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Bundesliga Week 29 predictions
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Bundesliga Week 29 predictions, preview, schedule

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The Bundesliga title is all but Bayern Munich’s following a midweek which saw the Bavarians beat Borussia Dortmund and all other chasers drop points, but the fight for Champions League places remains fierce.

[ MORE: Key issues ahead of Premier League restart ]

Dortmund now must turn its attention from a title fight that isn’t quite over to holding and building upon its four-point advantage on fifth.

RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach sit third and fourth, the latter ahead of Bayer Leverkusen on just two goals of differential.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 28 takeaways, Team of the Week ]

So, yes, there will be plenty of drama moving forward. And we’ll start this week’s preview and predictions with a Friday match-up of two teams who took a step out of the catbird seat at midweek and will hope to firm up European plans with a win in Freiburg.

Friday

Freiburg v. Bayer Leverkusen: The scrappy hosts tossed away a 2-goal lead in drawing Eintracht, while Bayer saw its red-hot form cooled off with an exclamation point in a 4-1 loss to Wolfsburg. Freiburg’s now four points out of sixth and Bayer’s outside the top four on goal difference. That said, Kai Havertz’s Bayer has weapons for days and the creativity to get through the compact, physical Freiburg formation. Will the trip down south hamper them? 2-0 Bayer.

Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images)

Saturday

Hertha Berlin v. Augsburg: Bruno Labbadia has Hertha playing as well as it has since the brief bump the club saw under Jurgen Klinsmann in December. The draw against RB Leipzig is enough to think that they’ll be able to keep it up against a game but undermanned Augsburg. 2-1 Hertha.

Mainz v. Hoffenheim: Led by Christoph Baumgartner’s Player of the Week performance, Hoffenheim finally looked itself at midweek. Mainz has a chance to move clear of the bottom three with a win, as the trio below them all face traditional powers. It’s not a long trip for the visitors, who should really come away with a win. Mainz’s defending is poor. Hoffenheim 2-0 is more an indicator of not being able to rely on the visitors’ consistency.

Schalke v. Werder Bremen: If you’d only watched the Bundesliga since the restart, you’d think these sides would be flipped in the table. Bremen has ground out results and has hope of avoiding its first relegation in 40 years, while ninth-place Schalke has looked like, frankly, one of the worst teams in the league. Winless in 10 with just three goals — two from USMNT mid Weston McKennie — there’s no guarantee David Wagner’s men show up with any vigor and that’s a problem. Bremen still isn’t a potent attack, though, so this one has 0-0 written all over it. We’ll aim for positivity and desperation: a 1-1 draw.

Wolfsburg v. Eintracht Frankfurt: Eintracht would love a match against a bottom-half side given its four-match winless streak, which has included only top eight sides. Enter sixth-place Wolfsburg, who looked dynamite in blowing out in-form Bayer. It’s been difficult to break down the defense of Wolfsburg, who hasn’t lost since the calendar turned to February. That doesn’t change Saturday, as Wolfsburg wins 1-0.

Bayern Munich v. Fortuna Dusseldorf: Sixteenth-place Fortuna kicks off a four-match run against top four contenders with the need for a surprise or two along the way to the two winnable fixtures at the end of the season. Bayern has pretty much quit losing under Hansi Flick, and its 15-match losing streak isn’t going to end here. Robert Lewandowski didn’t score in a league match for just the sixth time this season in Tuesday’s Der Klassiker win. Figure that changes at home. Bayern 3-1.

Bundesliga team of the week
Robert Lewandowski (Photo by Federico Gambarini/Pool via Getty Images)

Sunday

Borussia Monchengladbach v. Union Berlin: Union heads across the country to meet a Gladbach side who’s disappointed in consecutive matches. It would be surprising if that extended into a third match, especially with second place a realistic goal and so many talented attackers including Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea. Given a terrible performance versus Bremen, they wake up. Gladbach 2-0.

Paderborn v. Borussia Dortmund: Paderborn has been playing well for a last-place side, and Dortmund might be reeling a bit after performing well enough to get a result from Bayern but losing on a Joshua Kimmich wondergoal and wondering what would’ve been if VAR reviewed an apparent Jerome Boateng handball in the box. Still, there’s too much talent here even at a desperate host. In a non-coronavirus world the home crowd changes our opinion a little on the score line. Dortmund 4-0.

Monday

Koln v. RB Leipzig: Alright, so anything could happen here, really. Leipzig is unbeaten in nine since a Feb. 1 draw with Gladbach, but only three wins have kept them from embracing their place in the title fight. Now out of the picture, they meet a Koln who was the worst team in the league for four months, then the hottest for three, and is now winless in four. In the end, the Dayot Upamecano-led Leipzig back line is too strong and will be enough. Leipzig 3-0.

Bundesliga preview, schedule, predictions: Week 27

Bundesliga predictions
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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.

MLS Conference Finals preview and predictions

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Can I interest you in a well-worn MLS Cup Final pairing?

Away sides Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC enter the conference finals as significant underdogs against LAFC and Atlanta United, but they won’t be too worried about that.

[ MORE: Dest a win for Berhalter ]

Greg Vanney and Brian Schmetzer’s sides each won a title against each other in 2016 and 2017 at BMO Field in Toronto, and won’t be too worried about the pressure in Georgia and California, respectively.

What odds do they have of springing the upsets? It’s not great, to be honest — LAFC and Atlanta are a combined 27W-3L-6T this season — but you wouldn’t be surprised if MLS was denied the all-golden match-up it so desperately desires.

And, hey, we could get a Bradley v. Bradley final. Do we deserve any less, or any more?

LAFC v. Seattle Sounders — 10 p.m. ET Tuesday

A quirk of scheduling means these sides are meeting for the first time since April, when LAFC took four of six points in an 8-day stretch.

