20th match day – Bundesliga: Six games, six heads

20th matchday

Berlin (AP) – After the cup at FC St. Pauli, BVB captain Marco Reus had a verbal skirmish with a reporter. In a duel with another cup loser, he wants to make sporting headlines again.

In Fürth, the focus is on the Mainz coach representative, in Gladbach a newcomer. Six players and coaches to watch out for today:

SC Freiburg – VfB Stuttgart

VINCENZO GRIFO – The Baden-Württemberg duel is always a special game for the offensive man from Pforzheim. And fittingly, he is currently in really good shape. In the 4-1 win at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim during the week, Grifo paved the way for the Freiburg team to the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup with two goals. Together with captain Christian Günter, Freiburg’s top scorer forms a dangerous team on the left. With his fine foot, he has already made a significant contribution to the standard strength of the Baden team this season. VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo has been warned about the noble technician.

Bayer Leverkusen – FC Augsburg

PATRIK SCHICK – No Bayer professional has scored 18 goals after 19 Bundesliga games before him. Patrik Schick played a big part in his team’s third place in the Champions League race. The efficiency of the 25-year-old Czech is remarkable. Of all professionals with more than five goals, he needed the fewest shots on goal with an average of 3.1. With his goal quota, he currently even ranks ahead of the superstars Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland. Schick scores every 70 minutes, Bayern’s world footballer every 71 and the BVB striker every 72 minutes. Florian Wirtz scored six goals alone – also the best in the league.

Borussia Monchengladbach – 1. FC Union Berlin

MARVIN FRIEDRICH – In his second league game after moving to Borussia Mönchengladbach, Marvin Friedrich has to play against his old colleagues. Even Gladbach’s coach Adi Hütter had to smile about the constellation – and the Austrian doesn’t have much to smile about at the moment given Borussia’s situation. Friedrich is also quite involved in this. The 26-year-old was brought in as the successor to Matthias Ginter, who will change in the summer at the latest, and is already a regular on the Lower Rhine. There is still a lot of room for improvement. The first two appearances in the 1:2 against Leverkusen and in the cup in the 0:3 in Hanover were – to put it mildly – still room for improvement.

SpVgg Greuther Furth – FSV Mainz 05

Do you know BABAK KEYHANFAR? Keyhanfar is the assistant to Mainz coach Bo Svensson and replaces his boss on the sidelines. Because Svensson is suspended after four yellow cards. Babak has “a very good connection to the team. I think the boys will go through fire for him,” Svensson said of his substitute.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim – Borussia Dortmund

MARCO REUS – After knocking out the cup at the second division team St. Pauli, Marco Reus was visibly irritated. “Where are Bayern now? Six points, right? Should we give up now, or what?” answered the BVB captain in the first ARD interview when asked about Borussia’s slim chances for the title. Not only the poor performance of the entire team, but also his own poor performance frustrated the 32-year-old veteran. Reus could not really convince in any of the three competitive games after the winter break. Nevertheless, his coach Marco Rose demonstratively backed him: “I can’t see that he’s outplayed in any way. He’s our captain – and I stand by our captain.”

VfL Bochum – 1 FC Cologne

MILOS PANTOVIC: He is now considered a guarantee for nice goals. After Milos Pantovic had already caused a sensation with two dream goals from a good 40 meters in the first half of the Bundesliga season, he also consolidated his reputation as an artistic marksman with a brace in the cup game against Bremen. Above all, his lift to his team’s 2-1 lead showed the fine technique the Serb, who was born in Munich, has. The 25-year-old, who trained at FC Bayern, is the most successful VfL shooter with seven competitive goals and is well on the way to becoming a regular in the starting XI.


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