Schalke 04 plot to become the first Bundesliga side to beat Borussia Dortmund this season and extend the German league leaders’ recent misery in Gelsenkirchen in Saturday’s Ruhr derby.
This is the first time in six years Dortmund go into the derby top of the table, but they last won at the Veltins Arena half a decade ago.
A gulf of 19 points and 12 places in the table separates the clubs, who are only 33kms (20miles) apart, but Schalke are itching to get one over their high-flying neighbours and bitter rivals.
“Since Monday, the pulse of the derby beats in the region. Everyone is talking about it,” Manuel Neukirchner, director of the German Football museum in Dortmund, said.
“Here, you can’t be neutral. Various Betting options are available on Site
“It reminds me a bit of the Beatles and Rolling Stones in the 1960s – you have to support one or the other.” Continue reading “Schalke are ready to add more to Dortmund’s recent derby misery”
Dortmund sit top of the Bundesliga table, four points ahead of Bayern, and looked much improved this season under new manager Lucien Favre. They are unbeaten at the Signal-Iduna-Park this season in all competitions and have scored three or more goals in six of their seven home games in the Bundesliga and Champions League.
Bayern Munich has endured a rough start under new manager Niko Kovac and their rather old and thin squad seems past their peak, with younger players like Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Thiago out injured. They have picked up positive results returned since mid-October, but they are not performing to their best, illustrated by several narrow wins against lesser sides.
Dortmund has a huge chance to extend the gap between themselves and Bayern to seven points here and the 2-0 Champions League defeat at Atletico in midweek might have served as a timely wake-up call. Their impressive home form against strong opposition and the relentless support from their crowd could carry them to another victory here and set the ground for a tense title race this season.
Borussia Dortmund- Dan-Axel Zagadou and Ömer Toprak compete for a spot at centre-back.
Raphael Guerreiro could get a chance on the left flank, with Christian Pulisic not in his best form and Jadon Sancho possibly switching to the right.
Mario Gotze and Jacob Bruun Larsen offer further alternatives in attacking positions. Continue reading “Bundesliga Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich”
Champions Bayern Munich are unusual with their backs to the wall as they travel to Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, with coach Niko Kovac quickly running out of time.
The Bavarians, who have won the last six league titles in dominant fashion, have been far from impressive this season, lying in third place on 20 points, four off leaders Dortmund.
Their nervous 2-0 win over minnows AEK Athens in the Champions League on Wednesday may have edged them closer to the knockout stage but it was further proof of their dip in form and their laborious style of play under the Croat.
“We know we need to improve for the match in Dortmund,” Kovac told reporters. “At the moment we are missing fluency and lightness in our game.
“We currently seem to have to earn everything with a lot of hard work. Obviously, it is Dortmund who are the favourites as they also play at home. We just need to look at the table and that clearly says four points difference.”
Kovac, in his first season in charge, has so far failed to make the most of his squad’s depth of talent as they struggle for form amid reportedly growing dissent in the changing rooms. Continue reading “Bayern under pressure to deliver ahead of Dortmund clash”
After having lost their opening three matches, Leverkusen got back on track with back-to-back wins in recent days. They could make a huge step forward with a further result against BVB.
Dortmund are full of confidence after a 7-0 win against Nürnberg on Wednesday, which saw them move up to the second spot. They are yet to win away from home, however and will meet a dangerous Leverkusen side here.
Expect this to be an open game from the outset with several chances at both ends of the pitch. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Bayer Leverkusen- Mitchell Weiser could rotate back in at right-back, with Tin Jedvaj probably dropping to the bench.
Julian Brandt should return to the starting XI as well, with Issac Kiese Thelin expected to drop to the bench and Kevin Volland possibly switching to the position up front. Continue reading “Bundesliga Match Preview: Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund”
Germany captain Manuel Neuer has denied that Mesut Ozil was the victim of racism within the German FA (DFB), but admitted the fiasco has taken a toll on the players.
