It’s never exciting to see a young manager making a huge impact at a club and it doesn’t get much younger than in the Bundesliga, especially with Schalke and Hoffenheim.
The Miners have been long searching for stability in a league season with no manager lasting up to two full campaigns since 2010. The experienced ones in Felix Magath and Ralf Rangnick have fallen alongside the upcoming managers in Jens Keller and Markus Weinzerl. But under Domenico Tedesco – the 32-year-old German-Italian, things are looking rather upward. Schalke may be sixth, which is still higher than they finished last season, but they are only four points off second spot, and have European football firmly in their sights.
Hoffenheim are not without lofty aims either. Coached by Julian Nagelsmann, who’s still only 30, the village club finished fourth last season, and secured a spot in the Champions League play-offs, even if they fell short. Hoffenheim are only two places and three points behind their weekend hosts, and in such a congested part of the table, a win is as helpful as a defeat would be damning.
It’s a chance to see both exciting managers go head-to-head, managers who might be at their clubs for much longer. Tedesco’s exploits has been turning heads in Europe, while it would be a surprise to see Nagelsmann still at Hoffenheim next season, with potentially vacant Bayern Munich and Dortmund jobs waiting in the summer.
For both teams, they can worry about their manager’s future later, the most important future to ponder on is where they’ll finish come May.
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich travel to Wolfsburg, a side riddled with inconsistency and with the joint-second worst win tally this term.
Dortmund face Monchengladbach in the Borussia Derby, while time is running out for Koln and Hamburg to survive, they have respective home games against Hannover and Leverkusen.
Bundeslisga round 23 Fixtures:
Schalke v Hoffenheim
Hertha BSC v Mainz
Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich
Freiburg v Werder Bremen
Frankfurt v RB Leipzig
Frankfurt v Stuttgart
Koln v Hannover
Hamburg v Leverkusen
Borussia Monchengladbach v Dortmund
Photo credit: SWR Sport