Wolfsburg in Freiburg puzzle as Bayern, Frankfurt look to keep pressure: Frauen Bundesliga Week 11 Preview
• The Frauen-Bundesliga returns to action this weekend after a one-and-half month break with log leaders Wolfsburg looking to extend dominance with a tie away to Freiburg
· The second half of the Frauen-Bundesliga also returns with former champions Bayern looking to keep pressure as they play troubled Potsdam away
Reigning champions and log leaders Wolfsburg will be looking to extend their 100% record when they travel to the Dreisamstadion for a tricky clash with Freiburg on Saturday afternoon.
The German champions’ last competitive match was an 8-2 capitulation of Austrian side SKN St. Pölten in the UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) group stage back in December, a performance which is still likely in the back of their minds as they seek determination to get past their opponents on Saturday. On the other hand, Freiburg will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing nil-all league draw with FC Köln before the winter break.
Die Wölfinnen will turn to the services of gunslinger Ewa Pajor who is joint-top scorer on the Bundesliga charts alongside Freiburg’s Janina Minge with eight goals, and forward Alexandra Popp who is third joint-top scorer on the Bundesliga charts alongside Bayern Munich’s Lea Schüller with six goals. Theresa Merk’s side, on the other hand, will ride on the industry of Minge who has bagged eight goals and is joint-top scorer in the current Bundesliga campaign.
“I am very grateful and I am extremely happy to continue playing for the club because this is my home
— Janina Minge
Minge was a major boost for Freiburg when she recently renewed her contract with the 23-year-old expressing happiness with the deal which keeps her with the Bundesliga side for an undisclosed period.
“I am very grateful and I am extremely happy to continue playing for the club because this is my home,” said Minge, who has been with Freiburg since 2015.
“This season we have already shown throughout the first half of the season that SC Freiburg can play up front. The move to the Dreisamstadion finally created optimal conditions for us, which brought us a huge step forward as a team.”
Tommy Stroot’s side are at the apex of the Bundesliga on 30 points from 10 wins in 10 matches whilst Freiburg are fourth on 19 points from six wins and a draw in the same number of ties.
Meanwhile, former champions Bayern Munich will be looking to keep pressure on log leaders Wolfsburg with a win when they play guests to beleaguered Potsdam at the Karl-Liebknecht-Stadion on Sunday.
Alexander Straus’ side will draw morale from their 2-0 win over Benfica in the UWCL group stages back in December as they seek to close the five-point gap with Wolfsburg at the top whilst Potsdam will be looking to bounce back from a shocking run of nine defeats and a draw in 10 matches.
Schüller, who has scored six goals and made one assist in 10 appearances for Bayern this season will be tasked with steering the team to a crucial ninth Bundesliga win of the term while fellow forward Linda Dallmann who has registered five goals and four assists in nine league appearances for Bayern this term will also be called upon to be determinant in the Munich side’s quest to reclaim the title.
Bayern also boast of having the league’s top assist raker in defender Carolin Simon, who has raked five assists in eight appearances for the Bavarians and the German international will be looking to have a say come Sunday.
Frankfurt will be looking to cement their third place with a win when they travel to the Hänsch-Arena for a clash with Bundesliga newcomers Meppen on Sunday afternoon.
Frankfurt’s last competitive match ended in a 3-0 win over Potsdam in the league before the winter break and the former will be looking to build on the result to make it two wins in a row whilst Meppen will be looking to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat to Wolfsburg in their last competitive match before the winter break.
Slovenian forward Lara Prašnikar, Polish midfielder Tanja Pawollek and German defender Sara Doorsoun-Khajeh were on the scoresheet in Frankfurt’s 3-0 win over Potsdam before the winter break and the trio will be expected to replicate their performance come Sunday afternoon.
Prašnikar has scored five goals in 10 appearances for Frankfurt and is club top scorer.
The visitors will also pin their hopes on illustrious Austrian midfielder Barbara Dunst to steer the team to a win. Dunst is joint-second top assist raker in the current Bundesliga campaign with four.
Frankfurt are third on the standings on 23 points from seven wins and two draws in 10 outings whilst Meppen are seventh on 12 points from four wins in the same number of encounters.
Hoffenheim will be aiming for more consistency as they kick-start the second half of the campaign with a date at home to Bundesliga newcomers Duisburg on Sunday.
Hoffenheim will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing one-all draw against Werder Bremen before the winter break whilst Duisburg will also be looking to rebound from a 4-1 defeat to Freiburg just before the winter break.
Austrian forward Katharina Naschenweng, who has bagged five goals in 10 appearances for Hoffenheim and is club top scorer, will be expected to come around with goals on Sunday as Die Kraichgauer look to turn around a lukewarm season.
The hosts are fifth on the standings on 17 points from five wins and two draws in 10 contests whilst the visitors are 10th on goal difference having registered 10 points from three wins and a draw in the same number of outings.
Bayer Leverkusen will be looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich before the winter break when they host Werder Bremen on Sunday.
Forwards Jill Baijings and Kristin Kögel and defender Caroline Siems, who have three goals apiece, will be thrust into the forefront as Leverkusen look to turn around their season.
The hosts are sixth on the standings on 12 points from four wins in 10 encounters whilst the visitors, who are yet to win a match this term, are second from bottom on a meager four points from four draws in the same number of ties.
FC Köln will be looking to bounce back from a nil-all draw against Freiburg before the winter break when they travel to Stadion Essen for a matchup against Essen on Friday evening.
Striker Mandy Islacker, who has bagged four goals in 10 appearances for the visitors and is club top scorer, will be tasked with goal-getting as the Cologne side look for meaning in their season. On the other hand, Essen will unleash forward Vivien Endemann, who has found the back of the net four times and registered one assist in 10 appearances for them and is club top scorer.
The visitors are eighth on the standings on 10 points from three wins and a draw in 10 encounters whilst the hosts are ninth on goal difference having also registered three wins and a draw in the same number of ties.
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FIXTURES: Friday 03 February, 2023 (19:15) SGS Essen vs. FC Köln
FIXTURES: Saturday 04 February, 2023 (14:00) SC Freiburg vs. VfL Wolfsburg
FIXTURES: Sunday 05 February, 2023 (13:00) TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs. MSV 02 Duisburg
FIXTURES: Sunday 05 February, 2023 (13:00) Turbine Potsdam vs. Bayern Munich
FIXTURES: Sunday 05 February, 2023 (16:00) SV Meppen vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
FIXTURES: Sunday 05 February, 2023 (16:00) Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs. SV Werder Bremen
All Times are Central European Time (CET)