Bielefeld vs Duisburg by Gustav
Arminia Bielefeld isn't having the best possible season so far, far from it, but the team managed to improve the things in last four matches before the break, as they remained undefeated in these four with two victories and two draws, detaching themselves a bit from the relegation zone. Overall, they weren't playing that bad till now, however the team paid the price of having simply too many draws so far in the season.
For example, they were defeated only three times, which is a defeat less than second placed Freiburg, but with twelve draws out of nineteen matches, they can't expect for a much better position than only thirteenth place. Still, they have seven points more than play-out placed Paderborn and a game in hand, situation that surely don't bring much pressure to their side. They looked decent in preparation period taking a narrow 1:0 victory over Schalke, but drawing to Hungarian side MTK Budapest and Austrian Grodig. They sold experienced midfielder Muller during winter break, but have reinforced the squad with offensive midfielders Voglsammer from Heidenheim and Ryu from Leverkusen, but neither of these is expected to play tonight from the first minute. Midfielder Michael Gorlitz (12/1) remains injured.
Duisburg was far below any expectation in the first part of the season with only two victories. Logically, they are at the rock bottom position with only twelve points earned so far, having five less than play-out placed Paderborn and eight less than first safely placed Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Out of friendly matches, most notable was their narrow victory over Plzen couple of weeks ago, while there is no doubt that the team needs to start very aggressively from the first game in order to catch up with other relegation struggling teams and if possible, completely avoid play-out battle too. Only one point earned in previous nine matches away from home is saying that the team has plenty of difficulties on the road, but also that there simply has to be a lot of room for improvement. Striker Tomane (on loan from Guimaraes) and midfielder Ozbek (previous club Kayserispor) were signed and might both start from the off, since the team was nowhere close efficient with only twelve goals scored in nineteen games. Defensive midfielder Enis Hajri (1/0), central midfielders Martin Dausch (12/0) and Pierre De Wit (1/0), forwards Andreas Wiegel (1/0) and Victor Obinna (6/1) are all long term absentees.
Bielefeld played well towards the pause and they remain slight favorite to win this one. However, Duisburg is close to a must win situation and will surely try to increase their offensive approach to the game, so I believe that the chances for over goals here are way bigger than the bookmakers' suggest.