Having been booed by German fans in pre-World Cup friendlies, Ozil quit the national team following Germany’s shock early exit from the finals in Russia and with his parting shot he accused DFB president Reinhard Grindel of racism.
“We’ve always tried to integrate all the players and we’ve also done everything for our teammates to make them feel good going into games,” said Neuer at Bayern’s pre-season training camp in southern Bavaria.
Continue reading “Germany captain Manuel Neuer denies Ozil’s claims of racism”
Bayern Munich’s star striker Robert Lewandowski wants to leave the Bundesliga club this summer to seek “a new challenge”, his agent said on Wednesday.
“Robert feels that he needs a change and a new challenge in his career,” Pini Zahavi told the weekly.
“The managers of Bayern know about it.” Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Lewandowski, 29, whose Bayern contract runs until 2021, has been linked with Real Madrid while Qatari-backed Paris Saint-Germain and Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United are also understood to be interested.
He was the Bundesliga’s top scorer in the just-completed season with 29 goals.
Continue reading “Lewandowski might move to Real Madrid”
Thomas Mueller shone as Bayern Munich romped to a 6-2 semifinal win at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday to reach the German Cup final and keep their treble dreams alive.
Leverkusen are up to third in the Bundesliga, but trail champions Bayern by a massive 24 points and the gulf in the league table showed up clearly in this semifinal.
“We were very effective and the team worked really well together,” beamed Mueller after Bayern’s masterclass in attacking football. NaijaBet
“We really deserved it, the team performance was great.
“Of course we want more (titles), we can feel that something is possible this season,” he added as Bayern eye winning the Cup for the 19th time in the club’s history.
Mueller, the man of the match, scored twice and helped set up the visitors’ first goal for Javi Martinez after only three minutes.
Robert Lewandowski added a second, his 36th goal in 40 games this season, when left unmarked in the area as Munich raced into a 2-0 lead after just nine minutes at the BayArena in Leverkusen. Continue reading “Bayern Keeps treble hope alive, crush Leverkusen to reach final”
Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng says his departure from Schalke felt “like a punch in the face” with the clubs to clash in Wednesday’s German Cup semifinal.
Boateng, 31, still carries bad memories after being released by Schalke in December 2015, six months after he was suspended over a “lack of mutual trust”, as the club put it. Latest cup Odds are Available on Site
Boateng did not see eye-to-eye with Schalke’s then-coach Roberto Di Matteo.
Now he has the chance to avenge his departure with a win at Gelsenkirchen in Wednesday’s semi.
“It’s the place I have thought the most about – it was like a punch in the face,” he said.
“It showed me the reality that everything is wonderful when it runs smoothly. And if not, you will be dropped. Continue reading “Boateng eyes revenge against Schalke in German Cup semifinal”
With Manuel Neuer still sidelined, Sven Ulreich is relishing his time in the spotlight as Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper as he prepares for Wednesday’s Champions League quarterfinal return leg.
Ulreich found himself suddenly elevated to the club’s first-choice role in September when World Cup winner Neuer fractured his foot in training.
The 29-year-old will once more be between the posts against Sevilla at Munich’s sold-out Allianz Arena with the Germans on the verge of another Champions League semifinal. Latest betting odd on Naijabet
Bayern hold a 2-1 advantage and are bidding to reach the last four for the seventh time in nine seasons.
While the likes of Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski are used to playing regularly in the knockout stages of European competition, it is a novelty for Ulreich.
“Seville was a super experience, it was a good match. I was really happy to be able to play a quarterfinal of the Champions League,” he said. Continue reading “Bayern keeper Ulreich ready to shine”
A sixth successive Bundesliga title is just a matter of time for Bayern Munich, but their search for a coach to take over next season is proving far more complicated for the Bavarians.
With a massive 17-point lead, Bayern can wrap up the title with five games to spare if they win at midtable Augsburg on Saturday or if second-placed Schalke fail to beat Hamburg SV away.
