Bundesliga Team of Round 7: Ribery & Holtby Make the Grade
Round seven of the Bundesliga season saw Bayern Munich extend their lead to five points, as Frankfurt and Dortmund both suffered setbacks. Franck Ribery was the key man for the Bavarians on the day, but while the Frenchman was running circles around the Hoffenheim defense, Schalke were collectively hammering Wolfsburg en route to a top-three standing.
The standout stars during the matchday were a rather odd mixture of positions, but can be accommodated by a 3-3-3-1 formation. Read on for the full selection...
Goalkeeper: Roman Weidenfeller
Dortmund should have conceded more than just one goal to Hannover on Sunday, but managed to keep the score down thanks to Weidenfeller. The in-form goalkeeper made several world class saves, ensuring a draw for BVB.
Right Back: Lukasz Piszczek
Dortmund only managed a draw against Hannover, but not for lack of effort from Piszczek. The Poland international was a constant threat on the right flank, and set up Robert Lewandowski's opener before unluckily having his long-ranged drive clang off the left post.
Center Back: Heiko Westermann
Hamburg's resurgence continued on Saturday as the northern club earned a 1-0 win away to Fuerth. Although HSV held a lead for most of the match, the hosts pressed for an equalizer, and may well have earned it. Time and time again, however, Westermann came to the rescue in defense, ensuring three points for Hamburg as his team moved into eighth place.
Centre Back: Nikolce Noveski
The veteran Macedonia international was strong at both ends of the pitch on Saturday as Mainz edged promoted side Duesseldorf 1-0. Noveski made the difference as he nodded in the only goal of the game. As important as his goal was, it should be noted that Noveski was no slouch at the back: Matched up against Dani Schahin, he kept the in-form striker quiet, ensuring three points for the hosts.
Defensive Midfield: Cedric Makiadi
The Congo international was an uebermensch in the midfield as Freiburg earned a decisive 3-0 win against Nuernberg. Makiadi opened the scoring in the first half, and then helped his side defend the narrow lead as he broke up play. In the closing moments, he helped put the game to rest, playing the final ball before Marco Terrazzino's wonder goal.
Defensive Midfield: Milan Badelj
The 23-year-old has become a regular starter for Hamburg since his summer arrival, and put on his best performance yet against Fuerth. Badelj seemed to cover every blade of grass on the day, and never strayed far from the ball. He was the perfect No. 8 in the midfield, equally competent with and without the ball.
Defensive Midfield: Roman Neustaedter
Schalke humiliated Wolfsburg on Saturday, with many thanks to the ex-Gladbach man. Neustaedter was on hand to score his side's third goal, but his greatest contribution was in defensive areas. He kept Diego relatively quiet and rarely misplaced a pass.
Right Wing: Franck Ribery
The Frenchman finally broke his Bundesliga scoring duck on Saturday as he delivered both goals in Bayern's 2-0 win against Hoffenheim. Ribery's first goal came somewhat fortuitously as it slipped underneath goalkeeper Koen Casteels, but his second was taken with pure class. The mercurial winger was a constant thorn in the side of Hoffe right back Andreas Beck, and his persistence paid dividends as Bayern cruised to a comfortable victory.
Attacking Midfield: Lewis Holtby
The Germany U21 captain maintained his fine run of form on Saturday in Schalke's 3-0 rout of Wolfsburg. Deployed in an advanced midfield position, Holtby not only orchestrated the attack—which included a sublime pass to assist Ibrahim Affelay's goal—but dictated the flow of play in midfield.
Left Wing: Juan Arango
If you haven't seen it yet, it's more than worth the search: Arango's opener against Frankfurt on Sunday was the stuff of legends. The veteran's blast from a seemingly impossible distance gave Gladbach a tremendous boost of confidence, and the struggling side went on to become the first team to beat Frankfurt this season.
Center Forward: Vedad Ibisevic
Stuttgart have had a very disappointing start to their season, but Ibisevic gave the Swabians a big morale boost as he found the net twice to earn a vital point for VfB. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international equalized from the penalty spot before slamming home a cross to make the score 2-1 against Leverkusen. The visitors would later draw level, but the point earned kept Stuttgart from sinking into the relegation zone.