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Bundesliga preview, schedule, predictions: Week 27

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The Bundesliga schedule for Week 27 has plenty to like, headlined by a Berlin Derby on Friday and a trio of entertaining games on Saturday, and remember here’s how to get all of the action on TV, online and via our analysis.

[ MORE: Bundesliga latest news ] 

Sunday brings must-win matches for Schalke, Koln, and RB Leipzig if they want to keep an ability to meet their season goals. The Bundesliga schedule this weekend will be essential viewing on your TV.

There’s a lot to like here.

The Bundesliga announced the remaining schedule for the rest of the season on Wednesday so you can plan time in front of the TV with a bratwurst and a beer with plenty of mouthwatering games coming up. Our lead writer Joe Prince-Wright has five players to watch this weekend here.

Let’s move on to the predictions.

Friday

Hertha Berlin v. Union Berlin — 2:30 p.m. ET

November’s meeting at Union was the first top flight meeting between the two and the first top flight Berlin Derby in 40 years, with Sebastian Polter converting a penalty for the game’s lone goal in Union’s 1-0 win.

That loss came in the middle of a seven-match winless run for Hertha, who is now ahead of Union in the standings for the first time in months after a win over Hoffenheim coupled with Union’s loss to Bayern.

So there’s a lot at stake here with two rivals one point and two goals of differential apart on the table. Hertha was ornery against Hoffenheim and Union won’t blink at that. Both teams are going to grind, and it’s hard to separate them. We’ll go with a 1-1 draw.

Also a fun USMNT note: Union right back Julian Ryerson is USMNT eligible. The 22-year-old has been capped at youth levels by Norway but could potentially represent the U.S. if he filed a one-time switch. He scored seven goals with three assists as a center mid and right back at Viking in Norway.

Ryerson joined Union in 2018 and has made 23 appearances over two years including 11 Bundesliga matches this season, registering an assist in a November win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores ]  

Berlin Derby
Sebastian Andersson of Union Berlin and Dedryck Boyata of Hertha Berlin (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Saturday

Wolfsburg v. Borussia Dortmund — 9:30 a.m. ET

One of three beauties on the day and two in the 9:30 window sees Dortmund’s incredible attack visit a Wolfsburg side which has risen into sixth place and a Europa League spot. Complicating lineup selection is Dortmund’s Tuesday Der Klassiker date with Bayern. It has all the makings of a trap game, but this Dortmund team has won five-straight and eight of nine in league play. John Brooks and Wolfsburg would love to put an end to the fine form, but we see Dortmund winning 3-1.

Borussia Monchengladbach v. Bayer Leverkusen — 9:30 a.m. ET

You’ll expect a great game from two sides still harboring hopes of an elusive Bundesliga crown, as both can score goals but also are equally stingy. Marcus Thuram and Kai Havertz are both big time playmakers with tremendous playmakers around them. It’s a test for defenders and keepers, and there will be some failures along the way. Call it 2-2.

Freiburg v. Werder Bremen — 9:30 a.m. ET

Freiburg is a grind-it-out team who is difficult to break down but capable of finding the back of the net. Bremen doesn’t score and doesn’t defend. Will it find the pluck to deliver away from home? Freiburg wins 1-0.

Paderborn v. Hoffenheim — 9:30 a.m. ET

The hosts’ draw at Fortuna last week was its first point snapped a three-match losing streak, but Paderborn is still on a seven-match losing streak and is living with fears of probable relegation. Hoffenheim was embarrassed in a 3-0 loss to Hertha, but did generate some chances. Still, Hoffenheim 2-0.

Bayern Munich v. Eintracht Frankfurt — 12:30 p.m. ET

This Eintracht side has been outscored 13-2 in its last four matches, the latest a 3-1 home setback against Gladbach. It’s just not their year, and Bayern shouldn’t have much trouble in its return to the Allianz Arena. 3-0 Bayern.

Bundesliga
(Photo by Tom Weller/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Sunday

Schalke v. Augsburg — 7:30 a.m. ET

Schalke’s winless in eight, having scored just twice in those contests. Augsburg hasn’t kept a clean sheet since 2019. We’ll tip the hosts to defy form in a 2-0 Schalke win.

Mainz v. RB Leipzig — 9:30 a.m. ET

The hosts showed mettle in battling back for a 2-2 draw at Koln, but it’s a scorned and sour Leipzig coming to town after a surprising draw with Freiburg. Mainz can’t follow the same playbook, so Leipzig win 3-0.

Koln v. Fortuna Dusseldorf — Noon p.m. ET

Fortuna need goals and wins, and this one gives it a chance for both. But Koln is at home, even in a ghost game, and it feels likely it has enough to out-produce its relegation-threatened visitors. Koln 2-1.

Mainz comes back to draw Koln; Liverpool loanee plays super sub

Koln v. Mainz recap and video highlights
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Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi helped spearhead a comeback as Mainz drew Koln 2-2 to leave the Mungersdorfer Stadium with a point on Sunday behind closed doors.

Mark Uth’s well-won first-half penalty gave the hosts an early start and Florian Kainz scored early in the second half to give the Billy Goats welcome breathing room.

