Last week's Bundesliga weekend was full of surprises. Leaders Borussia Dortmund dropped two points at home to Hertha BSC, while in-form Borussia Mönchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt also dropped points. In the week's biggest surprise, high-flying Werder Bremen were hammered 6:2 at home by a resurgent Bayer Leverkusen. Will we see the same this week? Will FC Bayern München climb back to the summit?
As usual, I am going to be predicting the scores for all nine from Friday through to Sunday evening. There is also the competition for this week, which will be on another page. There, you can put your own predictions in the comments section and win 1 SCR if you beat my total score.
Last week, I managed to get one result right on the mark and two other correct outcomes - but the shock results really put a spanner in the predictions. Will I do better this time around?
VfB Stuttgart v Eintracht Frankfurt (Fri.)
Stuttgart have conceded a total of eight goals in their last two matches, and it has not been a great start for new coach Markus Weinzierl. Frankfurt meanwhile slipped up against Nürnberg and managed to snatch a point in the dying minutes.
It is not going to be any better for Weinzierl, who could be out of the door at the Mercedes-Benz Arena as quickly as he arrived. This should be a straightforward three points for Adi Hütter's side.
Prediction: Stuttgart 0:2 Frankfurt
FC Bayern München v SC Freiburg (Sat.)
FC Bayern have hit a series of bum notes for over a month now, but despite this have managed to put together four wins on the bounce. Mid-table Freiburg have fighting qualities that took them to a 3:1 win over high-flying Gladbach in match day nine, but were then knocked out of the cup in midweek by second division Holstein Kiel.
The Bavarians may not be at their best, but they will have more than enough to see off the Christian Streich's team.
Prediction: FC Bayern 3:0 Freiburg
FC Schalke 04 v Hannover 96 (Sat.)
It is hard to gauge the Schalke's form, as they continue to blow hot and cold. A gritty cup win against 1. FC Köln will have given the Gelsenkircheners a much-needed boost, while André Breitenreiter's Hannover have continued to struggle after a decent start to the season.
I am risking this one. Usually when I back Schalke, they lose. But this time I think Domenico Tedesco's side should be able to do enough to take all three points.
Prediction: Schalke 2:0 Hannover
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Sat.)
Every week, there has been the in-form team. Bayern. Dortmund. Gladbach. Frankfurt. This time it is Bayer Leverkusen, who have smashed eleven goals in their last two matches, and not against poor opposition either. While Heiko Herrlich and his team are coming off the back of a stunning 5:0 cup win in Mönchengladbach, Hoffenheim's last outing was a limp two-goal defeat in Leipzig.
This has all the makings of an exciting goal-fest, but that is largely dependent on Julian Nagelsmann's men finding their scoring touch. I am running with the form book here: easy for Leverkusen.
Prediction: Leverkusen 3:1 Hoffenheim
FC Augsburg v 1. FC Nürnberg (Sat.)
Augsburg continue to show that they are one of the grittiest bunch of fighters in the Bundesliga, coming back from behind to earn an extra-time cup win against Mainz. Opponents Nürnberg would beat third-tier Hansa Rostock on penalties in their midweek cup tie, and also earned a creditable draw against Frankfurt in match day nine.
Manuel Baum's FCA will have more than enough to deal with their opponents in this Bavarian derby. 2:0 for the Fuggerstädter.
Prediction: Augsburg 2:0 Nürnberg
VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund (Sat.)
Wolfsburg eased to a 2:0 cup win Hannover in midweek, while league leaders Dortmund had to huff and puff to see off second division Union Berlin, triumphing in the last minute of extra time from the penalty spot.
Lucien Favre's side will be hot favourites, but Bruno Labbadia's Wolves will look to throw everything against their more celebrated opponents. I am throwing my cards on the table and going for a draw here, with four goals shared between the two teams.
Prediction: Wolfsburg 2:2 Dortmund
Hertha BSC v RB Leipzig (Sat.)
This is one of the tougher matches to call this week. Hertha have made a solid start to the season, and are unbeaten at home, and in midweek eased to a 2:0 win over 2. Bundesliga outfit Darmstadt 98. Meanwhile, their opponents from Saxony are unbeaten in nine matches, and snuffed out Hoffenheim 2:0 in their midweek cup match.
Everything is pointing to a draw here between Pál Dárdai and Ralf Rangnick, and looking at recent form a goalless draw is a likely outcome.
Prediction: Hertha 0:0 Leipzig
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Fortuna Düsseldorf (Sun.)
A couple of weeks ago, this would have been a no-brainer. Gladbach were in red-hot form, while Düsseldorf were struggling. The latter are still struggling, but Dieter Hecking's side have since conceded eight goals in their last two matches, including a 0:5 cup-tie hammering at home by the resurgent Bayer Leverkusen.
This is actually a perfect fixture for both sides, more so as it is a local derby. While Gladbach are vulnerable, they could not have had a better opponent to help them stop their mini-rot. Funkel's men are capable of springing a surprise, but Die Fohlen should be able to trot away with all three points.
Prediction: Gladbach 2:0 Düsseldorf
1.FSV Mainz 05 v Werder Bremen (Sun.)
Mainz may still have one of the best defences in the league, but results have not gone their way in recent weeks. Bremen have had a great start to the season, but suffered a 2:6 beating by Bayer Leverkusen last week.
Florian Kohfeldt's Green-Whites had an easy cup win against non-league Flensburg, while Sandro Schwarz's side from the Palatinate lost on after an extra-time struggle in Augsburg. Form, and those extra thirty minutes, may prove to be the difference. Bremen to win by the odd goal in three.
Prediction: Mainz 1:2 Bremen
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