Weekend Boxset: The Bundesliga is back

German football returns with a couple of tricky fixtures for the top two. We're so excited about it we even bumped out the two bald men fighting over a comb that is Arsenal v Chelsea to get them in.

Seven great matches to take you from Friday to Sunday. It's the Sound of Football Weekend Boxset.

All times are GMT


Friday



Bundesliga: Hoffenheim v Bayern Munich


19.30 on BT Sport 1


The Bundesliga returns after its lengthy winterpause. Bayern Munich, in the unfamiliar position of second place in the league, were hard at it in Doha. Only Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Corentin Tolisso are injured. The Bavarians welcome their new signing Alphonso Davies. The Ghana born Canadian joined the Munich club on 1 January from Vancouver Whitecaps with no small amount of fanfare. The 18 year old left winger is very highly rated in North American soccer circles. Davies impressed in Doha but it’s not certain if he’ll feature in this game. Who knows, perhaps Callum Hudson-Odoi will be joining him. The other team in this match is Hoffenheim who eschewed the traditional warm weather training camp and stayed at home. This will be TSG coach Julian Nagelsmann’s final Rückrunde before he sods off to Leipzig in the summer. He won’t be working his notice with his feet up though as he tries to get his team back in the top four. It won’t be easy. The seventh placed team have lost five players in the transfer market already and will do well to quell the ambitions of a Bayern team anxious to catch leaders Borussia Dortmund in this match. TD



Saturday



Scottish FA Cup 4th Round: Auchinleck Talbot v Ayr United


12.15 on BBC One Scotland (Sky 951, Virgin 862, Freesat 973) 


It's an Ayrshire cup derby as Auchinleck Talbot of the West of Scotland Super League welcome Championship side Ayr. Thanks to their dominance of the Scottish Junior Cup in recent years, Talbot have enjoyed regular qualification for the Scottish FA Cup but have yet to beat League opposition. An upset today looks unlikely with Ayr looking good for a successive promotion but the Honest Men haven't won since November - a run that's seen them take just three points in five games. Ayr's danger-man is 23 year old Lawrence Shankland who has already scored 28 goals this season, leading people to wonder why Aberdeen let him go. A win for Ayr will see them through to the 5th round for a third consecutive season. Their fans may be happy enough for them to stop there as the last two times they reached the quarter finals they've ended the season being relegated to the third tier. GS
 



Bundesliga: RB Liepzig v Borussia Dortmund


17.30 on BT Sport ESPN


I expect most of you will be watching Arsenal v Chelsea on the other side but maybe I can persuade you to put this on your second screen. Dortmund are six points clear at the top but struggled with their results in the back end of the Hinrunde. Now they face a tough first few weeks to the Rückrunde, starting with a trip to Leipzig where Rasenballsport have not lost all season. If BVB overcome the fourth placed team then it may galvanise the squad just as it did back in January 2011 when, under very similar circumstances, Jurgen Klopp’s team beat a very good Leverkusen side to set up that run which took them to the title. Manuel Akanji is missing from the defense but striker Paco Alcácer is fit. Whether he starts on the pitch or the bench the Spaniard is statistically determined to score. He is averaging a goal a game in the Bundesliga. However, if Borussia lose to Ralf Rangnick’s talented side then the title race is wide open. The home side are in decent shape after their break. The two strikers Youssef Poulsen and Timo Werner offer different challenges to opposition defences. Missing however, is the creative dynamo in the attack, Emil Forsberg. TD
 



Ligue 1: Monaco v Strasbourg


19.00 on BT Sport Extra 2


The midweek Cote D'Azure derby grabbed plenty of attention due mostly to the two former Invincibles Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira going head to head. Henry's Monaco got a creditable draw (with a little help from VAR) against Vieira's Nice despite being unable to play any of their current transfer window signings due to the rules regarding the original date of the fixture. Second from bottom and crippled by injuries, the addition of Fabregas and Naldo gives much needed experience to Monaco's painfully young squad as well as strength in the central line. The rebuilding of Strasbourg has taken a little longer. Having been liquidated in 2011, the reborn club entered the French league at the fifth level and have climbed steadily since, returning to the top flight last season. This season they sit in a pack of teams with realistic hopes of Europa League qualification. This should be a fascinating match and should tell us a lot about what can be expected from these clubs in the second half of the season.



 





Sunday



A-League: Melbourne Victory v Wellington Victory


06.00 on BT Sport 3


At the start of this season, the very notion that Wellington would be the must-watch team of the A-League would have been greeted with a "Lads, it's the Phoenix", before turning your attention to other matters, safe in the knowledge that you'd just be missing an insipid loss. But coach Mark Rudan, in his first A-League gig, has totally transformed the Nix to the point that this game has classic written all over it, when the league's two form teams meet. After a wobbly start, Rudan has taken Wellington to the best ever run in the A-League, while pantomime villain Kevin Muscat's Victory have looked strong contenders for back-to-back championships (even if Perth might have something to say about that). Bar a hiccup to Adelaide, the Vick have overcome the loss of marquee man Keisuke Honda to injury, with Swedish import Ola Toivonen stepping up to terrorise defences, while Fijian Roy Krishna is in equally impressive form, scoring nine this season and forming an impressive understanding with youngster Sarpreet Singh. With Victory coming off the back of a 5-0 demolition of Brisbane and the Nix completing an impressive turnaround to beat Central Coast 3-2, this game promises goals aplenty. If you're an early riser, this is a match you'll want to set your alarm for. GA
 



Premier League: Huddersfield Town v Manchester City


13.30 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


"His achievements will rightly put him up there in Huddersfield Town history alongside great names like Herbert Chapman and Mick Buxton.” Those the words of Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle in praise of his departed coach, David Wagner. There are few managers to have made such an impact on a football club in such a short space of time as Wagner. When he joined in November 2015 Huddersfield were an unremarkable, soon to be League 1 club. Just over a season and a half later they were in the Premier League. But David Wagner leaves a wider legacy. He is among the first to lay the lengthening Anglo-German coaching pipeline. While Klopp just predates him, Wagner exemplified the depth of coaching talent in the Bundesliga and was followed by Daniels Farke at Norwich and Stendel at Barnsley. Plus Ralph Hasenhüttl at Southampton. Should future football historians look back on this coaching invasion of England, David Wagner’s name will feature prominently. My favourite memory is of him reducing Garry Monk to a tightly wound ball of impotent rage as he celebrated Town’s last minute 2-1 win against Leeds in 2017. Let this preview of Town’s first game after his departure act as a tribute to David Wagner’s achievements and humanity. TD
 



Premier League: Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur


16.00 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


At the beginning of the week, this looked like a very obvious win for Spurs. Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane had hit a run of form that put them hot on Man City’s heals with a sparkling run of results.  Unfortunately, the Asian cup and Kane’s ankle ligaments have the potential to stall Tottenham’s title challenge, and Claudio Ranieri is just the man to rub salt into Pochettino’s wounds. And wounded he is: fresh from a defeat to the resurgent Manchester United, coupled with his selection issues, Poch must get the Tottenham train back on track this weekend.  In his way is a Fulham side who snatched a win in their last league home game, only to slip up away to Arsenal and Burnley; however, they have Mitrovic who may prove the difference in this one against a highly compromised Spurs. JB
 



Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.



Terry (@terryduffelen), Graham (@grahamsibley), Jan (@janbilton) and Gary (@gafootbl)



Get in touch with us

Name

Email *

Message *

Never miss a podcast

Don't forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter - The Weekend Boxset - which tells you all about the seven must watch games on your TV over the weekend.