Spieltag #12 Predictions
For the past two seasons, our podcast team has been making - mostly incorrectly - predictions regarding the Bundesliga matchdays, but usually these predictions have been made in the dark with no one actually knowing what we picked.
Although, since our predictions are usually so bad, it's pretty clear that while not transparent, we're certainly not hiding anything!
In an attempt, however, to be more transparent (in how lousy our thoughts are), we're going to try to provide early insight into exactly what we are thinking when it comes to our beloved clubs as well as the other 15 clubs around the league. We'll attempt to continue to post our pre-match predictions until we absolutely embarrass ourselves and are forced to stop.
So probably until matchday #12!
Prediction Records = Matt 49-6-44, Austin 45-6-48, Travis 45-6-48, Jeff 39-6-54
Table Standings = Matt 21, Travis 17, Auz 13, Jeff 10
VfB Picks 2022/2023 = Matt 7-4, Travis 6-5, Jeff 5-6, Austin 4-7
VfB v FCA
VfB is the favorite while FCA is the underdog to the tune of getting half a goal. If you're not sure how that works, just know that if you were a wagering person, VfB would have to win by at least a goal if they were to win the wager.
Saturday’s VfB versus Augsburg - or the Flaming Pineapples as we like to call them - is a lot of things. A Swabian derby? Maybe. A chance to get the horrid taste of last week’s BVB result out of our mouth? Surely. An opportunity for Wimmer and company to calm down the anxiety-ridden Stuttgart supporters with a positive result? ABSOLUTELY!
On this week’s podcast, Matt and Ted brought up some great points, that these are two eye-level clubs and that, in fact, certain stats like the goal difference, are actually in VfB’s favor, so the fellas should have chances to score.
And some numbers indicate VfB has a good chance of getting a result:
In 22 total matches, while VfB trails 10-1-11, they’re 5-1-4 in their last 10, including a 1-1 mark last season as they crushed FCA on the road 4:1 and then earned a dramatic come-from-behind 3:2 win thanks to a Tiago goal in what was Hitzlsperger’s final match with the club. And the first Rino sprint and hug with Fritzle. Sigh. Anyway, VfB has the advantage over the last 10.
The home team is 13-1-8 in their Bundesliga history. And VfB is playing at home!
VfB has the third most duels won in the league. I’m honestly shocked by that number, but it seems to indicate - maybe - that the boys will scratch and claw for a result. So hopefully BVB was an aberration!
Both clubs are super-duper close when it comes to most stats, from one’s that are understandable like goals scored and possession to one’s that barely make sense, like sprints and intensive runs (which apparently are different), which makes me want to believe that the home field advantage could give VfB the edge (also, if you are visiting the website theanalyst.com, check out the “Zones of Control” graphic for both FCA and VfB … yikes).
But there are some troubling numbers as well:
Even though the series is close, the Mighty Flaming Pineapples lead the goal differential by nine. Nine! So it seems that when they win, they tend to win big.
FCA is 4-2-4 in their last 10 matches, and despite that late draw versus RBL this past weekend, it seems that have some momentum on their side.
According to theanalyst.com, FCA is the fastest and most direct team in the Bundesliga, and by a large margin. They barely play in open play, barely string any passes together, and basically look to counter and play long ball. Which is concerning because it seems like that’s exactly the type of club VfB tends to struggle against.
According to bundesliga.com, FCA is #1 in aerial duels, #1 in cards, and #2 in total fouls committed, only 11 behind noted “gritty playing” Union. For what it’s worth, VfB is 15th, down by BVB and Bayern. But Augsburg seems to play a very physical game, which seems to be a struggle for us.
I am super-duper torn on this one. Part of me feels the Flaming Acorns will counter-attack VfB into oblivion while part of me feels they're so weak on defense that our attack will be able to actually do something for once (or twice ... what's up Bochum?!). I really, really feel a draw will be the final result, even though these two never, ever draw.
To paraphrase Matt's comment on the podcast, this week should show whether VfB is a "team that believes in it's cause, that has an identity and a purpose" or if VfB is "a team that has no plan, has no identity, and has no purpose." That Matt, what a wordsmith!
We'll get a partial answer after the final whistle against The Travelling Christmas Tree's, and despite all the troubling numbers stated above, and despite going back and forth on this prediction at least seventeen times, I like what Ted said during our most recent episode - "sink or swim with Sven." If Sven believes, well, I'm going to have to believe as well. And as there are only four matches left until the break, and as the rumor mill seems to indicate that Sven's ship may be taking on some serious water, I'm still hoping we can work to keep that VfB boat afloat.
Anyway, while I have a strong feeling this match will break the trend and it'll end up in a draw (and Augsburg will cover the underdog spread for those still paying attention), I'm calling on VfB to take it in a nail biter, 2:1.
Calling = hoping!
Also, red and white glasses aside, the home team usually wins these matches, FCA is missing most of their key defensive pieces thanks to injuries and red cards, the VfB attack actually looked pretty solid last week, and I have to - have to! - believe that the defense will be shamed into improving from last week's debacle.
So I'll stick with my 2:1 result for the home team. Here's how the rest of the fellas see it:
I don't believe in our defense right now. FCA.
Keep the faith!!! VfB!
I pick YOU! VfB.
Travis’ Bottom o’ The Table Thoughts:
Taking a look at the bottom six places on the table, there are some super impactful matches for the jungundwild this week!
11th place Bremen is coming off two scoreless losses in a row while 13th place (our 1st place!) Hertha just seems to play hard, which isn’t much, but has earned them six points in the last five matches. Methinks Bremen got off to a fast start and is coming back to earth.
For some reason I love Nico Kovac, but it seems like Nico Kovac’s 14th place players don’t love Nico Kovac. 17th place Bochum is coming off a surprise win over Union after getting absolutely demolished on the road against Stuttgart. They’re on the road again, so…
I cannot believe Bayer is in 15th but I’m guessing Bayer can’t believe Bayer is in 15th, so we’re on the same page in terms of our belief systems. RBL really hasn’t been that good this season - heck, they drew versus VfB! - and their results in their last four versus VfL, Mainz, Hertha, and a comeback draw versus Augsburg, aren't exactly impressive. But they're the home team, so I'm taking the home team just to do it, and besides, it’s nice seeing Xabi down by us!
Schalke, Schalke, Schalke. Yikes. I mean … yikes. No manager. No sporting director. 18th on the table. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think these guys were wearing a red brustring on game days! And plucky little Freiburg, sitting at 3rd place on the table. Yeesh. If I had to wager actual paychecks, I’d put that tiny payday loan on Freiburg. But at some point Freiburg is gonna get tired and slip up, and if it’s ever going to happen, maybe it’s against a Schalke club that is rallying behind the “OMG we replaced Stuttgart in the news as the most dysfunctional club in Germany, let’s get our act together” mantra. So maybe this is the week? Ugh.
Anyway, those are our thoughts, unofficial, uninformed, and certainly unprepared. Thanks for reading!