Bundesliga Watchlist: Part 6: Nico Elvedi

Name: Nico Elvedi

Age: 23

Current Club: Borussian Moenchengladbach

Previous Clubs: FC Zurich

Image Credit: Scoopnest

The Stats: So far this season,  Nico Elvedi has been a consistent starter for Borussia Moenchengladbach, appearing in 25 of 26 Bundesliga games, whilst being terribly consistent on the ball, completing 94% of passes so far this season, joint second best in the league.

Why Is He One To Watch?: Since joining Moenchengladbach as an 18 year old five years ago, Elvedi has consistently played over 20 games a season for the side, missing just 6 games in the last 3 seasons in the league. He has played an integral part in a strong defence for the team this season and has been a star performer as his side chase a return to the Champions League. Although he prefers playing at centre back, he can play anywhere across the back and has an outstanding understanding of his positioning on the pitch. He is definitely a modern centre back, shown by his passing record this season, as he could compete with the top players in terms of keeping a cool head on the ball.

Borussia Moenchengladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga
Image Credit: Goal.com

Rumoured Transfers: Although it is starting to sound a bit like a broken record during this series, Elvedi has been paired with Bayern Munich, who seem to have identified him as a possible young replacement for  Jerome Boateng, who is just moving the wrong side of 30. They think he could probably join the likes of Alaba, Pavard, Davies and Kimmich in a rather young Bayern defensive lineup, he certainly looks good in possession, something that is much sought after these days.

Another team looking into Elvedi’s availability is Arsenal, who are on the lookout for someone to shore up their defence, could Elvedi be Arsenal’s Van Dijk? He certainly has the talent to eventually fill that billing and, considering Moenchengladbach are generally a selling club, he could also be the best option for a good price tag.

Upcoming Opponents: After picking Eintracht Frankfurt apart at the weekend, Moenchengladbach and Elvedi are at home to fellow Champions League chasers Bayer Leverkusen in a match that could be crucial to the team’s ambitions. Following that, they are at home to Werder Bremen and away to Union Berlin, both of which they should be looking to beat if they are to achieve the desired top-4 finish.

Bundesliga GW 27 Predictions

Following the first weekend of the return of football in the form of the Bundesliga, everyone seems to be becoming experts on German football. Although we saw last week what happens when you try predicting games after the Corona break, we are back and ready to have another go at it for game week 27!

Hertha Berlin vs Union Berlin

During the first round of games, Hertha produced probably the best performance in terms of shock results, smashing Europe chasing Hoffenheim and completely defying their earlier season performances. It was a strong debut result for new coach Bruno Labbadia. Union Berlin, on the other hand, barely troubled top of the table Bayern but still produced a decent defensive performance against the team chasing their 8th title in a row, not allowing them to produce the fluid play that they would have liked.

For this game, the second top flight Berlin derby in the last 40 years, I am going for a 2-1 win for the home side. Union managed to win the previous game between the two sides and I think they will be difficult to get past again, but with the quality that Hertha produced last week, I think they will win through.

Prediction: 2-1 to Hertha Berlin

Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen

Borussia Monchengladbach ascended into the top three with a comprehensive 3-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt last Saturday, while Bayer Leverkusen made easy work of Werder Bremen on Monday.

It’s destined to be a very cagey affair between two very even sides with Monchengladbach leading Bayer 04 by just two points. The result could also have huge implications on the race for European qualification.

Prediction: 1-1

VfL Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund

Wolfsburg managed to scrape a 2-1 win away at Augsburg last week, when at one point it looked to be going the other way, although Augsburg’s second was disallowed by VAR. Dortmund, as many will already know, took Schalke back to school in the Revierderby, kicking off their season again with a comfortable and high class 4-0 win.

Wolfsburg, I don’t think will be able to show the same resilience against this Dortmund team that they showed against Augsburg, the teams are in two completely different classes. It will be 3-1 to the away team in this fixture, I reckon that Dortmund will keep their scoring ball rolling in this fixture, ready for Bayern in a weeks time.

