Coming up on this week's Bundesliga Preview Show…
Few would have reckoned with the SGL Arena as the venue for the big game of Matchday 15 but the Bundesliga is always good for a surprise, as testified by FC Augsburg's ongoing rise. A come-from-behind win at 1. FC Köln propelled Markus Weinzierl's troops into third place and on Saturday they are gunning for a fifth straight victory when FC Bayern München come calling. And therein lies the rub? Not necessarily. It was, after all, at this self-same venue late last season that a single goal from Sascha Mölders ended Bayern's record 53-game unbeaten run in the league.
Relief was the order of the day as a 1-0 home win against Hoffenheim - only their fourth victory in 14 Bundesliga outings this season – lifted Borussia Dortmund out of the bottom three last weekend. Earlier in the week the players, coach Jürgen Klopp and club mascot Emma headed along to the city's children's hospital for what has now become an annual pre-Christmas visit. For all concerned it was “a matter of the heart,” said former skipper Sebastian Kehl; “It keeps every one of us grounded and it's a reminder that there are more important things in life than football.”
It may not be his favourite position but after a difficult debut season, Raul Bobadilla is flourishing out on the right wing for FC Augsburg and the team, too, are reaping the rewards. The Preview Show hooks up with the no-nonsense Argentinian forward to get his take on a personal sporting renaissance which he hopes might yet result in a call-up for national team duty. Bobadilla also talks about life in Augsburg and the mood in the Bavarian Swabians' camp ahead of the top game with a difference against FC Bayern.
Another fine left-back shift against FC Bayern at the Allianz Arena confirmed once again that Bayer 04 Leverkusen have made an astute purchase in Wendell Nascimento Borges. The 21-year-old Brazilian talent has wasted little time adapting to the Bundesliga, and the process of settling in to a new life on the banks of the Rhine has been further eased by the company of his family. On a visit to a local Christmas market, Wendell spoke to the Preview Show about his impressions of German football so far and his aims with Bayer.