Bundesliga schedule and preview, Week 17: saying goodbye
After this round, Germany goes on holiday, pausing the football for more than a month. So you best watch.
It’s hard to tell you this, friends, but after the final whistle blows in Freiburg on Sunday, we’ll be without Bundesliga action for more than a month. That’s right, the league doesn’t come back until January 30th, when Bayern Munich visit Wolfsburg. Those teams will remain first and second, respectively, but the rest of the table could look quite different by the time the winterpause starts.
And just in case you’ve yet to figure it out, numbers back up the fact that the Bundesliga is the most exciting league in Europe. So why wouldn’t you watch this weekend? Here’s three games on which to focus:
Augsburg vs. M’Gladbach
Well, we know one thing about this match: it won’t be a draw. Ok, it could be a draw, but Augsburg have yet to split the points this season, and we all know Germans are nothing if not sticklers for tradition. They’ve had a bit of a strange year, Augsburg, going from four straight wins to scoring exactly zero over their past two games. Previously third, they’ve now fallen to sixth, but a win over the Foals could put Augsburg back into contention for the Champions League places. It’s unlikely the visitors will make that simple, though. Gladbach thinks it’s about time they can make a hot streak last through an entire season, and who really wants to tell Max Kruse or Christoph Kramer that such a thing isn’t going to happen?
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund
Yes, yes, you’ll either need to make a choice between the Borussias or turn on two screens. But it’s impossible to choose between the two. Mostly because Dortmund’s near-trainwreck of a season is impossible to look away from. Midweek they surrendered the lead twice to Wolfsburg, earning just a point. That means BVB are 16th, in that weird near-relegation zone Germany specializes in. Fortunately for Jürgen Klopp, they play the bottom side this weekend. Werder were just clobbered, 4-1, by Gladbach, and seeing as they so enjoy letting in goals, Dortmund should finally be in for a win. Right?
Hertha BSC vs. Hoffenheim
The hosts may be struggling against the drop, but they provided us with one of the most entertaining games of the midweek round. Hertha were up 3-0 over Eintracht by the 36th minute, yet Alex Meier scored a brace in the dying few minutes of the match to make it a 4-4 draw. With Hoffenheim, so fond of scoring three, four, or even five goals in a match, having failed to score in two of their last three games, they must be dying to knock in a bundle. This could prove quite the festive match.
Bundesliga Schedule, Round 17
Friday, December 19
Saturday, December 20
Augsburg vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (3:30 p.m. CET, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (3:30 p.m. CET, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Schalke 04 vs. Hamburger SV (3:30 p.m. CET, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Stuttgart vs. Paderborn (3:30 p.m. CET, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund (3:30 p.m. CET, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Wolfsburg vs. Köln (6:30 p.m. CET, 12:30 p.m. ET)