Prediction: 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund

SC Freiburg vs SV Werder Bremen

SC Freiburg last week got a 1-1 draw away to Leipzig, a result that came as somewhat of a surprise to many, which shows the unpredictable nature of the return from the mid-season break. Werder Bremen, on the other hand, put in that dire performance against Leverkusen that was previously mentioned.

I don’t think things are going to be any easier for Bremen in this fixture, I’m going for a 2-0 win to the home team, buoyed by the good performance they put in last week to wrestle a point from Leipzig.

Prediction: 2-0 to Freiburg

SC Paderborn vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

SC Paderborn last week played out a low quality 0-0 draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf, in a game where there were only 2 shots on target and no real talking points of note. Facing them this week, are Hoffenheim, who played with equally low quality, yet ended up on the wrong side of a 3-0 thumping at home to Hertha Berlin.

This week though, I am going for a Hoffenheim win, after having almost 20 shots last week without managing to get it in the net, I am sure their coach will have given them some drill so they can come out firing this week. Surely, against a somewhat lesser side in the shape of Paderborn, they will come out victors, with the score to be 1-0.

Prediction: 1-0 to Hoffenheim

Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Bayern played out a 2-0 win against Union Berlin on Sunday, in a match where they were frustrated by the defence of Union and never played the fluent football of which they are capable. Eintracht Frankfurt, on the other hand, conceded 2 in the first 7 minutes and never really switched on and looked like they were playing a Bundesliga game until the final 15 minutes.

I predict that their woes will continue in this match, a preview of the German Cup Semi Final, as Bayern will look to further shake off their mid-season break sleepiness. This, of course is against a defence that has looked shaky all season long, not the disciplined defensive capabilities of an organised Union. For that reason, I predict that Eintracht will again lose 3-1, as they will attempt to beat their big rivals by playing out a bit more, meaning the quality of Bayern will shine through.

Prediction: 3-1 win for Bayern Munich

FC Schalke 04 vs FC Augsburg

As previously mentioned, Schalke began their end of season games with a poor performance in their 4-0 loss to rivals Dortmund. Augsburg, however, lost 2-1 at home to Wolfsburg, after having a possible winner discounted by VAR.

I believe that the loss to Dortmund will have been a serious wake up call to this Schalke side and should mean that they no longer arrive sleeping into a game, remembering that they are still competing in Germany’s highest league. With that said, I still believe Augsburg could be a tricky force for them to get past, the score will be a 2-1 win for the home side in this contest.

Prediction: 2-1 to FC SChalke 04

1. FSV Mainz 05 vs RB Leipzig

Mainz played out last week arguably the best match of the weekend, coming back 2-0 down to draw 2-2 and for the last 10 minutes, it could have gone either way. Leipzig, conversely, were very lucky to escape with a point after Freiburg’s last minute goal was disallowed due to VAR on an armpit.

This week, Leipzig will come into this game knowing that they have only won 2 of their last eight games and Timo Werner for one will be hungry for some goals. In this case, I am going for a 2-1 win for the away side, Mainz are fighting hard to stay out of the relegation battle but I think Leipzig will be a step too far for them.

Prediction: 2-1 to RB Leipzig

1. FC Cologne vs Fortuna Duesseldorf

As we just mentioned, Koeln drew 2-2 last week in a heart stopping encounter with Mainz, in a game which they too could have won in the last 10 minutes. Duesseldorf, though, were the other half of that sleepy confrontation with Paderborn, which nobody really wants to talk further about…

Koeln, then will be the winners in this case if my senses are correct. They are hot on the tails of a European place and looked hungry, if not a little jaded, last week despite losing a two goal lead for the first time since December 2017. They will come out of this contest as 2-0 victors when all is said an done

Prediction: 2-0 to 1. FC Koeln

This article was written by Nicholas Mills of Millsy’s View. Find more of his writing on his blog page, on his Twitter or follow his Facebook page.

