Champions League quarter-finals: tie-by-tie analysis

March 18, 2018

“We run the rule over the last-eight matches, including the all-Premier League duel between Liverpool and Manchester City, and predict who will triumph …” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


MSV Duisburg – Fortuna Düsseldorf review

March 13, 2018

“Fortuna wins the derby and increases the lead over Nürnberg. Ilia Gruev sent his team on the pitch in the expected 4-4-2 formation, with Bomheuer fit again replacing Blomeyer. Frontzek arranged his team in a 4-1-4-1 system. Raman was out of squad, not completely healed after a flu, while Neuhaus stayed on the bench, with Bodzek playing from the beginning. …” Bundesliga Fanatic

FC Koln – Another Bundesliga club to fall from grace

March 13, 2018

“20th May 2017, Rhein Energie Stadion. Koln are hosting Mainz in front of a sold-out crowd, anxiously awaiting their sides final game of the Bundesliga campaign. Win, and European football would be guaranteed for the first time since 1992. Tensions would have been rather calmer had they not blown a 2-0 first half lead the week before away at the BayArena to Bayer Leverkusen only to draw 2-2. …” Backpage Football

Is the Bundesliga in Danger of European Irrelevance?

March 1, 2018

“Far removed from the glory days of Borussia Mönchengladbach ruling the league in the 1970s, a dominant Hamburger SV controlling the early 1980s, and Borussia Dortmund dismantling opponents for much of the 1990s, the German top flight has become a one club league not only domestically, but internationally as well. How did it come to this and what can the Bundesliga do to avoid becoming the next Eredivisie? …” Bundesliga Fanatic

The ‘Two Worlds’ of the Champions League Keep Drifting Apart

February 22, 2018

Sadio Mané and Liverpool put five goals past F.C. Porto last week.
“As he readied his players to face Manchester City in the last 16 of the Champions League last week, F.C. Basel Coach Raphaël Wicky realized he had a problem. Ordinarily, Wicky would dedicate one training session shortly before a game to a shadow match: On one side, his likely starting team, and on the other, 11 squad members slotted in to simulate Basel’s forthcoming opponent. They would line up in the same system, adopt the same style, play in the same patterns. The aim of the exercise is to familiarize the first team with the challenge that lies in wait. …” NY Times

Gute Woche/ Schlechte Woche Matchday 22 Edition

February 13, 2018

“After the midweek DFB Pokal quarter-finals were decided, it was back to Bundesliga action this weekend with nine mouth-watering clashes to savour. Bayern overcame Schalke in the big game on Saturday, but there was disappointment for Leverkusen. The usual suspects at the bottom continued to struggle. We had a triple-Doppelpack, more goalkeeping chaos, the return of a legend, soaring eagles and goals aplenty. So just who were the winners and losers of matchday 22? …” Bundesliga Fanatic

Kevin-Prince Boateng the catalyst for Eintracht Frankfurt’s ‘one-night stand’

January 30, 2018

“It was short, but oh so sweet. For 19 hours following their 2-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday, Eintracht Frankfurt were second in the Bundesliga, with just Bayern Munich ahead of them. It wouldn’t last, of course, with Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke and the other riders in a sub-champion field still to play, but Die Adler were determined to make the most of their ‘one-night stand’, as sporting director Fredi Bobic put it after. …” Guardian (Video)