I don't know about you guys, but I thoroughly enjoyed Matchday 23. It had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, set a new season record for most goals scored on a single weekend and boasted some exceptional performances in Official Fantasy Bundesliga.
My team hit triple digits, while the six players I recommended in my favourable fixtures piece racked up a total of 75 points between them – not too shabby if I do say so myself! Here's hoping I can maintain that level of performance this weekend and, as always, I've got my eye on three fixtures in particular.
What? Leverkusen? Seriously? Yes! I know they got thrashed 6-2 by Dortmund, but Bundesliga teams have a strange habit of picking up positive results when there’s a new man in charge. Tayfun Korkut's priority will not be implementing tactical changes, but motivating his charges as they look to bounce back against a Bremen outfit who have won three on the bounce. Plus if things don’t work out you can always swap players out on Saturday!
Lars Bender (MF, 48pts, 9.9M): Bayer's captain will to be expected to step up in Korkut's first game in charge and, averaging nearly 15 challenges won a game, should do so on Friday.
Chicharito (FW, 126pts, 16M): He only featured off the bench against BVB, but he may be worth a punt this weekend. When he scores, he almost always hits double digits.
Darmstadt impressed me greatly against Bremen and, had they converted their pressure into a goal before half-time, may have come away with a share of the spoils. However, the profligacy that has plagued their season proved costly once again and it's a trend that I can't see them bucking. Mainz are holding their own in mid-table, picking up seven points from the last 12 available, but have to be considered favourites to take all three on Saturday.
Gaëtan Bussmann (DF, 73pts, 8.3M): Mainz's left-back has picked up 23 points in two games since returning to the starting line-up and averages over 10 challenges won a game.
Jhon Cordoba (FW, 149pts, 13.3M): The only time Cordoba didn't score at least 10 points in the last four games was the only match he scored in – against Wolfsburg last weekend!
I've just realised I'm backing three teams who all failed to win last weekend! As you know, though, I am someone who follows his gut feeling and, back on home soil, I fancy Schalke to get the job done against Augsburg. Die Fuggerstädter gave Leipzig a real run for their money in the 2-2 draw last Friday, but as we've seen so often this season, struggle to string a run of results together. Plus, it's also worth pointing out that the stakes are much higher for Schalke.
Leon Goretzka (MF, 161pts, 11.95M): Goretzka's performance was one of few positives in the loss to Gladbach. He hasn't scored less than six points in his last eight games.
Nabil Benatleb (MF, 156pts, 9.95M): The Algerian is slightly cheaper than Goretzka and just as much of a goal threat. The one draw back is that he doesn't win as many challenges.
It goes without saying that Bayern's game against an out-of-form Frankfurt side will likely see the league leaders' star-studded squad provide a dependable source of points. However, I would recommend using any additional funds to make two strong signings instead of one big-money move!
Never tactics bored,