Why Lukasz Piszczek could be set for one final golden chapter at Borussia Dortmund

Lukasz Piszczek has been given a new lease of life at Borussia Dortmund after being installed into the heart of defence by Lucien Favre.

Dortmund secured an eighth win in nine games in the Bundesliga with a comprehensive 4-0 triumph over FC Schalke in the Revierderby last Saturday.

Piszczek has been instrumental for the Black and Yellows during the Rückrunde and his experience could play a decisive role in the Bundesliga title race.

Die Borussen currently trail league leaders Bayern Munich by four points but could reduce the deficit when they meet on Tuesday, May 26.

DORTMUND, GERMANY – MAY 05: (L-R) Robert Leweandowski, Lukasz Piszczek and Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrate with the trophy after winning the german championship after the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and SC Freiburg at Signal Iduna Park on May 5, 2012 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bayern won a seventh consecutive Bundesliga title in 2018/19, despite Dortmund leading the way in the title race for nearly five months of the campaign.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Favre but his energetic and auspicious young outfit look set to send the title race right down to the wire. Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haaland are among the hottest young prospects in Europe, while Achraf Hakimi and Dan-Axel Zagadou have also caught the eye.

Favre predominantly played with a 4-2-3-1 system during his maiden season at the helm. Hakimi and Raphael Guerreiro struggled when playing as outright full-backs, while Piszczek was hampered by a series of injuries.

The attacking disposition of Hakimi and Guerreiro left an abyss of space for the opposition to exploit and Favre took the decision to change to a 3-4-3 formation in November.

“Lukasz Piszczek is a real leader in our team.”


Their formational change came off the back of a 4-0 defeat at Bayern and a 3-3 draw against rock bottom SC Paderborn at the Westfalenstadion. Paderborn had stormed into a 3-0 lead at the break, before BVB completed a miraculous comeback after the break to salvage a point.

Piszczek made his first appearance at centre-back since May 2018 in a 5-0 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf on 7 December. Another opportunity presented itself when Mats Hummels sustained a wrist injury on the cusp of half-time against Hoffenheim just 13 days later.

The Polish international was tasked with filling the void left by Hummels and conceded twice in the final 15 minutes in a debilitating 2-1 defeat at the PreZero Arena. Favre persisted with Piszczek due to defensive injuries and was forced into replacing him when FC Augsburg stole into a 3-1 lead upon the return from the winter break on Saturday, January 18.  

He was reprieved for his lacklustre performance when his replacement Haaland marked his debut with a hat-trick to inspire Dortmund to a remarkable 5-3 victory. Despite his questionable form across both games, Piszczek completed the full 90 minutes in comfortable victories over FC Koln and Union Berlin respectively.

DORTMUND, GERMANY – MAY 16: Lukasz Piszczek (L) of Borussia Dortmund is challenged by Rabbi Matondo (R) of FC Schalke 04 during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 at Signal Iduna Park on May 16, 2020 in Dortmund, Germany. The Bundesliga and Second Bundesliga is the first professional league to resume the season after the nationwide lockdown due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. All matches until the end of the season will be played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images)

Zagadou replaced Piszczek for the 4-3 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen on Match Day 21, which highlighted the importance of the 34-year-old. Piszczek has injected experience and composure into a relatively inexperienced group of players.

Although Sancho and Haaland may be heralded as the next generation, it’s the winning mentality of Piszczek that could play a telling role during the business end of the season.

The Black and Yellows have conceded just twice in their last seven league games when Piszczek has featured. He’s registered five clean sheets in his last eight games and has also assumed the captaincy in the absence of Marco Reus over the past seven games in all competitions.

Piszczek’s chances of featuring more prominently have also been enhanced after Zagadou was ruled out for the remainder of the season. The Frenchman injured the lateral collateral ligament in his left knee whilst training in small groups in April.

Die Borussen have improved significantly in defence since the turn of the year – conceding 0.4 goals fewer per game than before the winter break. Piszczek has averaged 62 passes per game in the Bundesliga and boasts an enviable pass completion rate of 87.5%.

