With four weeks to go until the winter break, things continue to bubble along nicely in the Bundesliga. Leaders Dortmund are clear of the chasing pack, but are up against local rivals Schalke 04 in the Ruhr derby, while defending champions FC Bayern München will be looking to get their scoring boots going in their Bavarian derby against 1. FC Nürnberg. Where will we see the surprises in week fourteen?
As usual, I am going to be predicting the scores for all nine matches from Friday through to Sunday evening. There is also the competition for this week, which you can find here. There, you can put your own predictions in the comments section and win 1 SCR if you beat my total score.
Werder Bremen v Fortuna Düsseldorf (Fri.)
Having gone unbeaten for close to a year, Werder Bremen have lost their last three home matches, leaving them in chasing the pack in the middle of the table. They will have ther perfect opportunity to stop their slide against bottom side Düsseldorf, who are yet to win on the road.
If things go to form, Bremen should get things going again, but we all know what happened in Munich, and what Friedhelm Funkel's Fortuna are capable of. I will stick with form this time, with Bremen taking all three points.
Prediction: Bremen 2:0 Düsseldorf
FC Bayern München v 1.FC Nürnberg (Sat.)
The defending champions secured their first win in four matches last week, and will be looking to press on the accelerator pedal against Bavarian rivals Nürnberg.
Michael Köllner's side have leaked plenty of goals this season, and the time is surely right for Niko Kovač's men to get their season going. Der Club are without a win on the road, and that is not likely to change - even against a Bayern team that has not won a league match at the Allianz Arena since September.
Prediction: FC Bayern 4:0 Nürnberg
FC Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund (Sat.)
One of the classic encounters - the Ruhr derby pits an improving Schalke 04 side against the runaway league leaders Dortmund. This fixture always throws up some exciting encounters, and this will be no different.
Dortmund are the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga, but this record will surely come under threat with Lucien Favre's men travel to the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen this weekend. There will be goals, with the home side taking the points. Expect it to take plenty of twists and turns.
Prediction: Schalke 3:2 Dortmund
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Augsburg (Sat.)
Bayer Leverkusen continue to be inconsistent, and will have their work cut out against the always combative FC Augsburg. Heiko Herrlich's men only managed a draw last week against struggling Nürnberg, while Manuel Baum's Augsburg side were a little unlucky to fall by the single goal in Stuttgart.
If the real Leverkusen decide to turn up, this could be an easy win for Herrlich's men. But they won't. The Werkself will slip up again, and FCA will make their way back to Bavaria with a precious point.
Prediction: Leverkusen 1:1 Augsburg
SC Freiburg v RB Leipzig (Sat.)
Christian Streich's Freiburg side have turned out some solid performances, but will be right up against it when they take on third-placed Leipzig. Ralf Rangnick's side got their campaign back on track with a 2:0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach, and will be looking to consolidate their place in the top three.
Freiburg will have solid support from their enthusiastic home crowd, but their opponents will have just too much in the locker. Leipzig to take it by the odd goal in three.
Prediction: Freiburg 1:2 Leipzig
VfL Wolfsburg v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Sat.)
Wolfsburg are one of the form teams right now - at least as far as results are concerned. After broken Leipzig's long unbeaten record two weeks ago, they pulled off the trick again in Frankfurt, registering a 2:1 victory. Bruno Labbadia's men are back up to eighth place, and will be hoping to be knocking on the door of the European slots by the winter break.
Hoffenheim have been far from consistent, but have managed to work their way into the top six. On paper, Julian Nagelsmann's men have the edge. But I can see Wolfsburg nicking this one.
Prediction: Wolfsburg 2:1 Hoffenheim
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt (Sat.)
This promises to be a well-contested match, with seventh-placed Hertha hosting fifth-placed Frankfurt. Frankfurt's excellent run came to an end in Wolfsburg last week, while Pál Dárdai's Berliners continued to plug away with a 1:1 draw in Gelsenkirchen against Schalke 04.
Adi Hütter's side are always a good bet to score goals, and Hertha have suffered just he one defeat at the Olympiastadion this season. Expect some goals as both teams share the spoils.
Prediction: Hertha 2:2 Frankfurt
1.FSV Mainz 05 v Hannover 96 (Sun.)
Mainz have only scored a dozen goals in their thirteen matches this season, but their having the third-best defence in the league has allowed them to establish themselves in the middle of the table. Opponents Hannover, meanwhile, continue to struggle.
The Bundesliga has produced some surprise results this season, but I cannot see this one going against the form book. An easy win for Sandro Schwarz's side, as they keep another clean sheet.
Prediction: Mainz 2:0 Hannover
Borussia Mönchengladbach v VfB Stuttgart (Sun.)
The final match of the weekend sees second-placed Gladbach take on Stuttgart, who crawled away from the bottom of the table last week. Having suffered a setback in Leipzig, high-flying Gladbach will be looking to consolidate their place in the top four, and will have too much firepower for a Stuttgart team that has struggled from the start.
Stuttgart coach Markus Weinzierl may have left his horrible start behind him, but it is hard to see his team taking anything from this match. Dieter Hecking's side to take the points, and pretty comfortably too.
Prediction: Gladbach 2:0 Stuttgart
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