The Bundesliga resumed on Friday with a crucial game in the race for Champions League qualification as fifth placed Hertha Berlin welcomed fourth placed Hoffenheim and Julian Nagelsmann’s men left capital with a crucial 3-1 win. The hosts had the better of the game in the opening quarter but after Andrej Kramarić’s penalty cancelled Peter Pekarík’s opener, the visitors gradually gained control and could have won by a bigger margin. Niklas Süle’s superb strike after Hertha Berlin went down to 10 men and a second for Kramarić late on, gave Hoffenheim a well-deserved three points.
The Football Podcast with Wasim Parkar welcomes its first guest as renowned football journalist Philippe Auclair joins Wasim to preview the 2017 Coupe de La Ligue final between Monaco and PSG. Philippe and Wasim also talk about football journalism and the general state of affairs in Ligue 1.
Since taking over as national team manager, Tite has removed all suspense from Brazil’s 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign, winning eight games out of eight leaving the Seleção just a point away from Russia with four games to go. With top spot all but sealed, the drama from South America’s marathon qualifying campaign is now contained in the fight for the three remaining direct qualification places and one playoff spot. The biggest winners in that particular battle after this international break are Colombia.
With UEFA playing only one round of World Cup Qualifiers during this international break, the focus shifts to other confederations on Tuesday. We are now entering the home straight of the campaigns in Asia and South America, while the final hex in North and Central America is also heating up nicely. At the end of the day, we should be able to get a clearer picture of which teams can start preparing for next summer in Russia as others see their World Cup dreams fade. Every game is important, but these seven matches on Tuesday have a lot hinging on them on the road to Russia.