His effective distribution was illustrated beautifully when he initiated the attack which resulted in Haaland breaking the deadlock in the Revierderby. He steered an incisive pass inside for Julian Brandt, who deceptively flicked the ball down the right channel with an exceptional backheel. Thorgan Hazard drilled a low cross into the penalty area and Haaland cut across the ball to caress his finish into the far bottom corner.

Favre has transformed Piszczek into a crucial figure once again after his career looked set to be drawing to an uneventful conclusion. He penned a new one-year contract extension on Wednesday after initially planning to retire at the end of the current campaign.

Their title-winning aspirations are likely to hinge on their meeting with Bayern Munich at the Westfalenstadion next week. Although Sancho or Haaland will be likely to steal the headlines if the result goes in their favour, the leadership qualities and unlimited experience of Piszczek will undoubtedly play a crucial role.  

Bundesliga GW 27 Predictions: Saturday Edition

The moment is finally upon us, after what seems like an age, professional football is returning to one of the big European leagues when the Bundesliga kicks off on May 16th 2020! In anticipation of the event, grills can be heard being fired up and bottles of beer are being placed on ice!

Before this festival of football kicks off, The Goalmouth Scramble are previewing the fixture list and trying to give you an idea of how the games might go, let’s kick off!

Borussia Dortmund vs FC Schalke 04

This is a big one, it is the first game in the list and features the team aiming to break the Bayern Munich monopoly on the title, Borussia Dortmund, who are four points off top spot going into the weekend. Schalke, on the other hand, are also in a chase for a European place, as they are one of four teams within 2 points of each other in the race for 6th.

Going on previous form probably won’t do us much good in this first preview of the restart, since both teams haven’t played since early March, so it’ll probably come down to the pure strengths of each squad. Also, there has been no preseason to get the teams a feel for being on the pitch and Dortmund will be without their yellow wall, their largest and loudest stand at Signal Iduna Park.

Therefore then, this match is probably going to be 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund, as they still have home advantage and arguably a much stronger squad to boot. You can expect the likes of Jadon Sancho, Erling Braut Haaland and captain Marco Reus to work as well together as they were before the virus, a combination that Schalke shouldn’t stand a chance against.

Prediction: 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund

Key players: Sancho, Haaland & Reus (Dortmund)     (Schalke) Serdar, Kenny & Harit

RB Leipzig vs SC Freiburg

RB Leipzig are another team making a chase for top spot, sitting one point behind Dortmund and will know that it is crucial that they win their remaining home games for the season, therefore they will be well up for this game. Freiburg were looking like chasers for a Champions League place during the first half of the season, but since then they have started to drop off a bit and find themselves sitting in ninth.

It has to be another home win in this one, Leipzig are slowly starting to get used to chasing for titles after 3 seasons in the Bundesliga so will definitely be well prepared, especially after being halted on a high after smashing Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League last time out.

Prediction: 2-0 to RB Leipzig

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs Hertha Berlin

Hoffenheim are in their first season since losing promising young coach Julian Nagelsmann and, after a rocky start, they slowly climbed the table and are currently one of the aforementioned teams in the two-point race for Europe. Hertha Berlin, on the other hand have been having a season that was a little out of sorts for them, having played in the Europa League places two years ago, whilst they fired their coaches seemingly at will. They also had the embarrassment of hiring former national team coach Jurgen Klinnsmann before he even had his coaching licence renewed, before firing him again just before the league cut out.

Therefore, I am going for a 2-1 home win for this game, Hoffenheim have much more to play for, whilst Berlin seem to be an example of mismanagement this season. They also found themselves at one point languising in the relegation zone, which they are now well clear of, so probably just want this season over with as soon as possible!

Prediction: 2-1 to Hoffenheim

Key Players: Kramaric, Grillitsch & Kaderabek (Hoffenheim)

Boyata, Rudy & Mittelstadt (Hertha Berlin)

Fortuna Dusseldorf vs SC Paderborn 07

This game is a real relegation battle between two teams at the wrong end of the Bundesliga table. Both are having a season to forget, despite Paderborn having shown some gutsy performances at times.

