guess is supposed to bolster their rather unreliable defense mid to long term? Hopefully he does better than their two previous "expensive" CB acquisitions - Dragovic and Retsos.

Even Schalke seem to have done two sensible transfers within their very limited means, Todibo addressing their CB injury woes with the potential to be a star player for them if he fulfills some of his earlier promise and Gregoritsch looks like a clever loan that addresses their gaping hole in the CF position. If he regains the form he had before Augsburg blocked his summer transfer he could be real help to them.

All of which doesn't exactly bode well for Gladbach, who were already slowing down a bit lately and were the only team among the top 6 stand still during the winter break.
 

GhastlyHun

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Bayern already 2-0 up, continuing our strong start after the winter break.
First Lewa scored, then he was punched in the nuts and Müller poached it.
 

kaiser1

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Is Leipzig unraveling

BmG takes the lead
 

do.ob

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Leipzig are getting eaten alive by Gladbachs pressing and man for man defending all over the pitch. Quite surprising to see them falter like this, given that this isn't an unique approach in Bundesliga. Nagelsmann must must be livid. I wonder what words he will choose after already reacting suprisingly direct to the Frankfurt loss.

I'm not sure I'd call it unraveling (outside of this particular game) though, Leipzig have a good squad and Nagelsmann is an excellent coach, there is a lot of substance underpinning their current season.

Arguably Nagelsmann's lineup has backfired, in taking out Poulsen/Schick. Given how horrendously their midfield gets smothered during build up and overrun during in transitions the extra man isn't exactly doing any wonders. While on the other hand Werner is hanging in thin air and one of the big fellas could be an outlet to bypass Gladbach's pressing, like they are actually doing it to Leipzig time and time again.
 
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Atze-Peng

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A draw or a win for Gladbach would be ideal for the league anyway. Would mean 3 points between top4.
 

do.ob

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A draw or a win for Gladbach would be ideal for the league anyway. Would mean 3 points between top4.
A win for Gladbach would accomplish the same, while putting a firm(er) dent into Leipzig's title ambitions. :drool:
 

kaiser1

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A draw or a win for Gladbach would be ideal for the league anyway. Would mean 3 points between top4.
Leipzig would probably be destroyed next week at Allianz arena by Bayern.

Given how imperious Bayern have been since the restart

Similar to Dortmund last season, its Probably marks the end of Leipzig title challenge and Bayern coasts home
 

kaiser1

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Plea off. 2 yellow cards for dissent

Bizarre
 

do.ob

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This reminds me of the Dortmund:Leipzig fixture this season. Leipzig getting dominated (though not to this extend in Dortmund), going into halftime 2 goals down, then the other team self destructs (2 "own goals" by Dortmund, 1 "own goal and a daft red by Gladbach") and now everyyone will talk about about their great comeback.
 

do.ob

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I mean it's a bit harsh to sent him off immediately, but if you flip off the ref right when he cards you for excessive complaining, then you don't deserve pity for getting a second. Plea is no naive kid anymore either.
 

Blackwidow

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If you are on rank 1 in the league


Tonight and tomorrow are Cup evenings

The most interesting matches should be Frankfurt vs Leipzig today at 17:30 and Schalke vs Berlin and Bremen vs BVB at 19:45. Bayern plays against Hoffenheim tomorrow at 19:45. (times GMT)
 

do.ob

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I may be a bit overeager, but is it time to upgrade Leipzig to Defcon 2 already?
 

Paul_Scholes18

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The break seem to have done Leipzig no good. I thought they would knock Spurs out when we got the draws.
Now I would hold Spurs as favorites even though it will be close.

Hoped for someone other than Bayern to win it, but can't see it anymore.
 

kaiser1

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It might do Leipzig more good to crash out of the DFB pokal