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Bundesliga : Awoniyi’s Union Berlin Continue European Push With Trip To Mainz; Dennis Set For Rhine-Derby As Gladbach – Cologne Do Battle

Bundesliga : Awoniyi’s Union Berlin Continue European Push With Trip To Mainz; Dennis Set For Rhine-Derby As Gladbach – Cologne Do Battle

The Bundesliga continues into the second month of 2021 as four of the top six teams in the table are in action on what is sure to be an entertaining set of fixtures on Saturday afternoon.

Schalke v Leipzig

Second-placed RB Leipzig travel to face bottom club, FC Schalke 04 who could see returning favorite, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar start for the first time as well as deadline day signing, Skhodran Mustafi.

Freiburg v Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, will be in the Black Forest as they return to the Schwarzwald-Stadion to face SC Freiburg.

Edin Terzic led his side to a dramatic DFB Cup last 16 victory over Bundesliga 2 side, SC Paderborn in mid-week and will be desperate to keep his side in the hunt for a top-four finish on Saturday.

Leverkusen v Stuttgart

Two of the league’s most enjoyable teams to watch so far this campaign meet with Bayer 04 Leverkusen welcoming VfB Stuttgart to the BayArena.

There was a mid-week cup upset for Leverkusen who were knocked out by RotWeiss Essen of the fourth tier. 
Rewriting those wrongs will be at the forefront of Peter Bosz’s plans but it won’t come easy against Pellegrino Matarazzo’s impressive outfit.

Augsburg v Wolfsburg

Third-placed VfL Wolfsburg who sit three points behind Leipzig are at FC Augsburg as they led by the club record 13 goals in 19 games of Wout Weghorst look to keep their charge for European qualification on track.

Mainz v Union Berlin

Elsewhere on Saturday, a 1. FSV Mainz 05 side fighting for every point against relegation meet 1. FC Union Berlin who are right in the mix for a European push through the second half of the season.

Gladbach v Cologne 

On Saturday evening, the drama continues with one of the Bundesliga’s biggest rivalries taking centre stage once more.

Borussia Mönchengladbach host 1. FC Cologne in the second Rhine-Derby of the season. 

The Billy Goats ended a near one-year wait for a home victory in the Bundesliga last weekend but have not claimed a win at Borussia-Park since 2016.

Hoffenheim v Eintracht

The first of our Sunday double-headers sees two of the league’s top strikers, Andrej Kramaric and Andre Silva face one another as TSG Hoffenheim play host to Eintracht Frankfurt. 

Arminia v Werder

DSC Arminia Bielefeld and SV Werder Bremen will then round off the weekend’s action in a relegation six-pointer that will be just as drama-filled as the rest of the fixtures on Match-day 20.

Top 11 Bundesliga winter arrivals: 
Jovic, Huntelaar, Khedira headline January transfers

Luka Jovic, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Sami Khedira have returned to the Bundesliga whilst Tim Fosu-Mensah, Dominik Szoboszlai are among those looking to make an impact after arriving in the German top-flight last month.

bundesliga.com has picked out a handy line-up based on the moves the Bundesliga clubs have made in the January transfer window.

Rune Jarstein
Age: 36
Position: Goalkeeper
Club: Hertha Berlin

Admittedly, Jarstein is the only player on this list not to have moved club this winter but he represents a change in the Hertha Berlin dugout with Pal Dardai having been restored as coach to replace the outgoing Bruno Labbadia.

Tim Fosu-Mensah
Age: 23
Position: Right-back/centre-back
Joined: Bayer Leverkusen
From: Manchester United

A technically adept, fast and physically strong defender who can be used both as a right-back and in the centre, Fosu-Mensah’s acquisition from Manchester United is a shrewd one indeed. A full Netherlands international, Fosu-Mensah can play across the back four and even in midfield.

Shkodran Mustafi
Age: 28
Position: Centre-back
Joined: Schalke
From: Arsenal

A 2014 FIFA World Cup winner with Germany, Mustafi has never actually played a top-flight game in the country of his birth, his senior career to date taking him to Everton, Sampdoria, Valencia and, most recently, Arsenal.

Chris Richards
Age: 20
Position: Centre-back/right-back
Joined: Hoffenheim
From: Bayern Munich

So far the biggest beneficiary of Bayern’s agreement with Major League Soccer club, FC Dallas, USMNT centre-back, Richards has already featured eight times for the record German champions and even assisted Robert Lewandowski in the 4-3 win over Hertha Berlin on Matchday 3.

Sead Kolasinac
Age: 27
Position: Left-back/left midfielder
Joined: Schalke
From: Arsenal

A Royal Blue prodigal son is back in Gelsenkirchen. Kolasinac’s three-and-a-half years at Arsenal have seen the Bosnia-Herzegovina international make over 100 competitive appearances including 78 in the Premier League, turning the raw, powerfully built left-back that departed for north London into a mature, experienced, still powerfully built left-back.

Demarai Gray
Age: 24
Position: Winger
Joined: Bayer Leverkusen
From: Leicester City

A Birmingham City youth academy graduate, Gray was part of the Leicester squad that shocked English football to win the Premier League title in 2016, playing 12 games in that campaign.

Sami Khedira
Age: 33
Position: Central midfielder
Joined: Hertha Berlin
From: Juventus

Another World Cup winner coming home, Khedira will be expected to anchor Hertha’s midfield as they plot a path back up the table under Dardai. A Bundesliga champion with VfB Stuttgart in 2007, Khedira has since won league titles in Spain with Real Madrid and Italy with Juventus, racking up nearly 300 top-flight appearances across Europe’s five major leagues.

Max Meyer
Age: 25
Position: Central midfielder
Joined: Cologne
From: Crystal Palace

Another familiar face but the ex-Schalke man has not ended his two-and-a-half year stay in England by returning to his former club. Cologne is the destination for Meyer, who – at 25 – is still developing as a player.

Dominik Szoboszlai
Age: 20
Position: Attacking midfielder/left midfielder
Joined: RB Leipzig
From: Red Bull Salzburg

The 20-year-old Hungary international was named the Austrian top-flight’s Player of the Year after scoring nine times and registering a fantastic 14 assists in the 2019/20 campaign, helping Salzburg complete a domestic double.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Age: 37
Position: Striker
Joined: Schalke
From: Ajax

Sit down, take a deep breath… 364 goals in 653 competitive appearances for clubs such as Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax and of course, Schalke, that’s what make Huntelaar one of the greatest strikers of his generation.

Luka Jovic
Age: 23
Position: Striker
Joined: Eintracht Frankfurt
From: Real Madrid

Jovic has spent 105 minutes back in a Frankfurt jersey and has scored three goals. He found the net twice in 32 competitive appearances for Madrid over his bumpy 18 months in the Spanish capital. There must be something in the Frankfurt water.

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  • Awoniyi’s goal drought continues. He doesn’t score regularly like his counterparts. I guess that’s due to the high level of the German league. But he needs to keep scoring to keep the Super Eagles coach interested in him otherwise, players like onuachu and sadiq (who score regularly albeit in a lower league and level) will get their names on the invite list for the next round of games before him.

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