Ultimately, I am going to have to say that I think this game may well be a 1-1 draw, as I don’t think either side are good enough to secure a win over the other here.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw

FC Augsburg vs VfL Wolfsburg

Augsburg are another team like Hertha, not having a particularly great season and only 5 points off the relegation playoff places. Wolfsburg, meanwhile are a point off the Europa places, however Augsburg are a team that can always spring a surprise on a team.

Therefore, I am going for another 2-1 win for the home team, as I feel that this is the kind of game that Augsburg’s team can win.

Prediction: 2-1 win for Augsburg

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Moenchengladbach

The final match takes place between Eintracht Frankfurt, who have been struggling with their league performances this season, yet find themselves in the semi finals of the cup and still in the Europa League (although they were thumped 3-0 at home to Basel before the second leg). Moenchengladbach, meanwhile, went out poorly in the Europa League group stages and fell in the second round of the cup, yet find themselves 4th in the league and in with a good chance of a European place for next season.

This is probably the toughest game to predict, as both teams can come out and be either the best or worst team on the pitch at different times. However, I believe that Eintracht will have had time to reflect on their poor league performances and will be looking to pull themselves away from a relegation fight first off. Therefore, I will be putting them down to win 2-1 at home today.

Prediction: 2-1 win for Eintracht Frankfurt

This article was written by Nicholas Mills of Millsy’s View. Find more of his writing on his blog page, on his Twitter or follow his Facebook page.

Bundesliga Watchlist: Part 1: Jadon Sancho

Name: Jadon Sancho

Age: 20

Current Club: Borussia Dortmund

Previous Clubs: Manchester City and Watford

Image Credit: The Guardian

The Stats: Sancho’s stats for this season are absolutely daunting, whilst he is having the season everyone was expecting from him. So far, he is third in the goal scoring table with 14 and second in the assists table with 15, meaning he has 29 goal involvements so far this season.

That was before the play was even stopped, and with Erling-Braut Haaland having joined in January, everyone can expect the assists tally to keep on rising dramatically. Add into that a passing accuracy of 84% and you have one heck of a dangerous opponent, regardless of who he is coming up against.

Why Is He One To Watch?: If you haven’t already heard the name Jadon Sancho, one has to ask where you have had your head buried over the last two years. Since shaking things up by moving to the Bundesliga, and arguably being the trailblazer in that regard, Sancho has continued to make headlines with his performances, both in Dortmund yellow and England white. There is almost nothing this man’s opponents can do to stop him as he continues to dominate teams. Although last season was generally seen as his breakthrough, this one has shown that he wasn’t just a one-season-wonder, as he has continued to improve by the week. He has proven that he has a cool head on his shoulders, performing well in front of the Dortmund “Wall of Noise” in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League.

Image Credit: ZDF

Rumoured Transfers: The rumour mill has been going into overtime regarding where Sancho’s future lies, with almost every club possible being linked with the man. Since City let him go, he has constantly been linked to a move to their cross-city rivals Manchester United, articles appearing almost every day. As well as United, their big rivals Liverpool have also been seen getting in on the action, with many seeing Liverpool’s Klopp as the perfect coach to lead Sancho to even greater heights. Not surprisingly, a return to England is seen as his most likely destination, should he even be seeking a move at all, with even Dimitar Berbatov chiming in recently to cool the coals in the fire.

Upcoming Opponents: Those of you looking to see Sancho in action will be able to watch him in the first round of Bundesliga fixtures, coming this Saturday at 2:30 pm British Standard Time, where he will surely be looking to hit the ground running again at home to Schalke. After that, Dortmund play away to Wolfsburg before the massive home game against Bayern Munich, a game where Jadon will certainly hope to turn the title race back in BVB’s favour.

This article was written by Nicholas Mills of Millsy’s View. Find more of his writing on his blog page, on his Twitter or follow his Facebook page.

