Bundesliga Round 24

9 Mar

More of the same in the Bundesliga this weekend. As usual, Dortmund won, and the rest of the top 4 did sod all – with defeats for Bayern Munich, Monchengladbach and Schalke. The lead at the top is now a  surely uncatchable 7 points. What’s that? You’ve seen bigger leads at the top closed before? Well maybe you have, but Dortmund have momentum. The 2-1 home win over Mainz (13th) was their 8th consecutive win, and their 18th league game without defeat. In a 34 game season, that’s a pretty decent run. On the other hand, the chasing 3 have amassed 11 points from a collective 27 available. So it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the title is pretty much sewn up.

And so onto the real reason you’re here – the big game player rankings:

It’s as you were for the goalscorers. Marco Reus has gone three games without scoring, but the consolation for him is that he remains top of the Average Opposition Index, with a ranking of 5.38. He also leads the way for goals against Top 6 with an impressive 10. Stuttgart’s Martin Harnik retains the Flat Track Bully tag, and he was on the scoresheet again at the weekend in an impressive 4-0 away win at 10th placed Hamburg. That’s now a Messi-esque 8 goals in 5 games. Not a bad return, despite being a bully.

The Egyptian Zidan(e)

Another player in terrific form at the moment is FSV Mainz’s Mohamed Zidan. The Egyptian forward won the title with Dortmund last season, but found first team opportunities harder to come by this season. A return to former club Mainz on the last day of the Transfer Window rescued him from the danger of splinters, and the move has worked out well for all. In the 5 games he’s played since re-joining, he’s scored a goal in each game. These goals have been worth 3 points to his team as they’ve climbed the table to 11th. And what’s more, it’s been against decent opposition, with an average ranked opponent per goal of 7th, including Dortmund and Schalke.

One of the other players in the Top Scorers list that did score at the weekend was Arsenal bound Lukas Podolski. If reports are to be believed, he’ll be playing at the Emirates next season, and Arsenal fans have reason for optimism. Providing he’s a partner rather than replacement for Robin van Persie. Despite playing for 14th placed Cologne (in an 18 team league), he’s managed to score 16 goals in just 20 games. And not just that, half of his goals have been against Top 6 teams – and his average ranked opponent per goal is a decent 9.19. On top of the goals, he’s also provided 4 assists, which brings us nicely onto…..Assists!

Good link, I think you’ll agree, but who’s the king of the link up play? Okay, that was a bit laboured, but you get the idea. One of the big surprises I noticed when looking at the assists data, was that the majority of the top creators have more assists than goals. Something that you wouldn’t have expected of Thomas Muller for example, who after a fine World Cup, earned the reputation as a goalscoring midfielder. In reality, this season has seen only 3 goals, but 6 assists (average 13.00). The same is true of the King of Assists – Juan Arango. The Venezuelan could never be described as a household man, but this season has seen the 31 year old chip in with 9 assists. And it’s not just the number of them. You’ll see that he has the best average opponent ranking per assist, with 7.11. He leads the way with assists against the Top 6 teams too, with Schalke and Werder Bremen feeling his creative pinch.

There’s a few familiar names in the list, with Claudio Pizarro, Robert Lewandowski and Franck Ribery all present. One name that might catch the eye of Chelsea fans is Gokhan Tore. The 20 year old left Chelsea in the Summer to join Hamurg. Although he didn’t trouble many opposition keepers with goals (0), he has created 6 goals in just 16 games in what is his first season as a pro.

Prediction Corner:

After getting just one right in the Serie A predictions last week, I need one correct prediction to at least have a score each week. And so on to this weekend’s fixtures:

  1. Mohammed Abdellaoue to score against Top 6 Werder Bremen. The Norwegian marksman has an average opposition of 7.00, and has 5 goals against Top 6 opponent’s so far. Although, they’ve all been at home.
  2. Ribery’s average of 9.80 should put him in good position to score against 10th placed Hoffenheim.
  3.  Werder Bremen specialise in beating mid table opposition (7 of 10 wins), so they should be favourites to beat Hannover at home. Hannover have 2 wins against Top 6 opponents, but they were both at home (Munich and Bremen). Pizarro is the most likely scorer.
  4. Mario Gomez to continue his goals scoring against very average teams. He has 11 versus the mid table opposition, so 10th placed Hoffenheim fit the bill. Huntelaar would have been a shoe in for Schalke against Hamburg, but he’s still feeling the effects of the grass last week.
  5. Dortmund to win – they beat everyone anyway.

That’s all for this week. I hope to have a feature up after the weekend.

Cheers,

Liam

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