It has been suggested that the compressed Bundesliga schedule and increased substitutes could actually be a boon to younger players who could see opportunities arise that would otherwise be limited. United States Men’s National Team fans will be hoping to see that impact this weekend, with Borussia Dortmund coming off a short week and Giovanni Reyna already having been in consideration for a start. However, before we get to that action on Sunday, there are some Saturday matches worth paying attention to as well.
Wolfsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt - 9:30a on FS2
John Brooks played quite well on Tuesday as Wolfsburg put the clamps on Kai Havertz and Bayer Leverkusen to come away with a 4-1 win. The win left Wolfsburg in sixth place and three points in the lead for Europa League qualifying. Meanwhile, Timothy Chandler came on late and scored the tying goal against SC Freiburg which snapped a nasty five game loosing streak. It was Chandler’s fifth goal of the season and it would not be surprising for him to see more time this weekend for a team that has now fallen all the way into fourteenth place.
Schalke 04 v Werder Bremen - 9:30a on FS1
A second match that could well feature Americans going head-to-head will be broadcasting simlultaneously Saturday morning as Weston McKennie’s Schalke side take on Josh Sargent and Werder Bremen. Schalke have been in a rough stretch that goes back prior to the interruption of the season with a ten game winless streak including most recently loosing 2-1 to relegation threatened Fortuna Dusseldorf though McKennie did pick up the opening goal on a nice header. It was McKennie’s second goal in the teams last four games but just the team’s third goal total in the last ten games a stretch during which they’ve also given up 24 goals.
This weekend, Schalke are facing a relegation-threatened side for the second straight match as they take on Werder Bremen, who have picked up four points in their past two matches but still sit five points behind Fortuna Düsseldorf for the relegation playoffs. Bremen are coming off a win over SC Freiburg followed by a draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach. A relegation avoiding turnaround at this point would really be something, and it would be great to see Josh Sargent be a part of that. The young man has started the past two matches for Werder Bremen and has appeared in their past ten matches.
- Alfredo Morales made a brief appearance off the bench for Fortuna Düsseldorf’s win on Tuesday. The club plays Bayern Munich at 12:30p on FS1.
Paderborn v Borussia Dortmund - Noon on FS1
Giovanni Reyna was scheduled to get his first start of his young career in the club’s return to action two weeks ago, but was a late scratch after picking up a minor injury in warmups. Since then, Reyna has appeared twice as a substitute for Dortmund and there is speculation that the 17-year-old could get a second chance at starting on Sunday when the team faces relegation-threatened SC Paderborn. Dortmund are coming off a tough 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich that likely sealed the fate of the Bundesliga for this season, given that Bayern now have a 7 point lead with six matches remaining. Paderborn meanwhile have drawn their three matches since returning scoring just once in the process.
Köln v RB Leipzig - 2:30p on FS2
Tyler Adams was a late add to the lineup on Wednesday, playing a traditional right back role as RB Leipzig also struggled to deal with warmup injuries. The team drew 2-2 with Hertha Berlin, which likely squashed any hopes they had of winning the Bundesliga. But, they must remain focused to clinch a Champions League position as they are just two points ahead of Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, who are tied for fourth place with 53 points. This weekend the team faces a Cologne side that has struggled since returning from break with draws against Mainz 05 and Düsseldorf and a loss to Hoffenheim while giving up seven goals in the process.
Now that we know what games you’ll be watching this weekend, let us know what you’ll be watching for in the comments section below.