Coming up this week on GOAL!...
Top Game I
After enjoying a terrific mid-season run which took them to the fringes of the race for a UEFA Europa League berth, FC Augsburg have had a tough few weeks of it. Their last four games, against Schalke, Wolfsburg, Leverkusen and Mainz - all of whom are most definitely in the hunt for a place in Europe, it might be added - have yielded but a solitary point for Markus Weinzierl's overachieving troops. And a tough schedule is just about to get several shades tougher, as up next it's FC Bayern München.
Rather than ruminate on what could theoretically go wrong against their (almost) all-conquering Bavarian neighbours, Augsburg could do worse than take the words of Markus Gisdol to heart. Having seen his side earn a 3-3 draw at the Allianz Arena to put the brakes on Bayern's 19-game winning streak, the Hoffenheim coach noted, “You just have to try and win the ball and stick it in your opponents' net. It sounds simple - but sometimes it actually is.“
Top Game II
Neck-and-neck with FC Schalke in the race for runners-up spot, and having had to settle for a scoreless share of the spoils with their neighbours and great rivals in their last home outing, Borussia Dortmund are determined to do better against another of the league's most ambitious clubs when VfL Wolfsburg come calling. Jürgen Klopp's men got back to winning ways at Stuttgart, clawing back a two-goal deficit to take the points courtesy of a Marco Reus hat-trick but they know a tough tussle is in store against a Wolves side themselves looking to prove they are ready to take the next step up.
A return to the European stage is the declared season goal of the Lower Saxony outfit and they are very much on course to achieve it. In fact, last Saturday's late victory over Frankfurt, earned by Naldo's fantastic long-range strike, even took them to within a point of fourth place and a shot at the UEFA Champions League. The trip to the Signal Iduna Park will be a handy waymarker as to whether Wolfsburg are quite that far along the path yet.
Three minutes with...
...Andre Hahn. Without a doubt one of the shooting stars of the 2013/14 Bundesliga campaign, the 23-year-old attacking midfielder signed from Kickers Offenbach at the start of last year has been one of the standout performers in a season which has seen FC Augsburg far outstrip probably even their own expectations.
Having added a nose for goal to his speed, endurance and great technique, Hahn is now even in with a shout of earning a ticket to Brazil with the German national squad. Meanwhile, one thing he has already definitely earned is a move to Lucien Favre's Borussia Mönchengladbach next season.