KAMPALA: Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann is feeling the heat ahead of his team’s Bundesliga encounter with neighbours Augsburg on Saturday. The reigning champions’ patchy domestic form is drawing criticism from the club’s notoriously difficult to satisfy board. Three consecutive draws have left the Bavarians two points adrift of pacesetters Union Berlin, leading to a very open altercation between the division’s youngest coach and his players.
The Allianz Arena giants are cruising in Europe where they warmed up for this weekend’s encounter with a 2-0 Champions League victory over FC Barcelona. This contrasts sharply with the Bundesliga where 3 victories in their last 8 matches going back to last season has Nagelsmann publicly berating his players. Bayern stand warned as Augsburg won last November’s corresponding fixture 2-1.
Mainz versus Hertha Berlin is the curtain raiser on Friday night before a mammoth derby at Signal Iduna Park between two of the continent’s best supported clubs, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. Edin Terzic’s Black and Yellows have won the last three Revierderbies by a combined goal margin of 11-0 but Frank Kramer’s visitors arrive buoyed by a morale boosting 3-1 triumph over Bochum last time out.
Saturday’s late kick off witnesses newly appointed RB Leipzig boss Marco Reus take his expensively assembled team to former employers Borussia Moenchengladbach. Leipzig are energised by last week’s 3-0 evisceration of Borussia Dortmund whereas Daniel Farke’s Foals are trying to bounce back from a goalless stalemate with Freiburg.
Urs Fischer’s indefatigable Union Berlin are to count on their strong home record when they defend a one point advantage atop the standings against Nico Kovac’s Wolfsburg in one of Sunday afternoon’s three matchups. The day’s other two fixtures feature winless Bochum hoping for a fresh start against Koln following the departure of manager Thomas Reis, and Hoffenheim testing second placed Christian Streich’s Freiburg.
Mainz v Hertha Berlin
Augsburg v Bayern Munich,
Bayer Leverkusen v Werder Bremen,
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke,
Stuttgart v Frankfurt,
Gladbach v RB Leipzig
Union Berlin v Wolfsburg,
Bochum v Koln,
Hoffenheim v Freiburg