By Rich M
Nelson Weiper is a 17-year-old forward for 1. FSV Mainz 05. Weiper was born on March 17, 2005 in Mainz, Germany, and joined his current club’s youth academy as a U8 in 2013. After working his way up the youth categories, he signed a professional contract with the club on March 18, 2022, and made his senior debut on October 1, 2022 as a late substitute in a 2:1 loss to Freiburg. He won the 2022 U17 Fritz Walter Medal, which is an award for the most outstanding German youth prospect in an age group. Weiper has also made 18 appearances for Germany’s U17 and U18 squads since 2021, scoring 14 goals.
By Rich M
A last-minute goal from Marvin Ducksch on Friday allowed visitors SV Werder Bremen to obtain a 2:2 draw against hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach. The match remained scoreless until a few minutes into the second half, when a Bremen turnover at midfield allowed Gladbach striker Marcus Thuram to drill the ball into the goal from the edge of the box. Bremen’s Ducksch then tied the game in the 65th minute, having collected a pass from Romano Schmid before slotting the ball into an empty net. Gladbach took the lead again in the 73rd minute when Florian Neuhaus rifled the ball in, but Ducksch’s second goal in the 89th minute sealed the draw. The point each club collected on Friday leaves both tied in the middle of the table with 31 points apiece. Saturday’s competition opens with the ongoing struggle at the bottom of the table when Hoffenheim host Hertha. The hosts go into the match in last place in the league, but the two clubs could actually trade places if Hoffenheim could collect what would be their first win since Matchday 10. Hertha have been more successful than TSG as of late, having collected 7 points from a possible 15 in their last 5 league contests, which has left them 1 point ahead of both Stuttgart and the relegation zone. This season’s reverse fixture resulted in a 1:1 draw in Berlin. The big game on Saturday comes later in the day, when Borussia Dortmund host nearby 1. FC Köln. Dortmund are currently trailing league leaders Bayern by 2 points, but could take the lead again with a win. Köln lost at home to Bochum last weekend and are now on a 4-game streak without both a win and any goals. The visitors did, however, win this season’s reverse fixture at home by 3:2. Bayern don’t play this weekend until Sunday, when they travel to Leverkusen. Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso spent the final 3 seasons of his playing career at Bayern, which included 3 league titles, but is now tasked with trying to stop his former club from collecting an 11th consecutive title. Leverkusen lost the reverse fixture, however, thanks to a 4:0 shutout. Leverkusen have won back-to-back matches against Hertha and Bremen, but remain 6 points off the European places, and are looking forward to the return of the sensational midfielder Florian Wirtz. The visitors have scored a league record 47 first-half goals during the current campaign, and have won all 5 of their Sunday contests this term. The weekend’s final match occurs when Mainz host Freiburg, and both are currently on a 5-match unbeaten run. The streak is Mainz’s longest since the end of the 2020/21 season, and Freiburg’s keeps them tied on points with Leipzig and Union Berlin.
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