Bayern in litmus test as Wolfsburg look to extend dominance: Frauen-Bundesliga Week 12 Preview
• Bayern Munich face a robust Frankfurt at the turn of the season in a match which could cost them second place
· Potsdam’s bottom-of-the-log clash against Werder Bremen has been postponed due to an ‘unplayable field’ after their match against Bayern was also cancelled last weekend
Former champions Bayern Munich face a litmus test when they play at home to a marauding Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon.
The Munich side had their clash against Turbine Potsdam postponed last week due to a frozen pitch and will pick up this weekend with a home contest against the second-placed visitors. Frankfurt, on the other hand, edged a stubborn Meppen 1-0 away last weekend and rose from third place and will be looking to build on the result as they look to stay in that spot.
Slovenian forward Lara Prašnikar scored the crucial goal in their 1-0 win over Meppen last weekend and the visitors will be looking forward to her repeating the performance.
“. . . we are going to Munich to take something countable home with us — Lara Prašnikar
The 24-year-old has recorded six goals and two assists in 11 appearances for Niko Arnautis’ side this term and is joint-fourth top scorer in the Bundesliga alongside Bayern Munich’s Lea Schüller.
“I am here to score goals. But a nice and important assist is just as important for me. However, I can live well with the current record. However, I am not putting any pressure on myself regarding a certain number of goals. It is much more important for me that I train well and perform well on the pitch. If that is the case, everything else will take care of itself. Basically, I am pretty happy with my goal rate so far,” Prašnikar told DFB.de.
She also said that they will be looking to build on the win over Meppen last weekend as they play their crunch match against Bayern Munich away.
“. . . We have found ourselves as a team and have had good preparation for the second half of the season. In addition, we can carry the momentum of the victory in Meppen last weekend with us. Since then we have prepared intensively for Bayern. Now we are going to Munich to take something countable home with us”, she said.
“One look at the table is enough to see the importance of the game. It is an important match because it is a head on clash between two top teams.”
Bayern Munich will also need to watchout for Frankfurt forward-cum-midfielder Laura Freigang who is club second top scorer with five goals. The visitors also boast of midfielder Barbara Dunst and forward Géraldine Reuteler who are the club’s joint-top assist rakers with four assists this term.
On the other hand, Bayern Munich will bank on the services of trusted forward Schüller, who was last season’s Golden Boot Award winner with 16 goals, to drive the team to a crucial victory which could turn decisive as the season turns into the second half.
The 25-year-old has recorded six goals and one assist in 10 appearances for the Bavarians this term.
They will also call upon forward Linda Dallmann who has registered five goals and four assists in nine appearances for them as they seek a crucial ninth win of the term.
Frankfurt have amassed 26 points from eight wins and two draws in 11 outings whilst third place Bayern have collected 25 points from eight wins and a draw in 10 ties.
Meanwhile, the match between Bayern and Potsdam has been rescheduled to February 25 at 13:00hrs CET.
Elsewhere, reigning champions Wolfsburg will look to follow up on their 4-0 thumping of Freiburg away last weekend when they travel to SGS Essen on Sunday afternoon.
Forwards Ewa Pajor and Alexandra Popp and midfielders Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir and Lena Lattwein were on the scoresheet in the goal feast last weekend and Die Wölfinnen will hope the quartet is in the same form as they seek to extend their dominance.
Pajor is current Bundesliga top scorer with nine goals. She also has five assists to her name and is joint-top assist raker in the league alongside Bayern Munich’s Caroline Simon.
Popp has recorded seven goals and one assist in 11 outings for Wolfsburg this term and is third top scorer in the Bundesliga.
Essen, on the other hand, will pin their hopes on 21-year-old forward Vivien Endemann who has bagged five goals in 11 appearances for the hostesses. Endemann also scored in their 4-0 demolition of FC Köln last weekend.
Wolfsburg are at the apex of the log on 33 points from 11 wins in 11 encounters whilst Essen are sixth on 13 points from four wins and a draw in the same number of contests.
Hoffenheim will be looking to make it two wins on the trot when they host FC Köln at the Dietmar-Hopp-Stadion on Sunday afternoon.
Gabor Galai’s side were 7-0 winners over Duisburg last weekend and they will be looking to unleash their momentum on Sascha Glass’ side who were at the receiving end of a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Essen last weekend.
Forward Nicole Billa, midfielder Julia Hicklelsberger and defender Jana Fieldkamp scored a brace each in the goal feast and will be called upon to replicate their performance. Forward Melissa Kössler was also on target for Die Kraichgauer in the win and will be looking to have a say in things come Sunday.
On the other hand, Mandy Islacker, with four goals in 11 appearances for Köln, will be tasked with steering the somewhat troubled team to win number four of the term.
Hoffenheim are fourth on the standings on 20 points from six wins and two draws in 11 ties whilst Köln are ninth on 10 points from three wins and a draw in the same number of encounters.
Freiburg will be looking to bounce back from a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Wolfsburg when they host Meppen on Sunday afternoon.
Freiburg’s defeat to Wolfsburg last weekend was their second in a row and saw them slip from fourth to fifth on the standings.
They will entrust gunslinger Janina Minge - who has scored eight goals in 11 appearances for the hostesses and is second top scorer in the current Bundesliga campaign - with the job of steering the team back closer to the leading teams on the standings.
Freiburg are on 19 points from six wins and a draw in 11 outings whilst eighth place Meppen are on 12 points from four wins in the same number of outings.
Seventh place Bayer Leverkusen will be looking to bounce back from two consecutive defeats when they host 10th place Duisburg on Sunday afternoon.
Robert de Pauw’s side were 2-0 losers to troubled Werder Bremen last weekend and the result saw them slip from sixth to seventh on the standings.
The hostesses will pin their hopes on forwards Jill Baijings and Kristin Kögel and defender Caroline Siems, who have three goals apiece, to thrust them into the correct half of the standings.
Leverkusen are on 12 points from four wins in 11 encounters whilst Duisburg are on 10 points from three wins and a draw in the same number of ties.
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FIXTURES: Saturday 11 February, 2023 (14:00) Bayern München vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
FIXTURES: Sunday 12 February, 2023 (13:00) SC Freiburg vs. SV Meppen
FIXTURES: Sunday 12 February, 2023 (13:00) SGS Essen vs. VfL Wolfsburg
FIXTURES: Sunday 12 February, 2023 (16:00) TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs. FC Köln
FIXTURES: Sunday 12 February, 2023 (16:00) Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs. MSV 02 Duisburg
All Times are Central European Time (CET)