Behind door number 14 in the Freiburg calendar was midfielder Julian Schuster. His appearance is most ironic and just a little bit painful coming the day after Freiburg’s loss to Nürnberg because it was Schuster who scored the sixth goal against them back on MD1. Unfortunately worse was to come because in the DFB calendar was the card of H96 goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler. I suppose I should be grateful that it’s today his card appeared and not next week, that would have been a most unpleasant occurrence given what happened last Christmas. To make it worse Freiburg will be playing on a Sunday again this year, home to 1860 München. H96 themselves have the unpleasant task of hosting Bayern. Last year Freiburg played in the last game before the Christmas break, despite the result I liked that theirs was the last game I saw. This year it’s Gladbach who play the last game before Christmas, in a nice kind of symmetry Hertha Berlin are playing Mainz in the first game that day. Last year Hertha also played in the one but last game before the break. It was a most fun game, not because of the game itself but because of the weather. In fact it was a terrible game for Hertha, they lost I think 5-0 to Hoffenheim and shortly afterwards they sacked their manager. How things have changed for them, they’re currently sitting third in the table.
And finally in the Dortmund calendar was the unknown keeper, Hendrik Bonmann, unknown because until today I didn’t know he existed:
Today was the draw for the first knock-out stages of the Champions League and the Europa league, both draws served up some very interesting ties indeed. Bayern will be facing last season’s finalists and runners up Juventus. Dortmund in the Europa league got drawn with Porto. In different competitions but still connected. It was Juventus that knocked Dortmund out last season, and it was Porto who of course beat Bayern 3-1 in the first leg before losing the second one 6-1. Wolfsburg were drawn with Belgian side Gent. As for the other three sides in the Europa League Leverkusen will face Sporting and Schalke face Shakhtar Dontesk who won’t have pleasant memories of their last trip to Germany having being comprehensively beaten by Bayern 7-0.
But it’s Augsburg who have the best tie of all. In a real quirk of fate Jürgen Klopp in his first season in England finds himself drawn with a German team, I was kind of hoping it would be Dortmund, but if they both go through then that can still happen.
German defender Shkodran Mustafi and his Valencia side face SK Rapid Wien. Mesut Özil and Per Mertesacker at Arsenal were not so lucky, they face Barcelona. No doubt Arsenal will continue their tradition in recent years of not getting past the last 16: