It's going to be a busy February; while 7 games isn't exactly a ton of games for a month period, we have our work cut out for us. With an uphill battle in the BL, we don't have much room for error, if we are going to catch Bayern. Also, a knockout Pokal game against Stuttgart will put some midweek pressure on the boys. And to top all that off we have our Europa league matchup against FC Porto. Below we'll do a short preview of our matchups for the month.
2/06 Hertha BSC
Our first matchup of the the month, Hertha, will prove to be a tough challenge. They are third on the table behind us, albeit a whole 11 points. Berlin has surprised this season with their performance, getting most of their points due to their elite defense. With American CB John Brooks as a main piece in the lineup for most of the season, they will prove a tough opponent to score on, similar to Ingolstadt this past saturday.
2/09 Stuttgart in Pokal action
The Pokal should be extremely important to us this season. With Bayern not slowing down and the Europa league having lots of stern competition, the Pokal is our best shot at getting metal this year. Luckily we drew Stuttgart this round, who have struggled terribly this year as they fight to stay out of relegation. Hopefully with our depth problems we will be able to field a lineup that will be able to dispatch the weaker side and propel us forward to our first Pokal since 2012.
2/13 Hannover 96
Not much to say about this match. Hopefully we will rest key players as bottom of the table Hannover 96 should be an easy team to take 3 points from.
2/18 Porto Home Leg
Another huge game. We are going to need to be at our best to face the Portuguese giants. Hopefully the fans will propel our boys to a great showing. Also, Porto has an easy go of things in the month of February so they will be ready.
2/21 Bayer Leverkusen
Three days later we face the attacking powerhouse Bayer Leverkusen. Last time we faced Bayer Chicharito hadn't been a factor but since then, he has settled into Leverkusen nicely. He's going to be a big threat against us as well as elite attackers like Bellarabi and Kiesling. Also, they are fighting to get to the Champions League this year so we can expect a good fight.
2/25 Porto away Leg
This will be the biggest game of the month, for sure. We will be taking Porto in their own stadium for a berth to the next round. We can expect a lot of strong opposition such as starlet DM Ruben Neves who is comparable in talent to our very own Julian Weigl. At least we are proficient at scoring away from home.
Another easier matchup against relegation zone tenant, Hoffenheim. We should expect some fight from them as the try to work their way out of the bottom two. We tied in our last fixture, so expect the boys to be looking for some revenge.