Bundesliga Watchlist: Kai Havertz

Name: Kai Havertz

Age: 20

Current Club: Bayer Leverkusen

Previous Clubs: Alemannia Aachen

Image Credit: SoccerBible

The Stats: Whilst still only 20 years of age, Havertz has been playing first team football for a few years now and is becoming the linchpin of the Leverkusen midfield. This season, his stats are looking strong as he has chipped in with 6 goals and 5 assists, while also keeping a passing accuracy of 89%. He is a real work horse on the right side of midfield and has started 22 games this season, playing an average of 85 minutes whenever he appears.

Why Is He One To Watch?: Havertz’s attacking creativity shows a maturity well beyond his years, as his range of passing can often create real problems in the heart of opposition defences. It’s really very tough to pick out a weakness in his game, as he works hard and contributes his part whenever he’s on the pitch and, being still only 20, he is a player who could grow into one of Germany’s strongest and, should he be able to avoid injury, could feature for the national team for many years to come.

Kai Havertz

Rumoured Transfers: When one is seen as such a young starlet, it is natural that the rumour mill will start linking you up with a who’s who of clubs across Europe. One of the many clubs that Kai has been linked with is Chelsea, known for their use of young starters since the arrival of Frank Lampard as gaffer. However, Ballack has been in the news of late, seemingly cooling the rumours of a move there, as he thinks Kai will benefit from staying in the Bundesliga.

Of course, any young German prospect will naturally also be linked with going to giants Bayern Munich, however, the current rumour is that they are focusing their efforts on pushing through a deal for Leroy Sane, which brings Manchester United and Liverpool into the equation. So, watch this space, as this has transfer saga written all over it!

Upcoming Opponents: You will first be able to see Havertz in competition in the final match of the first weekend of the Bundesliga’s return, as Leverkusen face off against Werder Bremen away, before they are again away, this time to Borussia Moenchengladbach in an important clash in the race for the German top 4. Finally, Leverkusen will then play a home game against Wolfsburg, where Havertz has a real chance to showcase what he can really do.

This article was written by Nicholas Mills of Millsy’s View. Find more of his writing on his blog page, on his Twitter or follow his Facebook page.

Bundesliga Watchlist: Alphonso Davies

Name: Alphonso Davies

Age: 19

Current Club: Bayern Munich

Previous Clubs: Vancouver Whitecaps


The Stats: Since being promoted from the Bayern Munich II team in October, Davies has gone on to make 21 appearances in the Bundesliga, 17 of them in the starting XI as he makes his breakthrough season. He originally joined as a winger, but has since transitioned into a quality right-back, looking strong on the ball, keeping 6 clean sheets and making on average 2.3 tackles per game.

Why Is He One To Watch?: I first heard of Alphonso Davies when he made his debut for Canada at just 16 years of age, making him the youngest player for the country in it’s history. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength; making the move to Europe, breaking into Bayern’s starting XI and making 17 appearances for his country. This, he has done all whilst still technically a teenager. The prospects this player has ahead of him are monumental and he could be a once in a generation player, should his development continue as it has.


Rumoured Transfers: Although he is looking like a huge talent in a position that many teams find it tough to fill, Davies has just signed a new contract at Bayern which will run until 2025, so naturally there are currently no rumours of an impending transfer. Manchester United were rumoured to be originally interested in him before he made the move to Germany, but he recently revealed that there was never really a case to be made for that.

Upcoming Opponents: Davies will next be seen in Bayern’s game against 1. Union Berlin on Sunday 17th May, where he will look to hit the ground running again after what must be a difficult distraction, being so young and so far away from home.

Following that match, Bayern will host Eintracht Frankfurt in a preview of the German Cup Semi Final, before the huge game away to Borussia Dortmund which will be crucial in deciding whether Davies can secure his first Bundesliga title this season.

This article was written by Nicholas Mills of Millsy’s View. Find more of his writing on his blog page, on his Twitter or follow his Facebook page.

This article is part 3 in a series, to read part 1, please click here (INSERT LINK), for part 2, please click here (INSERT LINK).

Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck: The story behind one of the most important goals in Bayern Munich’s history

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