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Bundesliga 2015-16: Week 1 Preview

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With Bundesliga football returning this weekend, teams will continue making their final preparations in the hope that a successful season lies ahead.

Last season saw an Augsburg renaissance, a Dortmund demise, an inspired Wolfsburg, and with usual winners, Bayern, leading the way, again. Hamburg had another challenging season, as did Schalke, and with a new manager at the helm, they will be hopeful of an upturn in their fortunes.

Here at The Sports Lowdown our writer Dan Culyer previews the first weekend of football in the Bundesliga, highlighting any potential surprises as well as offering his own opinion as to which way the match will go.

Bayern Munich vs  Hamburg

Friday 14th August 2015 – 7:30 KO – Allianz Arena

The champions kick off the 2015-16 Bundesliga season with a home match against Hamburg, and Pep Guardiola’s men will hope to continue their delightful recent record against Bruno Labbadia’s side. Admittedly, Hamburg have had a re-shuffle of their management team, but regardless their Bavarian opponents go into this match as clear favourites. It has been a summer of uncertainty for some of Bayern’s stars – namely Mario Goetze and Thomas Mueller.

Where they will be next season is anyone’s guess, but they will hope to inspire Bayern to victory against Hamburg on Friday evening, and given their early season form in the past, I would not out it past them to nick a couple of goals. Additionally, Hamburg may take some time to adjust to Labbadia’s tactics, and so it could well be a case of damage limitation for the one-time Bundesliga champions. One could well see the debut of Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal.

My prediction: 4 – 0

Mainz vs Ingolstadt 04

Saturday 15th August 2015 – 2:30 KO – Coface Arena

Ingolstadt make the Bundesliga debut this weekend as they travel to face Mainz. After an unspectacular 11th place in the Bundesliga last season, Mainz will hope to progress higher up the table, and will be eager to get all three points against a team who was founded a little over 11 years ago.

The 2. Bundesliga is much slower paced, with much more lackadaisical defending, and so Ingolstadt may have difficulty adjusting to top tier football. Still, the Bavarian outfit will just enjoy the experience of Bundesliga football, and despite Mainz having a rather unsatisfactory pre-season – winning three and losing as many – Ingolstadt go into this match wearing the underdog collar.

My prediction: 2 – 0

Bayer Leverkusen vs Hoffenheim

Saturday 15th August 2015 – 2:30 KO – BayArena

Last season saw Bayer Leverkusen finish fourth in the Bundesliga and secure Champions League football yet again. However a slight concern will be that Dortmund are likely to be stronger this year and will mount another hunt on the top four finishers, and so a good start to the season is imperative for Roger Schmidt’s team.

Hoffenheim also had a good season last year, eventually finishing eighth, but they will hope to get closer to the Europa League places this time round. Neither side have set the world alight in their pre-season, but with competitive football returning for real, both sides will be hopeful of putting the finishing touches to their squad.

My Prediction: 2 – 1

Augsburg vs Hertha Berlin

Saturday 15th August 2015 – 2:30 KO – SGL Arena

Augsburg were one of the big success stories in the Bundesliga last season and they will look to push on from their sixth place finish and have another good campaign this year. Standing in their way in week 1 are Hertha Berlin. The team from the capital did not have an ideal season last year, finishing in 15th place, and only just ensuring their survival.

With the recent news emerging about the attack on their team bus, Hertha will be hopeful of putting on a good performance for all the travelling fans who have traveled down south to see their team play. Additionally, with Hertha carrying the underdog tag, they will fancy their chances of pulling off what would now be seen as a surprise result.

My prediction: 2 – 2


SV Darmastadt 98 vs Hannover 96

Saturday 15th August – 2:30 KO – Merck-Stadion am Bollenfalltor

Recently promoted Darmastadt travel to Hannover on their opening game of the season, and, like Ingolstadt, “Die Lillien” will have to successfully adjust to Bundesliga football.  Their opponents, Hannover 96, are an established Bundesliga side, and despite finishing only 13th last season, they are a team who have possessed some great players in the past, and continue to have national team players in their squad, and they should be set for another good season of Bundesliga football.

How both these team’s fare in the league this season depends largely on their start, and so both sides will be eager to leave Saturday’s match with all three points.

My prediction: 1-2

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About Dan Culyer

I am a 17 year-old sport fanatic - particularly when it comes to football, formula one, tennis and swimming/ water polo! I am a part-time sports journalist, as well as a fully qualified football referee! I particularly enjoy doing in-depth opinion pieces, with detailed analysis of players, teams and tournaments!

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