Bayern have proved unstoppable since 72-year-old Jupp Heynckes, who led them to a league, cup and Champions League treble in 2013, was lured out of retirement in October to replace the sacked Carlo Ancelotti. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Under Heynckes, Bayern have won 18 out of 21 Bundesliga games, seven successive Champions League matches and reached the German Cup semifinals but, despite everything, the club could not persuade him to extend his fourth stint.
“I discussed it all with my wife and daughter because it wasn’t easy giving everything up at home at my age,” said Heynckes who is living in a Munich hotel.
“You come back to an empty hotel room in the evening, which isn’t fun. Most of the time I just go to bed because I’m tired.” Continue reading “Bayern search for coach goes on,Heynckes want to rest”
Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman has undergone ankle surgery and is expected to be out for “several weeks”, the runaway Bundesliga leaders confirmed on Monday.
The French international ruptured a ligament in his left ankle in Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Hertha Berlin.
Bayern have only said Coman will be out for “several weeks”. Play bet on today games NaijaBet
However, French sports daily L’Equipe claim he could miss at least two months, potentially hindering his chances of playing at June’s World Cup in Russia.
Coman, a second-half substitute against Hertha, had to stay on the pitch after suffering the injury in a challenge with Mathew Leckie because Bayern had already made their three substitutions. Continue reading “Coman injury is a big blow to Bayern”
Kevin-Prince Boateng fired Eintracht Frankfurt to a 2-1 victory over RB Leipzig on Monday in a game overshadowed by protests against the introduction of Monday fixtures in the Bundesliga.
Frankfurt turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in the space of four minutes in the first half, securing victory over their top six rivals and climbing to third in the table.
“We want to stay up at the top,” Boateng said. “If we get to Europe, it will have been an incredible season.” Tonight’s Champions League games are available on Naija and Bet
Having started the weekend in second, Leipzig dropped to fifth.
The game was the first of five Monday fixtures to be scheduled this season, a development which has invited fierce criticism from fan groups across Germany. Continue reading “Boateng fires Frankfurt to victory in first Bundesliga monday fixtures”
Borussia Dortmund’s prolific Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has extended his contract with the club until 2021, German media reported on Sunday.
The 28-year-old finished as the leading scorer in the Bundesliga last season with 31 goals, one ahead of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, and he has netted 13 times in 15 matches this term. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet.com
His previous deal was due to run until June 2020. Kicker magazine said Aubameyang’s extension included an increase in his salary.
Aubameyang, who was born in France, joined Dortmund in 2013 from Saint-Etienne.
Hoffenheim had high expectations at the start of the season as they prepared to competed in the Champions League qualifying round for the first time.
Four months on and Julian Nagelsmann’s team has long bid farewell to Europe’s top club competition and is also out of the second-tier Europa League after a disappointing campaign. Place Bet on today’s games on NaijaBet.com
Following a good start to the season they struggled to replicate last year’s winning form that saw them finish in fourth place, their best finish ever.
A string of injuries and, for European first-timers Hoffenheim, an unusually busy match schedule looked to have taken its toll on the players.
But last week’s 4-0 demolition of second-placed RB Leipzig, including a sensational long-range strike by Serge Gnabry, lifted Hoffenheim to fifth and looks to have given them renewed hope as they prepare to face Hanover 96 on Sunday. Continue reading “Hoffenheim eyes to start winning run”
Bayer Leverkusen will be expected to stretch their eight-game unbeaten Bundesliga run on Saturday when they host an out-of-form Borussia Dortmund, whose coach Peter Bosz is likely to face the axe with another defeat.
Leverkusen have four wins and as many draws in their last eight league matches, a run that has enabled them to quietly climb the table up into sixth place on 20 points, one behind a free-falling Dortmund.
