Bundesliga Round 28

2 Apr

From the Bundesliga Round 24 update, I confidently predicted “The lead at the top is now a  surely uncatchable 7 points“. I’d like to take this opportunity to completely back track and suggest that there’s still life in the title race after all. I apologise to everyone involved, and it won’t happen again. Probably.

Dortmund continued their attempts at matching Munich’s recent cavalier attacking play, scoring 4 goals this week after 6 the previous time out. The difference this time is that their previously water tight defence, started to leak. In a Friday Night Thriller that was great for the neutral but not for the league leaders, 8th placed Stuttgart grabbed an unlikely 4-4 draw against the league’s form team. In a topsy turvy game, Dortmund were 2-0 up, 3-2 down, 4-3 up, and then in the very last minute, level at 4-4 after Christian Genter popped up with the equaliser. It was then up to Munich to show their bottle for the fight on Saturday with an away game at 10th placed Nurenburg. And they were up to it. Arjen Robben (10.27) continued his phenomenal form with his 6th goal in 4 games, and his 11th league goal of the season. After their 4th successive win, the gap at the top is now just 3 points, with the top of the table clash taking place next Wednesday in Dortmund. Munich have the best goal difference (47 to 42), and adding insult to injury, they’ve taken the best defence title off them. Dortmund, however do have the home advantage in what promises to be a fascinating game.

Robben’s 11 goals from midfield along with Frank Ribery’s 11, highlight the importance of goalscoring midfielders. However, it’s Shinji Kagawa who currently leads the goal trail from midfield with 12. He once again hit the back of the net (with the ball) in the 4-4 draw, with the opener. This goal against 8th placed opposition increases his average opposition ranking to 10.17, but more importantly for Dortmund, his goals have been worth 10 points to his team, compared to Robben’s 2 and Ribery’s 4.

Elsewhere, previously doomed FC Augsburg continued to show why they’re 7th in the Form League with a massive 2-1 against Lukas Podolski’s Cologne. I know what you’re thinking, 2-1 isn’t a massive win? However it is when you’re in the relegation zone, and a point behind your opponents. As a result of their sixth game without defeat (3 wins/3 draws), against an average of 9th place, Augsburg have moved into 14th place, whilst Cologne are now in the bottom three, despite Podolski’s 17th league goal of the season. Worrying times ahead for Cologne, who look set to lose their star player and their Bundesliga status if this form continues – that’s now 3 defeats in a row.

Wolfsburg continued their fine recent form, notching up their 4th consecutive win, this time away against 17th placed Hertha Berlin. The main driver behind this recent good form that’s seen them cement a top half position (9th) has been the form of Croatian Mario Mandzukic. The big striker has scored in each of his last 3 games, including the 3rd in Saturday’s 4-1 win. That was his 11th of the season in which his average opponent per goal has been ranked at a nice round 10.

Leading the way once more in terms of the Big Game Player is Marco Reus (5.80). His Monchengladbach team lost to 2-1 to 7th placed Hannover. Reus didn’t score as they were too lowly ranked, and he has his eyes on the Big Game Player award. Can’t blame him really. He also leads the way with goals against the Top 6, hitting 10, to Podolski’s 9. The difference being Reus has done it in a top 4 team, whereas Podolski (9.53) is currently playing in a bottom 3 team.

The Flat Track Bully continues to be Martin Harnik with a average ranked opponent of 14.29 per goal. Mario Gomez is also worth a mention here, with 23 league goals, but none against Top 6 opposition. Klaas Jan Huntelaar has the most against the bottom teams, with a whopping 11, and he was on the scoresheet again at the weekend, as Schalke drew 1-1 against 12th placed Hoffenheim.

Most important to the team? Despite not looking at this measurement since round 25, not much have changed at the top, with Abdellaoue still leading the way for points won:

As mentioned earlier, Shinji Kagawa’s been pretty efficient with his goals, picking up 10 points from his 12 goals. Top scorers Huntelaar and Gomez have 46 goals between them, but just 19 points, though that’s better than Podolski’s 5 points from 17 goals (mainly because they lost). Flat Track Bully Martin Harnik has a return of 0.5 points per goal. Not too bad. The most goals without yielding any points is another Shinji (not often you say that), this time Stuttgart’s Okazaki. His 7 goals have been worth diddly squat – all coming in comfortable wins or defeats.

That’s all for now, Serie A and Premier League to follow shortly.

Cheers,

Liam

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