Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Bremen hopes to burst Dortmund's Bundesliga bubble

Bremen hopes to burst Dortmund's Bundesliga bubble

Werder Bremen travels to Borussia Dortmund this weekend with its hopes of ending the Bundesliga leader's winning run lifted by a morale-boosting victory over Inter Milan.
Bremen is toiling in 10th place and 21 points behind Dortmund. Juergen Klopp's side has won its last eight league matches and is on 40 points _ a record for this stage of the season.
Bremen had a disappointing Champions League campaign but capped it with a 3-0 win over defending champion Inter on Tuesday. Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic said "we now have to prove our qualities in the Bundesliga."
Werder has been hit by a string of injuries and indifferent form this season. Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro is now back, but top scorer Hugo Almeida _ with nine goals _ is serving a suspension.
Meanwhile, Edin Dzeko aims to put a week of negative headlines behind him when his underperforming Wolfsburg side travels to Kaiserslautern on Saturday.
The Bosnian striker has apologized for refusing to shake Steve McClaren's hand after the coach took him off last weekend. Dzeko was angry at the time after missing a penalty in a disappointing performance.
"What I did wasn't right. It had absolutely nothing to do with the trainer," he said.
Dzeko will hope that his donation of (EURO)5,000 ($6,600) to a local charity marks the end of the matter. But his performance will be under intense scrutiny when 13th-placed Wolfsburg _ the 2009 Bundesliga champion and one of the league's biggest spenders over the summer _ lines up against 12th-placed Kaiserslautern.
Goal difference separates the sides, which both have 17 points.
Despite a respectable season tally of nine goals so far, Dzeko's commitment has been called into question by fans in the face of reported interest from Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Survival is the priority for promoted Kaiserslautern but much more is expected of Wolfsburg. McClaren's side has only won one of its last nine games and pressure is increasing on the Englishman.
"If you compare the current situation with the expectations, then of course we are way off the mark," he acknowledged. "But if you take a look at the performances in the most recent games, all of which ended in draws, then it's clear that there is little missing between the results we've gotten and the results we'd hoped to get."
Defending champion Bayern Munich, which beat Basel 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, will hope to make up for last weekend's loss to Schalke and lift itself up from seventh place on Saturday when it hosts 14th-placed St. Pauli _ the Bundesliga's lowest-scoring side.
Second-place Mainz, 10 points behind Dortmund, hosts newly confident Schalke on Sunday. After beating Bayern last weekend, Felix Magath's side defeated Benfica to top its Champions League group on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, the subject of transfer speculation following impressive recent performances, will hope to keep Mainz at bay.
High-flying Freiburg, fifth with 24 points, hosts bottom club Borussia Moenchengladbach in the other Sunday game.
No. 3 Bayern Leverkusen, one point behind Mainz, travels to Hamburger SV on Saturday. In other matches, Hoffenheim plays Nuremberg and second-from-bottom Cologne entertains Eintracht Frankfurt.


Updated : 2021-12-09 13:16 GMT+08:00