SC Freiburg - SC Schalke 04
Eighteen months ago, this was a match to decide who would get the fourth Champions League qualification spot in Germany. In the two seasons which have followed Freiburg it’s taken them until November to get their first Bundesliga win, with Cologne the victims last weekend.
Schalke’s latest showing under Roberto Di Matteo was below par in the Champions League as they lost at Sporting. They will be the favourites for Saturday but even though Freiburg haven’t won a home game this season, they’re well priced for a point at 3.40 given Schalke’s midweek exertions.
Eintracht Frankfurt - FC Bayern Munich
No surprises in midweek as Bayern saw off Roma along with qualifying for the knockout rounds of the Champions League, though they’ll be without David Alaba until later in the month due to ligament damage. What is surprising perhaps is that Pep Guardiola’s side have only won one of their four away games in the Bundesliga this season.
Eintracht though are probably not the team to extend that record, given that they’re on a three match losing streak in the Bundesliga. They are in the midst of an injury crisis but coach Thomas Schaaf’s attacking intentions have got the better of him with the side looking porous at the back. Bayern should then improve that domestic away record this weekend. For the Champions to win -2 goals, it’s 2.35.
FC Augsburg - SC Paderborn
It may not be the most high profile of games but it sees a meeting of two clubs on small budgets with young coaches at the helm achieving results beyond expectations. Markus Weinzierl, 39, has turned Augsburg into a solid mid-table outfit whilst André Breitenreiter, 41, has helped newly promoted Paderborn to 15 points after 10 games; a tally many thought they’d have come the end of the season. They may end up cancelling each other out, with the draw at 3.55.
TSG Hoffenheim - FC Köln
Hoffenheim’s club record unbeaten start to the season was ended last Sunday by Borussia Mönchengladbach. Markus Gisdol’s side though will probably be competing for a European spot this season which represents progress.
This Saturday, they face Cologne who after a few encouraging results lost tamely in the end to the previously winless Freiburg last time out. If you want to win at the Rhein-Neckar Arena, you’re going to need to score more than one – something the visitors don’t look like doing on Saturday. A reasonably comfortable home win looks to be in order, with Hoffenheim -1 at 3.20.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen - FSV Mainz 05
Barring two poor results in the cup, Mainz coach Kasper Hjulmand has had a reasonable start to life in the Bundesliga, though his side go to Leverkusen off the back of two defeats in a row. Roger Schmidt is another in his first Bundesliga campaign but it was in Europe where his side shone this week as a Heung-Min Son double took Leverkusen closer to the Champions League knockout stages. They’ve been inconsistent in the Bundesliga of late even if they are fifth but expect this to be a good week for Die Werkself, at 1.46 to win.
Werder Bremen - VfB Stuttgart
Two of the bottom four meet in the weekend’s topspiel as last place Werder host a Stuttgart side that have conceded 14 in their last four games. It’s Viktor Skripnik’s first home game as Werder coach and whilst a win in his first match in charge eased the pressure, the home side can ill afford a loss to fellow strugglers.
Stuttgart had shown signs of improvement in the last month before they were torn apart by Wolfsburg last Saturday. Both sides have been consistent on the goals front, averaging over 3.5 goals per game – for it to happen again on Saturday it’s 2.55.
Raphael will preview Sunday’s two matches over the weekend