FC Augsburg - Borussia Mönchengladbach
Markus Weinzierl’s men lost 2-1 away to Hannover in controversial circumstances last week but that didn’t dampen their spirits, as they bounced back to win 3-0 at third division Preußen Münster in the cup. Weinzierl was able to rotate a few players as well, so they’ll be fresh for this game. Gladbach, who don’t have Granit Xhaka in midfield (suspended), have overcome a mental block, too: they have lost all three away games thus far. I believe the Foals will get it right. Take them at 1.5 on the Double Chance.
Borussia Dortmund - SC Freiburg
Dortmund made hard work of the cup game at 1860 and needed extra-time to go through. On Saturday, there’s a chance Jürgen Klopp might rest one or two players ahead of the Champions League tie with Marseille, which has become a must-win match after their 2-1 defeat at Napoli. Freiburg managed to win their first game of the season (2-1 v Stuttgart in the cup) but are of course rank outsiders for the game at the Signal Iduna Park. The home side will try to conserve some energy and might well struggle to break down the Freiburg defence. Dortmund are again very short, so under 3.5. at 1.95 looks better value.
FC Bayern Munich - VfL Wolfsburg
Pep Guardiola was able to rotate his squad for the regulation 4-1 win over Hannover (DFB Cup) in midweek and there could be a few more changes with a view to the Champions League fixture at Man City next Wednesday. Mario Götze should be back in the squad but won’t start. Wolfsburg suffered a heavy blow when Portuguese winger Vieirinha tore his cruciate ligament in the 2-0 cup win over Aalen. Wolves weren’t convincing against the second division side and must fear the worst, despite Luiz Gustavo’s return to face his former team mates at the Allianz Arena. Bayern are so short that it’s much better to bet on Wolfsburg not scoring at 1.9.
Bayer Leverkusen - Hannover 96
There’s a very small chance that Mame Diouf, Hannover’s best and most prolific striker, will feature again on Saturday but he’s more likely to be on the bench - if at all. Mirko Slomka can’t really change too much after the 4-1 defeat by Bayern in the cup due to many injuries. Leverkusen rested Stefan Kiessling for the first 67 minutes in the 2-0 win at second division outfit Bielefeld. Sami Hyypiä might be moved to start Emre Can again as left-back, and there are more good options at the back, if not upfront. Leverkusen have won all games at home, Hannover have lost all. That pattern will continue. Take Leverkusen at -1 (1.98).
TSG Hoffenheim - Schalke 04
Hoffenheim boss Markus Gisdol can welcome back midfielder Sejad Salihovic after three weeks of suspension. Julian Draxler and Kevin-Prince Boateng, who missed the 3-1 win at Darmstadt in the cup, should return for the Royal Blues. There’s still no Huntelaar or Papadopoulos, however, and the visitors need to show a strong reaction after getting roundly beat by Bayern (4-0) last week. Schalke are the better side, but Hoffenheim are strong at home. I like the draw at 3.45.
Hertha BSC - Mainz 05
Mainz started with three wins in the league but lost their fourth game in a row at home to 1. FC Köln this week. Coach Thomas Tuchel was unable to take training on Wednesday due to severe flu and no one seems to be able to explain just why Mainz have performed so poorly. Hertha crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Lautern in the cup, after Jos Luhukay’s rotation policy back-fired. Under 2.5 at 1.95.
Eintracht Frankfurt - Hamburger SV
It’s hard to predict Bert van Marwijk’s line-up in his first game in charge of HSV. The Dutchman will probably field a defensive midfield against Armin Veh’s very useful side. Eintracht can field a strong XI - only midfielder Pirmin Schwegler is injured, as far as regulars are concerned - and are once again formidable this season but the Northerners should come away with a point. The double chance at 1.92 is my tip.
Werder Bremen - 1. FC Nürnberg
The home side are hopeful that their 2-0 win at Hamburg can usher in a bit more calm - and similar results. Robin Dutt’s team is certainly strong enough to beat Nünberg (without a win in three away games) but the Franconians tend to make life tough, especially if they can sit back and defend. Neither side has serious injury concerns. Bremen will come out on top (2.15).
Eintracht Braunschweig - VfB Stuttgart
VfB coach Thomas Schneider lost the first game (2-1 at Freiburg in the cup) since taking over from Bruno Labbadia. His team will fancy their chances away to newly-promoted Braunschweig, however: Thorsten Lieberknecht has only picked up one measly point with his players this season. The visitors are still without regular keeper Sven Ulreich - Thorsten Kirschbaum will deputise - but that’s not enough to back Braunschweig here. Take the Swabians at 2.0.
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