But Mainz leveled the score line with two very nice goals. Super sub Awoniyi used a sweeping back leg flick to bring the visitors within one, and Pierre Kunde sliced through the Koln back line to make it 2-2 in the 72nd minute.

Mainz moves four points clear of the bottom three and nine away from the automatic relegation places (though 17th place Werder Bremen has two matches-in-hand).

Koln stays 10th, six points back of sixth-place Wolfsburg.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores ] 

Uth earned his penalty with an incisive run and deft flick before being fouled by a fooled defender. He smashed his penalty home after a VAR review for offside.

Dominic Drexler’s 53rd-minute spinning cross to the back post was met by Kainz’s powerful diving header to double the advantage for Koln.

Mainz came back with those two clever goals, including Awoniyi’s in-tight trickery. It’s the 22-year-old’s first Bundesliga goal, and comes with parent club boss Jurgen Klopp’s former club. Awoniyi has been loaned to FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Royal Excel Mouscron (twice), Gent, and now Mainz.

There was also a new phenomenon for most if not all of us, an odd sound identified by our own Joe Prince-Wright.

If you’re new to Germany’s top-flight, here’s a guide to help you pick a club to support.

You can check out the full schedulestandings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk with analysis, reaction and more.

LIVE, Bundesliga: Koln v. Mainz before Bayern Munich visits Berlin

Bayern Munich match
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There are two more Bundesliga matches Sunday, as the German top-flight continues to take center stage in the soccer world.

The 2019-20 season restart saw six matches take place Saturday, with a Revierderby blowout and a Gladbach warning shot to its fellow titles chasers. Here are the thoughts of our editor Joe Prince-Wright on the first day of sometimes eerie, sometimes electric entertainment.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores ] 

The Billy Goats of Koln host Mainz at 9:30 a.m. ET before eight-time title-defending Bayern Munich takes the stage at Noon against hungry and surprising Union Berlin.

The only thing you’d feel comfortable betting on in Koln is goals as the 10th-place Billy Goats and 15th-place 05ers have struggled to keep clean sheets this season.

As for Bayern’s trip to Berlin, Union has beaten Dortmund and Gladbach at home this season, and the underdog battlers will hope to catch the leaders rusty. Bayern entered the coronavirus pause on a 11-match unbeaten league run with 10 wins, winning their three other games across all competitions and boasting a 46-9 combined score line. It’s a tall ask for Union.

Matchweek 26 in the Bundesliga will of course see games played in empty stadiums, which is the plan for the rest of the season and beyond. If you’re new to Germany’s top-flight, here’s a guide to help you pick a club to support.

You can check out the full schedulestandings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk with analysis, reaction and more.

VIDEO: Batshuayi brace on BVB debut; Pulisic assists 2nd

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Michy Batshuayi scored twice and had a third overruled by VAR in his debut for Borussia Dortmund, making a sensational first impression on loan from Chelsea.

[ MORE: West Ham fires director for Anti-African comments ]

Andre Schurrle also scored but, facing resurgent Koln, BVB’s defense also did what it does in a 3-2 victory reminiscent of old boss Jurgen Klopp‘s season at Liverpool.

Batshuayi was felled in stoppage time but limped through it to win a late 50/50 in a performance which will have BVB fans in his corner.

Dortmund leaps second from sixth with the win ahead of the weekend’s other matches. Koln remains four points back of the playoff spot and seven shy of automatic safety.

Here’s the first goal, with Batshuayi getting to the catbird seat to finish a cutback.

As for the disallowed goal, Christian Pulisic started the sequence that led to the second goal, but if the Belgian was offside it was by a very slim margin. Still, offside.

No doubt about the third, and Pulisic plays his part here to perfection after Roman Burki’s long range pass from the BVB 18.

Europa League preview: Field set for final trim

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The UEFA Europa League gained some big names this week with the third-place teams of the Champions League, but will it lose some others?

Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Atletico Madrid, and Sporting CP are among eight UCL drop-outs to join the UEL for the knockout rounds.

[ MORE: Liverpool crushes Spartak ]

Everton and Hoffenheim have already been eliminated, and Koln, Marseille, and Athletic Bilbao could bow out of the tournament without results on Thursday.

Only eight spots remain before Thursday’s action, with giants Arsenal and AC Milan already through before matches with BATE Borisov and Rijeka. The Gunners will be without Shkrodan Mustafi for the match, and will face a desperate BATE team which can still advance in a number of scenarios.

The other Premier League side in the tournament, Everton, is in Cyprus to face Apollon Limassol in a match thatb doesn’t matter for either side. Sam Allardyce will likely have little use for it ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside Derby.

Group F is the only bunch with two spots still open. Sheriff Tiraspol (Romania) leads the way, and needs just a point from Copenhagen. The hosts need to top Sheriff, while Lokomotiv Moscow advances with a win at Fastav Zlin or a Copenhagen draw or loss.

As for the three big names in question:

— Marseille advances with a win at home to Red Bull Salzburg, or a draw and help from Vitoria against Konyaspor.

— Koln goes through with a win at Red Star Belgrade.

— Athletic Bilbao simply needs to avoid a loss in Ukraine to Zorya Luhansk.