The team, coached by former Dortmund stalwart Heiko Herrlich, have gradually grown in confidence after a slow start to the campaign, with striker Kevin Volland netting in all three matches in November to take his league tally to eight. NaijaBet.com
Germany international Volland, who scored just six league goals last season, does not need any extra motivation to perform as he battles to earn a place in the squad for next year’s World Cup in Russia. Continue reading “Leverkusen ready to punish wounded Dortmund”
Jupp Heynckes said he enjoyed seeing Thomas Mueller return to form as Bayern Munich got their Champions League campaign back on track with a 3-0 home win against Celtic.
Bayern captain Mueller put the hosts ahead after 17 minutes before goals by Joshua Kimmich and Mats Hummels sealed the victory on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena.
The result leaves Bayern second in Group B on six points, three behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain and three clear of third-placed Celtic.
It was an important result for Bayern in the wake of their 3-0 drubbing in Paris three weeks ago, which led to Carlo Ancelotti’s dismissal.
Heynckes, 72, came out of a four-year retirement for his fourth stint as Bayern coach to replace Ancelotti. Latest Europa League Odds NaijaBet
He restored Mueller to his preferred attacking midfield role, allowing him to happily roam just behind Robert Lewandowski, with Thiago Alcantara dropping into a deeper position. Continue reading “Heynckes happy with Mueller current form”
With their Champions League days already numbered, Borussia Dortmund will be keen to return to domestic duties and seek to protect their lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Dortmund had taken the Bundesliga by storm with six wins from their first seven matches before suffering their first loss of the season, to RB Leipzig, last week.
Their midweek 1-1 draw at Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League felt like another defeat and the 2013 finalists have now taken just one point from their first three group matches, leaving them staring at an early exit.
Dortmund’s exciting brand of attacking football has created something of a feel-good atmosphere at the club but another slip-up in Frankfurt might see that evaporate completely. Naija and Bet
“We have to show a reaction now and instantly focus on the Bundesliga,” defender Marcel Schmelzer told reporters. “We are in a good position there and apart from the Leipzig game we have been getting results.” Continue reading “Dortmund eyes quick rebound from UCL woes”
Bayern Munich have “no more excuses”, interim captain Thomas Mueller said after veteran German coach Jupp Heynckes took over as manager of the Bundesliga champions.
Heynckes, 72, came out of retirement to take charge of the squad – his fourth stint with Bayern – when Carlo Ancelotti was sacked after a stinging 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
“A change of coach always releases energy, and I think we, the players, must now give a lot of ourselves. There are no more excuses,” said Mueller, at the Ingolstadt headquarters of Audi, a major sponsor of the club. Naija and Bet
“The sacred fire is still there with Jupp Heynckes, he has given off a lot of energy since Monday with his team of coaches,” the striker added.
Heynckes has reunited the coaching team which in 2013 helped steer Bayern to win the only ever treble of the Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup titles. Continue reading ““Bayern have no more excuses” – Thomas Mueller”
Bayern Munich are continuing their search for a new manager after dispensing with the services of Carlo Ancelotti with Willy Sagnol in temporary charge of the reigning Bundesliga champions.
Bild reported on Tuesday that the Bundesliga giants could turn to a familiar face in the form of Louis van Gaal, who was in charge of the club between 2009 and 2011, winning a league and cup double in 2009-10 and taking Bayern to the Champions League final. Place Bet on Today’s Matches on NaijaBet.com.
Van Gaal’s last job, at Manchester United, came to an end last summer despite the 66-year-old leading the side to an FA Cup triumph.
If he is asked to return to Bayern Munich he will follow in the footsteps of several managers who have led the Bavarian outfit on more than one occasion such as Udo Lattek, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Giovanni Trapattoni.
However, Van Gaal is not the only candidate in the frame for the vacancy at the Allianz Arena with former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel installed as the bookies’ favourite for the post.
Franck Ribery still sees himself as being on the level occupied by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, according to former Bayern Munich star Markus Babbel.
Babbel has slammed Ribery, who is out injured after suffering a serious knee ligament injury against Hertha Berlin on Sunday, in the wake of Carlo Ancelotti’s sacking as Bayern head coach. Place Bet on Today’s Matches on NaijaBet.com.
Ancelotti was removed from his position last week after a 3-0 Champions League defeat away to ex employers Paris Saint-Germain, in which he left big names like Ribery and Arjen Robben on the substitutes’ bench. Continue reading “Ribery thinks he is like Ronaldo, Messi-Babbel”
Carlo Ancelotti said he will not make a quick return to coaching and refused to talk about his Bayern Munich sacking when interviewed at a charity match in Jerusalem.
The Italian was dismissed by Bayern last week after losing the support of the dressing room.
“I will not coach for the next ten months. I will have a break,” he claimed, having been linked with a move to Milan if Montella was shown the door. Place Bet on Today’s Matches on NaijaBet.com.
On his departure from Bayern he added: “I prefer to say nothing.”
James Rodriguez scored his first Bundesliga goal on Tuesday to help Bayern Munich top the table for the first time this season following a 3-0 win at Schalke 04.
The Colombian was involved in all three goals after winning the penalty which Robert Lewandowski converted for the opening goal before his deft chip saw Arturo Vidal fire home.
After five games, the victory in Gelsenkirchen put defending champions Bayern top for the first time this season, but Borussia Dortmund can regain the lead if they win at Hamburg on Wednesday.
The away win was a boost for Bayern who confirmed Tuesday that goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer had undergone another operation on his left foot and is out until January. Place Bet on Today’s Matches on NaijaBet.com
Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti rotated the squad with James on the right wing as one of six changes from the side which beat Mainz 4-0 on Saturday. Continue reading “James on target as Bayern top Bundesliga”
Bayern, as always, are heavy favourites to win the Bundesliga and have added significant depth to their already strong squad.
It remains to be seen though, if manager Carlo Ancelotti’s side are able to compensate for the losses of Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso, who both retired this summer, to make another strong Champions League run.
Leverkusen want to get back on track after a disappointing season. New manager Heiko Herrlich is expected to improve the talented team’s mentality together with new signing Sven Bender, but it remains to be seen if this is enough for the club to reach the desired top-six spot at the end of the campaign.
Expect Bayern to try to dominate this game from the outset and make a first statement at home. NaijaBet
Bayern Munich – Sven Ulreich will start in goal as Carlo Ancelotti does not want to risk Manuel Neuer just yet.
New signing Niklas Süle should start at centre-back, with Jérôme Boateng and Javi Martínez both out.
Continue reading “Match Preview : Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen”
After a season that promised so much, Bayern Munich have been sent packing from two Cup competitions in the space of eight days and Carlo Ancelotti’s side are determined to take a step closer to the league title when they travel to VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday.
A Bayern win combined with defeat for second-placed RB Leipzig against relegation candidates Ingolstadt would give them an unassailable 11-point lead with three games remaining.
After crashing out of the Champions League quarterfinals to Real Madrid and then losing to Borussia Dortmund in Wednesday’s German Cup last four, the feel-good factor from Ancelotti’s first season in charge has largely dissipated.
Bayern are without a win in their last five matches in all competitions.
They have drawn their last two league games and won just one of their last four, seeing a 13-point lead a few weeks ago shrink to eight with four games left. NaijaBet.com
“After wasting our chances against Dortmund and having gone out of the Cup we want to make sure of an early Bundesliga title with a win at Wolfsburg,” Bayern defender Mats Hummels said. Continue reading “Bayern ready to secure Bundesliga title”
Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has announced he will retire from professional football at the end of the season.
The 35-year-old confirmed the news, which had been rumoured for the last two months, on social media on Thursday morning. NaijaBet
Alonso came through the ranks at Real Sociedad before joining Liverpool in 2004, where his first season culminated in the miraculous Istanbul comeback against AC Milan that secured a Champions League trophy.
He also won an FA Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and a Community Shield with the Reds and was at Anfield until 2009, when he moved on to Real Madrid,
More silverware, including a second Champions League and a La Liga title, came while he was at the Bernabeu. Continue reading “Xabi Alonso set to retire at end of the season”