Here’s what I love about LA: They kill you everywhere. Thirty-three percent of their attack comes from the right, another 33 from the left, and 35 right up the middle. There’s no lack of courage from Bob Bradley‘s side, and no other side in MLS can claim the same level of guts (Portland was second at 31% heading up the center of the defense).

Here’s another crazy stat for you: LAFC has five of the top 19 players this season when it comes to the amount of successful dribbles (Carlos Vela, Latif Blessing, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Eduard Atuesta, Diego Rossi).

Nicolas Lodeiro, Raul Ruidiaz, and Jordan Morris can bring plenty of creativity, too, and the Sounders have the ability to challenge for an upset, but we’re thinking LAFC guarantee’s one more loud day in California.

Atlanta United v. Toronto FC — 8 p.m. ET Wednesday

TFC took points in 11 of 17 away matches this season, but lost 2-0 to Atlanta early in the season at Mercedes Benz Stadium. The Reds did, however, outlast the Five Stripes in the reverse fixture, which came in late June.

Atlanta has the best possession number of any home team this season, holding the ball 57.7 percent of the time. Remarkably, though, TFC managed the fifth best possession number away from home this season and will like the idea of Michael Bradley, Marky Delgado, and Jonathan Osorio keeping hold of the ball.

I think TFC has the physical defenders to flummox Atlanta’s attack in Chris Mavinga and Omar Gonzalez, but the biggest question is how much if anything Jozy Altidore will be able to contribute at the other end. Alejandro Pozuelo is wonderful but the Reds need their powerful striker to have hope of an upset. Since we can’t be sure he’ll be ready to go, we’ll peg Atlanta to return to the MLS Cup Final.

Predicting the rest of the Women’s World Cup

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The Women’s World Cup is into the final eight, with seven of the eight teams hailing from Europe.

[ MORE: Women’s World Cup Power Rankings ]

The lone outlier is some team from North America who may or may not have won the last World Cup and can become the first team to win four of the things.

Who thinks they will? Our staff weighs in on the matter below.


Joe Prince-Wright

Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
England v. France
Netherlands v. Germany 

Final
France defeats Germany
Wendie Renard of France celebrates with teammates (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Nicholas Mendola

Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
USA defeats France
Italy defeats Netherlands
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
USA defeats England
Germany defeats Italy 

Final
USA defeats Germany

Andy Edwards

Quarterfinals
England
defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Italy defeats Netherlands
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
France
defeats England
Germany defeats Italy

Final
Germany defeats France

Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany  (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Dan Karell
Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
USA defeats France
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden
Semifinals
USA defeats England
Netherlands defeats Germany
Final
USA defeats Netherlands

Kyle Bonn

Quarterfinals
England
defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
France
defeats England
Germany defeats Italy

Final
France defeats Germany

Revisiting PST’s preseason Premier League predictions

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Back in August, we asked our staff to pick its 1-20 table and answer a bevy of roundtable questions.

[ MORE: Atleti wins Europa League ]

The crystal ball ain’t so crystal clear.

The table

— Five of six writers had Manchester City lifting the Premier League trophy, with Nick Mendola’s (me) audacious 90-point total the closest to City’s actual 100 points. Kyle Bonn picked Manchester United to win the league.

–Nick Mendola’s (me) equally audacious prediction that Burnley would finish 20th with 18 total points has had him apologizing on this page for months. Way to go, numbskull.

— No one called more than one relegated team correctly. Swansea had three people pick it for the drop, while I was the lone one to tab West Brom. JPW and Andy Edwards failed to name a single relegated team.

— Who had a team finishing the most spots higher than they did? JPW and Andy Edwards had 16th place Southampton finishing 8th. I had eventually relegated Stoke in 11th, while JPW had them 10th, and Andy Edwards had them 7th!

— Chelsea’s fifth place finish was a surprise to everyone; Only JPW had them finishing lower than second… in third.

— Surprised Arsenal finished in sixth? Kyle Bonn, Andy Edwards, and Matt Reed aren’t.

The roundtable

— We asked who’d go the further in the Champions League, and JPW was the only one to name Liverpool (although he hedged in a bit by saying the Reds and Man City).

— We asked who’d score the most league goals between Romelu LukakuHarry Kane, Alvaro Morata, Alexandre Lacazette, or Sergio Aguero? Four correctly went with Kane, with Kyle Bonn wrong with Lukaku and this humble writer wrong with Lacazette.

— We asked which Premier League player would feel worst about his decision to leave his previous PL club, and we were all wrong (except perhaps JPW’s choice of Wayne Rooney, but that’s debatable). Dan Karell said Virgil Van Dijk, Matt Reed said Nemanja Matic, and I said Kyle Walker. All are probably quite happy with the manner of their seasons.

— We asked who’d fare better between manager Marco Silva, Frank De Boer, or Mauricio Pellegrino. They were all fired, though Silva’s departure was least his fault. So JPW wins again.

— We predicted who’d get fired first. The winner was Frank De Boer, but we all named men who’d get the sack. Craig Shakespeare (JPW), Paul Clement (me), Marco Silva (Matt Reed and Kyle Bonn), and Mark Hughes (Dan Karell).

— We asked which newly-promoted club will finish higher. Four of the five said Newcastle, with someone trying to hide his bias by saying Brighton.

— We asked who’d finish highest and lowest of this group: Southampton, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Leicester City.

Leicester finished highest and West Brom finished 20th. Dan and I correctly tabbed Leicester, while four of us correctly pegged the Baggies as the lowest.

— As for who would get promoted from the Championship, so far we’re 1/12. That could move to three if Dan and Kyle are correct in picking Fulham. Matt tabbed Cardiff City.