By Michael Kryschak@michaelkryschak

"Ones to watch" for Bundesliga Matchday 29

Good form, lucky match-up or just a special situation - here are five players you need to look out for on Matchday 29 of the Bundesliga!

1. Victor Boniface (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

How could we not start with the hottest team in Europe right now? Nobody seems to be able to stop “die Werkself” from going unbeaten this season - a remarkable story. One player who started this season on fire was new signing Victor Boniface: 

He got 16 goals and eight assists for his team until he got injured mid-season, just before the Africa Cup of Nations in January. In his absence Patrik Schick and Borja Iglesias tried to fill the gap up front, especially Schick was able to show his class in front of goal, more often than not in extra time. 

But now that Boniface is back and ready to start you'll see him back at his best - proven by his late goal in the Europa League on Thursday against West Ham, which ended in a 2-0 victory for Leverkusen. Here are three reasons, why Boniface is one player to watch this weekend in Bayer's game against Werder Bremen:

  1. Leverkusen can officially win the Bundesliga title with a victory against Bremen - Boniface has proven to be the man for the important goals at Leverkusen!
  2. Bayer won their first match against Bremen in November comfortably 3-0. With Leverkusen still being in form and Werder never really getting into form, this seems like an easy match-up: perfect for goal-hungry strikers!
  3. Schick has proven to be a good option upfront, but Boniface will be determined to show everybody, why he is Bayer's number one striker!


2. Raphael Guerreiro (FC Bayern München)

It's Guerreiro's first season at his new club Bayern Munich and as often in his career before, he wasn't able to always be available; but when he played, he was even able to cement a place in the starting eleven of Thomas Tuchel!

At the press conference before the game against Köln, Tuchel spoke about rotating many players in - namely Guerreiro and Mazraoui. This could once again be the chance for the Portuguese International to make a name for himself.

Guerreiro was injured during the last international break and didn't start a game since - he got subbed on against Heidenheim last week and Arsenal on Tuesday. Here are three reasons, why Guerreiro will use this opportunity for himself - and be someone you should watch against Köln:

  1. The last two games in which Guerreiro started were the 5-2 and 8-1 wins against Darmstadt and Mainz respectively, showing that his role within the team seemed to work!
  2. With Alphonso Davies being suspended against Arsenal in the next game, this is Guerreiro's chance to secure a startin place in the quarterfinal of the Champions League as leftback!
  3. Guerreiro's place in Portugal's national squad for the EUROS is not safe - if he wants to take part in the tournament, he needs to deliver in the last few games of the season!

 

3. Nadiem Amiri (1. FSV Mainz 05)

Amiri finds himself in a weird spot: his former teammates at Leverkusen are very likely to become new Bundesliga champions, while he himself is stuck in a relegation battle with Mainz. But that does not seem to be a problem for the 27-year old.

Ever since he made the switch to Mainz in January he was one of the very few rays of hope for the club. Even though his numbers don't necessarily back up his importance on the pitch (one goal, two assists), it's him whom the players around look for right now.

The game against Hoffenheim will be very special for Amiri - here are three reasons, why he might be a player to watch very closely this weekend:

  1. Playing against Hoffenheim means a return to his former home for Amiri. He went through their youth system and played 115 times for their first team - extra motivation for the midfielder!
  2. A win against Hoffenheim would put Mainz level on points with Bochum - if Bochum loses against Heidenheim, Mainz would be on a non-relegation place in the table for the first time since matchday 2 in August! (better goal difference than Bochum)
  3. Mainz is in top form! They haven't lost a game since the 9th of March and they didn't even concede a goal in that time - coach Bo Henriksen and Nadiem Amiri are helping Mainz retaining their Bundesliga status if they keep performing like this!

 

4. Sébastien Haller (Borussia Dortmund)

It has been a difficult season so far for the Ivorian International. 17 games, three goals and one assist - but only 500 minutes of actual game time. Haller has proven at previous clubs that he is usually a reliable striker.

The arrival of Niclas Füllkrug in the summer changed the hierarchy in the Dortmund attack: BVB coach Edin Terzic trusted his new striker and rightly so: Füllkrug has contributed to 23 goals in his 39 games for the club so far.

But Füllkrug has had a drop in form recently, scoring only one goal in his last eight games. Haller is now back from his injury - and he could prove to be very useful for Dortmund in the next few games. Here is why Haller is one to watch against Borussia Mönchengladbach on the weekend:

  1. Haller made his comeback at the end of March against Bayern Munich, providing an assist in 16 minutes for BVB's 2-0 victory against Munich - instant impact!
  2. In Dortmund's 1-2 defeat against Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinal of the Champions League Haller was the one to give the fans some hope for the rematch with his goal - big game player!
  3. At the Africa Cup of Nations Haller turned out to be the star of the tournament, securing the victory for Ivory Coast in the final - with Füllkrug's momentary dip it could be Haller who helps Dortmund win in another important game!

 

5. Deniz Undav (VfB Stuttgart) 

Yet another striker manages to get onto this weeks list and rightfully so: Stuttgart keeps on surprising people with their good performances this season - a place in the Champions League next year only seems to be a matter of time.

This weekend Stuttgart will once again play the “match of the day” - this time against Eintracht Frankfurt. Undav has already shown his class against them earlier in the season, but more of that later.

There are many names you could keep an eye on when it comes to this well-performing Stuttgart side, even goalkeeper Alex Nübel is one of them, since he just signed a new contract with parent club Bayern, who will loan him out to Stuttgart for another two years.

But it is Deniz Undav who should get your attention in this special match-up and here are three reasons why:

  1. Stuttgart beat Frankfurt in their first encounter this season 2-1 - both goals were scored by Undav who seemed to have found their weekness early on (he scored in the first minute!)
  2. With Füllkrug having a dip in form, this is Undav's chance to show DFB-coach Julian Nagelsmann that he is the right man to lead Germany upfront. Extra motivation!
  3. Undav and striker partner Serhou Guirassy are already Stuttgart's most successful goal-scoring duo in history (in one season) with 38 goals, taking over from Jürgen Klinsmann and Karl Allgöwer (37G) - they will be trying to expand this record in the last few games of the season!

 

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