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Bundesliga Matches to Watch: Week 5

The top four teams in the Bundesliga haven’t changed from week four to week five and Dortmund and Bayern both secured wins. Wolfsburg dropped points with a draw to Ingolstadt and Frankfurt defeated Köhn. The relegation zone is also unchanged from last week as well. I don’t see action heating up there until the last six to eight weeks of the season.

This week I’m only going to look at two matches, but they’re pretty big matches, even if two of the teams playing are lower on the table. So enough jabbering

SV DARMSTADT 98 v. BAYERN MUNICH 9:30 a.m. ET (FoxSports 1)

This match is a “David and Goliath” matchup in the Bundesliga this week. Darmstadt had been out of the German top-flight for 33 years–until this season. During that time period the club had been on the verge of bankruptcy. Through all of that though they fought their way back into the Bundesliga. You can call them Cinderella or draw other literary references to this club that you want because of their fight to get back in the Bundesliga, but one thing is for certain–Darmstadt is playing every match like they’re in the drop zone.

This week they face off with a true powerhouse of German soccer — Bayern Munich, Der Roten or The Reds in German — winners of 25 Bundesliga titles among other honors. They’re truly one of the most dominant teams in all of German soccer. Part of it is due to the financial support that the club has, but part of it is also due to the reputation that is Bayern Munich.

If your child is being scouted by several professional soccer teams to come train at their academies that means that your child has talent and you should look into those teams. If, as a parent in Germany, you were given a choice between having your child sign with Bayern’s academy or the German equivalent of Scunthorpe United, you’d choose Bayern no matter whom you supported.

Last week saw Darmstadt beat Bayer Leverkusen 1-0. There wasn’t much that Leverkusen could do after Darmstadt scored either. They’ve knocked off one smaller giant already this season and now they have their eyes set on a much bigger giant in Bayern. Don’t expect Der Roten to make it easy for them, because they won’t, and Darmstadt know that. This is going to be a battle.

BORUSSIA DORTMUND v. BAYER LEVERKUSEN 11:30 a.m. ET (FoxSports 2)

Dortmund had their hands full last week with Hannover but this match is far bigger for Leverkusen than it is for Dortmund. Leverkusen needs wins because those equal points. They’ve dropped two league games in a row, but have picked up a much-needed win in the Champions League–a 4-1 defeat of BATE Borisov. Leverkusen is hoping to ride that momentum into this weekend’s match but Dortmund is also excited after tasting victory in Europe this week. They defeated Krasnodar in the opening game of the Europa League group stage.

Look for Dortmund to apply a lot of pressure to Leverkusen early. I look for them to use Manchester United loanee Adnan Januzaj a lot in their attack. He’s a great player for them to build their attack around and he can also put shots on frame and Leverkusen will be looking for any holes that it might possibly find in the Dortmund defense.

I’m not saying that they’ll be playing for the draw, but I’m certain that they’d be happy to get out of there not conceding a goal and taking away a point. If Dortmund’s defense is showing signs of weakness look for Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez to be subbed in as an attacker to try and exploit that weakness.

Those are my Bundesliga matches to watch for this weekend. The full schedule for the Bundesliga is available here or at foxsports.com. Just click the soccer tab and select Bundesliga.

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