Bundesliga betting: Dortmund set for comfortable win in Frankfurt rematch

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Mainz 05 - Hannover 96

Both teams were roundly beaten last weekend - Mainz lost 3-0 at Wolfsburg, Hannover 2-0 at Schalke - after coming out of the blocks flying at the end of the winter break.

Despite having the much more expensive squad, 96 coach Tayfun Korkut has fewer options than his opposite number Thomas Tuchel, who’s expected to bring back captain Nikolce Noveski in defence and experienced campaigner Elkin Soto in midfield.

Mainz have better balance, play with more energy, and they’re at home. I’ll take them to be ahead at half-time at 2.55.

Bayern Munich - SC Freiburg

Christian Streich has promised to “play football” in the Allianz Arena. Whether that’s a good idea against a side who are unbeaten in 45 games is another matter.

Freiburg were in fact one of only two teams who held Bayern to a draw this season in the match at the Mage Solar but a repeat is surely beyond them. Bayern showed in their 5-0 win at Hamburg that they’re not in the mood to take the foot off the gas.

In light of their incredibly short odds, it’s worth having a look at Freiburg with a three goal head start at 2.02, however.

Borussia Dortmund - Eintracht Frankfurt 

The two teams met in the DFB Cup on Tuesday night, and it wasn’t pretty.

Eintracht defender Carlos Zambrano and Borussia striker Robert Lewandowski didn’t get on in particular . Jürgen Klopp’s men scraped a 1-0 win but the ill feeling has carried over into this re-match. “Nobody wanted Zambrano’s shirt,” Jurgen Klopp (jokingly?) told the media, Frankfurt coach Armin Veh didn’t think that was too funny.

The more important news for this game is that Marco Reus will continue to miss out (hamstring) while Frankfurt are without midfielder Pirmin Schwegler. Zambrano, who’s in danger of a yellow card suspension, could be rested, too. It all points to big win for the home side.

Take them at -1 for 1.77.

Eintracht Braunschweig - Hamburger SV 

Bert van Marwijk is still in charge. Or is he? Please check for late team news. Only kidding.

Unless Felix Magath has another change of heart - he ruled himself out as BvM’s successor late on Thursday night - the Dutchman will be given one more chance to stave off the axe on Saturday.

Hamburg must win at all costs. Fear could be a factor, they have a lot more to lose than Braunschweig. But looking at the respective quality of both teams, logic suggests that the visitors will just about edge it. HSV at 2.50.

TSG Hoffenheim - VfB Stuttgart  

The Swabians and manager Thomas Schneider are under huge pressure after five defeats in a row, and their task in this tricky fixture against Hoffenheim isn’t made easier by the loss of main goal-scorer Vedad Ibisevic; the Bosnian is suspended.

TSG will be seen as favourites due to their decent run and home advantage but the picture is less clear if you look at home and away records. Stuttgart tend to do better away from home and Hoffenheim worse on their own patch. Both teams can live with a draw at 3.50.

Werder Bremen - Borussia Mönchengladbach

Werder and the Foals have only picked up one measly point between them in 2014 - it was Werder’s  1-1 draw with Braunschweig.

While Robin Dutt’s problems have surprised very few people, Gladbach’s struggles after the winter break are a bit harder to explain. The return of regular right-back Julian Korb should help their cause but I’m not confident enough to back them.

Werder’s disastrous goal difference of -21 (only Braunschweig are worse) makes it tough to believe in them either. I think there’ll be plenty of action in this one, with over 3.5 goals at 2.75.

Bayer Leverkusen - Schalke 04

Sami Hyypiä has left Schalke-bound Sidney Sam out of his squad. “A matter of principle,” said the Leverkusen coach.

He might not have started ahead of Gonzalo Castro and Heung-Min Son in any case. The in-form Royal Blues (three wins in three)  are weakened by the absence of Atsuto Uchida (right-back) and captain Benedikt Höwedes (centre-back). Julian Draxler is still out, too.

It’s second v fourth but the trajectories of both sides since the league restarted in January make picking a winner a coin flip. The draw at 3.45 is tempting

FC Augsburg - 1. FC Nürnberg

Regular readers of this column know that Augsburg exceed expectations every single week. Markus Weinzierl’s team are big favourites to continue their excellent run on Sunday but Nürnberg are resurgent and offer excellent value.

At the risk of making the same mistake yet again, I’d oppose the home team and go for the Franconians on the double chance at 1.96.

Hertha BSC - VfL Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg finally broke their 2014 duck with an emphatic 3-0 win over Mainz and followed that up with a 3-2 win in the cup at Hoffenheim on Wednesday. Centre-back Naldo won’t be playing in the Olympiastadion though: the Brazilian is suspended. Timm Klose will deputise.

Hertha won’t find this assignment nearly as easy as their 3-0 win at HSV last Saturday. Both sides will try to attack from defensive positions. This game could well be low-scoring, but 2.84 for the away team is a very good price

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