Timo Werner

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Bundesliga wrap: Schalke smacks Dortmund, RB Leipzig wraps up third

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After 15 weeks of the Bundesliga season, Borussia Dortmund had a surprising nine-point lead on perennial winners Bayern Munich.

On Sunday, BVB could trail that same Bayern side by four with three matches to play if the Bavarians do as expected and defeat 17th place Nurnberg.

[ RECAP: Watford 1-2 Wolves ]

Make no mistake: This is a notable collapse, and it now includes a 9-man home loss to one of BVB’s fiercest rivals on top of the smashing at the hands of Bayern in Der Klassiker. The latest loss also happens to let said rivals, Schalke, off the hook for a possible relegation playoff date.

Borussia Dortmund 2-4 Schalke

Dortmund went to Gelsenkirchen earlier this season and scored a 2-1 Revierderby win, but the tables were turned in a big way on Saturday.

Lucien Favre’s men lost for the third time in eight matches to extend a four-month slide which has seen BVB take 30 of 48 points while Bayern has dropped exactly four in the same period of time.

American winger Christian Pulisic came off the bench with 12 minutes left and BVB already down to nine men, while his USMNT pal Weston McKennie had an okay day in the middle of the park for Schalke. McKennie was credited with 10 tackles over 72 minutes.

This one started well enough, with Mario Gotze briefly putting the hosts back atop the table in the 14th minute. Schalke, however used a pair of Daniel Caligiuri goals and a Salif Sane marker to build a 3-1 lead.

Marco Reus was sent off with the score 2-1, and Marius Wolf saw red five minutes later, just after Schalke went ahead by two.

Axel Witsel pulled BVB back to within one in the 84th minute, but Breel Embolo’s goal two minutes later put the result away for Dortmund.

RB Leipzig 2-1 Freiburg

Timo Werner scored his fourth goal in his last six league games, and Emil Forsberg converted a late penalty as RBL firmed up third place in the Bundesliga.

Elsewhere
Augsburg 1-4 Bayer Leverkusen — Friday
Stuttgart 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
Fortuna Dusseldorf 4-1 Werder Bremen
Hannover 96 1-0 Mainz
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Hertha Berlin
Hoffenheim v. Wolfsburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Nurnberg v. Bayern Munich — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 30 22 4 4 79 29 50 11-3-1 11-1-3 70
 Borussia Dortmund 31 21 6 4 74 40 34 13-2-1 8-4-3 69
 RB Leipzig 31 19 7 5 59 24 35 10-5-1 9-2-4 64
 Eintracht Frankfurt 31 15 9 7 58 35 23 8-4-4 7-5-3 54
 Mönchengladbach 31 15 6 10 49 38 11 9-2-4 6-4-6 51
 Bayer Leverkusen 31 16 3 12 57 49 8 8-1-6 8-2-6 51
 1899 Hoffenheim 30 13 11 6 65 41 24 7-5-3 6-6-3 50
 Werder Bremen 31 12 10 9 53 46 7 7-5-3 5-5-6 46
 VfL Wolfsburg 30 13 7 10 48 45 3 6-5-4 7-2-6 46
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 31 12 4 15 44 60 -16 8-0-8 4-4-7 40
 Hertha BSC Berlin 31 9 10 12 41 48 -7 5-6-4 4-4-8 37
 FSV Mainz 05 31 10 6 15 37 52 -15 7-4-4 3-2-11 36
 SC Freiburg 31 7 11 13 40 56 -16 5-6-4 2-5-9 32
 FC Augsburg 31 8 7 16 47 59 -12 5-4-7 3-3-9 31
 FC Schalke 04 31 8 6 17 36 54 -18 4-1-10 4-5-7 30
 VfB Stuttgart 31 6 6 19 28 67 -39 5-4-7 1-2-12 24
 1. FC Nürnberg 30 3 9 18 24 56 -32 3-6-6 0-3-12 18
 Hannover 96 31 4 6 21 26 66 -40 4-1-11 0-5-10 18

Bundesliga: Leipzig join Gladbach, Bayern in 2nd-place battle

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BERLIN (AP) Germany forward Timo Werner again scored twice to help Leipzig consolidate fourth place in the Bundesliga with a 4-1 home win over Mainz on Sunday.

Yussuf Poulsen also scored two goals as Leipzig maintained its unbeaten record at home this season and tightened its grip on the last qualification place for the Champions League.

Leipzig stayed two points ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt and two behind Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayern Munich. Borussia Dortmund leads Bayern and Gladbach by nine points after 15 rounds.

If Werner scores in the league, fans have got used to expecting another goal – with his 10 goals coming in five games.

The former Stuttgart striker sealed Leipzig’s win in the 74th and claimed his second goal in the 88th off an assist from Poulsen, who grabbed two goals in five minutes in the first half.

Karim Onisiwo pulled one back before the break for Mainz, which remained 10th.

Bundesliga wrap: BVB takes 4-point lead into Der Klassiker

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Niko Kovac’s Bayern Munich dropped points at home on Saturday, while Lucien Favre’s Borussia Dortmund found the goal it needed to get a win ahead of next Saturday’s big Der Klassiker at the Westfalenstadion.

[ MORE: Arsenal draws Liverpool ]

Bayern hosts AEK Athens in the Champions League on Wednesday while Dortmund visits Atletico Madrid a day earlier.

Bayern Munich 1-1 Freiburg

Lucas Holer’s 89th minute goal stunned the Allianz Arena, which had seen Bayern out-attempt the visitors 25-9 and hold Freiburg without a shot on target. Serge Gnabry‘s 80th minute goal was all the Bavarians could manage at home.

Wolfsburg 0-1 Borussia Dortmund

A very even game saw just one moment separate the two, as Jadon Sancho‘s cross soared over American center back John Brooks and Thomas Delaney headed back across goal for Marco Reus to head home.

BVB now has a four-point hold on the table lead in its bid to win a first title since 2012 and end Bayern’s six-season run as Bundesliga champions.

[ MORE: Leicester honors Srivaddhanaprabha ]

Hertha Berlin 0-3 RB Leipzig

Timo Werner scored twice for the third time this season — he has zero goals in his other eight league matches — as RBL picked up three nice away points.

Matheus Cunha, 19, scored his first Bundesliga goal for RBL, who sits a point behind second place Bayern.

Elsewhere
Stuttgart 0-3 Eintracht Frankfurt — Friday
Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Hoffenheim
Schalke 3-1 Hannover 96
Augsburg 2-2 Nurnberg
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Mainz vs. Werder Bremen — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 10 7 3 0 30 10 20 4-1-0 3-2-0 24
 Bayern Munich 10 6 2 2 18 11 7 2-2-1 4-0-1 20
 RB Leipzig 10 5 4 1 19 9 10 3-2-0 2-2-1 19
 Eintracht Frankfurt 10 5 2 3 23 13 10 2-1-1 3-1-2 17
 Mönchengladbach 9 5 2 2 20 12 8 4-0-0 1-2-2 17
 Werder Bremen 9 5 2 2 17 14 3 2-2-1 3-0-1 17
 1899 Hoffenheim 10 5 1 4 22 14 8 2-1-2 3-0-2 16
 Hertha BSC Berlin 10 4 4 2 15 13 2 3-1-1 1-3-1 16
 FC Augsburg 10 3 4 3 18 16 2 1-3-1 2-1-2 13
 SC Freiburg 10 3 4 3 14 16 -2 2-2-1 1-2-2 13
 VfL Wolfsburg 10 3 3 4 14 15 -1 1-2-3 2-1-1 12
 Bayer Leverkusen 10 3 2 5 16 21 -5 1-1-3 2-1-2 11
 FC Schalke 04 10 3 1 6 8 12 -4 2-0-3 1-1-3 10
 1. FC Nürnberg 10 2 4 4 11 22 -11 2-2-1 0-2-3 10
 FSV Mainz 05 9 2 3 4 5 10 -5 2-2-1 0-1-3 9
 Hannover 96 10 1 3 6 12 21 -9 1-1-2 0-2-4 6
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 9 1 2 6 6 21 -15 1-0-4 0-2-2 5
 VfB Stuttgart 10 1 2 7 6 24 -18 1-1-3 0-1-4 5

2018 World Cup preview: Germany

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Getting to know Germany: The reigning World Cup champions head into Russia as one of the clear favorites to hoist yet another title, despite having a significantly different squad than four years ago. Joachim Low and his side do benefit from getting star goalkeeper Manuel Neuer back just in time for the tournament, which gives Germany extra assurance in front of net.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

Although familiar faces like Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose are long gone from the international picture, Germany boasts one of the fiercest attacks in the competition with Red Bull Leipzig striker Timo Werner and Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller, while relying on an experienced center back pairing of Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng to keep opposition at bay as the Germans aim to capture their fifth World Cup victory.

For more on Germany’s history, click this link.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

What group are they in? Low and Co. will be paired with Mexico, South Korea and Sweden in Group F, as the Germans will be expected to be heavy favorites to not only top the group but do so in style.


Game schedule – Group F – Full 2018 World Cup schedule, here

Sunday, June 17: Germany v Mexico, Moscow 11 am, ET

Saturday, June 23: Germany v Sweden, Sochi  2 pm, ET

Wednesday, June 27: South Korea v Germany, Kazan 10 am, ET


Projected lineup (4-2-3-1)Check out the 23-man squad list in full

Neuer

Kimmich ——– Boateng ——- Hummels ———- Hector

Kroos ——- Khedira

Muller —- Ozil —- Draxler

Werner


Star player: Timo Werner — For all the success that Germany has had throughout the years, have they ever had a full-on superstar in their squad? The beauty of this team is they have an embarrassment of riches in a variety of positions, however, Werner is the guy to watch in this tournament. Despite only boasting 13 caps heading into the World Cup, Werner has seven international goals and will be expected to build on that goal total in Russia.


Manager: Joachim Low — In terms of managers at the World Cup, there’s Joachim Low and then there’s everybody else. That’s not a slight on the other 31 coaches heading to the World Cup, but Low’s track record speaks for itself. Since taking over Germany, the worst the country has finished at a major competition is fourth. That encompasses World Cups, European Championships and the Confederations Cup, which Germany ironically enough won last summer with many of its stars in preparation for Russia.


Secret weapon: Marco Reus — When healthy Reus is arguably one of the top attackers in the Bundesliga. The problem recently for the Borussia Dortmund man is that he hasn’t be able to keep a clean bill of health. Heading into Russia, Reus is fit though, making him a viable option for Low to turn to off the bench.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Prediction: Between Germany’s track record at major competitions and the current squad Low has coming into this summer, the European giants are on pace for yet another lengthy run at the World Cup. They should breeze through Group F, before benefiting from being on the “easier” side of the bracket if everything holds true. A semifinals clash with Spain appears very likely, which could shape up to be the match of the tournament, and potentially decide the de facto World Cup champion.

Germany edges past Saudi Arabia, Poland and Chile draw

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Pre-World Cup international friendlies are coming to a close as teams wrap up their preparation before heading to Russia for the big dance. A number of teams played their final tests before making their way to the host country, and matches on Friday gave us a decent look at where teams are, including a couple of matchups featuring World Cup squads on both sides.

Germany 2-1 Saudi Arabia

Timo Werner scored just eight minutes in as Germany skidded to victory at BayArena in Leverkusen despite the positive showing by World Cup minnows Saudi Arabia. The Germans unlocked the opposition for the opener on a dinked chip over the entire defensive unit by Joshua Kimmich which found Marco Reus on the left-edge of the six-yard box. Reus probably could have scored himself with a well-placed shot, but instead he touched across the face of goal to Werner who poked home from point-blank range off the underside of the bar.

Saudi Arabia had a number of chances in the first half that went begging, and Germany scored a second just before halftime as Omar Othman challenged Thomas Muller for a Werner cross at the doorstep, and it went in off the defender. The underdogs made things interesting late as Saudi Arabia won a penalty with six minutes remaining, and while Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved the spot-kick, the rebound was eventually powered home by Taiseer Al-Jassam.

Poland 2-2 Chile

Robert Lewandowski bagged a goal as Poland drew with Chile in Poznan. The Bayern Munich frontman opened the scoring 30 minutes in as he struck a fine effort from outside the top-left corner of the penalty area. Poland doubled its lead four minutes later as Kamil Grosicki caught the Chilean defensive line way too high, eventually feeding Piotr Zielinski for an easy tap-in on the break.

Chile, however, struck right back with seven minutes to go before halftime via Diego Valdes, and Miiko Albornoz scored the day’s best goal just before the hour mark as he rifled home a long-range missile on the volley.

Switzerland 2-0 Japan

Switzerland scored a goal near the end of each half as they waltzed to a 2-0 victory over Japan in Lugano as they head into the 2018 World Cup on a high. The home side put just two of their 11 total shots on target, but both resulted in goals.

Southampton defender Maya Yoshida conceded a penalty in the 42nd minute after fouling Breel Embolo, and defender Ricardo Rodriguez buried the spot-kick with a confident and powerful strike to open the scoring. Haris Seferovic was the man to finish things off in the 82nd minute, capping a vicious and beautiful counter-attack.

Croatia 2-1 Senegal

Another matchup of two World Cup qualifiers saw Croatia come from a goal down to beat Senegal 2-1 in Osijek. After a scoreless first half that saw the visitors appear to have the advantage, Stade Rennais winger Ismaïla Sarr scored the opener thanks to Wolves midfielder Alfred N'Diaye, who timed Sarr’s run perfectly with a pinpoint long-ball that sailed the entire defense.

Ivan Perisic leveled things back up past the hour mark with a heavily deflected free-kick, and lively halftime substitute Andrej Kramaric grabbed the winner off a broken play with 12 minutes remaining. The Hoffenheim striker hit an ugly, off-balance shot from a tight angle that was blocked easily, but the rebound came right back to him and he struck again, catching Senegal goalkeeper Abdoulaye Diallo off-guard.

Sadio Mane was bright for Senegal, but he clanged a free-kick off the crossbar in the dying minutes of the game, unable to secure an equalizer.

Iran 1-0 Lithuania

Olympiakos striker Karim Ansarifard grabbed the game’s only goal in the 88th minute as Iran heads to the World Cup on a winning note. Ansarifard had a spectacular Greek Super League campaign, scoring 17 goals and grabbing 6 assists in 25 league matches this season.