Hannover 96 - Eintracht Braunschweig
Tempers are running high before the first ever, “proper” Lower-Saxony derby in the Bundesliga. Neither club is too happy with the Friday night kick-off time. Hannover are in poor form - one point from five league games - and have some problems in defence. Marcelo and Sané are both suspended, Christian Schulz is not 100 per cent either (toe). Mame Diouf is back in attack, however. Following the surprise 1-0 defeat of Braunschweig, Thorsten Lieberknecht has to replace LB Ken Reichel and CM Kevin Kratz, but that doesn’t weaken his side too much. The home side have a far superior team but they’re too short. Take over 2.5 for better value (1.73).
Bayern Munich - FC Augsburg
The home side will be able to break HSV’s 36 games unbeaten streak from 30 years ago. Bastian Schweinsteiger is out and needs ankle surgery, but Javi Martinez and Toni Kroos will do a decent job in midfield. And there’s still Philipp Lahm, of course. Up front, Arjen Robben could be rested again (groin). Bayern haven’t been firing on all cylinders recently and they could find it hard to break down Augsburg, too. The visitors are always tough to play against. Markus Weinzierl has no new injury worries. Despite recent events, I feel that Pep’s men will be able to turn it on. Over 3.5 at 1.85.
Schalke 04 - Werder Bremen
The Royal Blues’ 3-0 defeat in London didn’t hurt their Champions League chances too much. But GK Timo Hildebrand is under pressure following his mistake. Fortunately, the injury worries over Julian Draxler (shin) and Kevin-Prince Boateng (knee) appear to have subsided and both will be fit for this encounter. Bremen hope that Franco Di Santo (muscle problems) will make it back in time for the match; Robin Dutt would be forced to play without a striker again. It worked in the 3-2 over Hannover. Bremen on the double chance (2.16) is worth a punt here.
Bayer Leverkusen - Hamburger SV
Sami Hyypiä was pleased with the 0-0 draw at Donezk - he used to be a defender, after all. Lars Bender (suspended) will be replaced by Can, Gonzalo Castro will be in central midfield, and up-front, it’s the strongest line-up: Sam, Son, Kiessling. HSV defender Lasse Sobiech will be given another chance by Bert van Marwijk after his horror show in the 2-0 home defeat by Gladbach. No other changes are expected. Leverkusen will edge it at 1.57.
VfL Wolfsburg - Borussia Dortmund
Play-maker Diego is out with a muscle injury but he wasn’t really missed when his team beat Frankfurt 2-1 after his departure last Sunday. Daniel Caligiuri, who played well, will be the Brazilian’s replacement, with the prolific Maximilian Arnold (three goals in his last three games) moving into the central position. Kuba Blaszczykowski is doubtful for Dortmund (tummy bug), captain Sebastian Kehl might return. Keeper Roman Weidenfeller will be boosted by a the first-ever call-up for the national team. There could be negative reaction from Dortmund’s away supporters - a couple of Ultra groups had their season tickets for away games cancelled. I like the draw here at 3.50.
TSG Hoffenheim 1899 - Hertha BSC
The big news for Hertha is the likely return of centre-back Anthony Brooks. The US international has recovered from a broken arm. Captain Fabian Lustenberger would be able to move into midfield as a consequence, where he’s more useful to his side. 1899 were unlucky to get beaten by Bayern and look in very decent shape. CM Sebastian Rudy could miss the game with a back injury, however. The home side have a lot more fire-power than the opposition and look set for three points (2.10).
Borussia Mönchengladbach - 1. FC Nürnberg
The Franconians are in full crisis mode in the wake of the 3-0 home defeat v SC Freiburg last week. They still haven’t won a single game this season. New coach Gertjan Veerbeek has been taken aback by the the level of public discontent with the team. There’s a big chance, there’ll be more pain: Nürnberg travel to in-form Gladbach, who have won every single game at home this season. I’d back the Foals to continue that trend on Saturday night, even at -1 (2.6)
Mainz 05 - Eintracht Frankfurt
Injuries to both keepers will force Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel to field Christian Mathenia (21) from the second team. He’ll also be without attacking midfielder Nicolai Müller, who is injured, and there are lingering doubts concerning the fitness of striker Sebastian Polter. Midfielder Stefan Aigner picked up an injury in Eintracht’s 4-2 defeat at Maccabi Tel Aviv and might not feature in this derby on Sunday. Armin Veh’s side simply started playing football far too late in the game and were punished for the apathy. “It was a disastrous performance,” said the Frankfurt coach. Both sides are struggling to get wins this season - I like the draw at 3.4.
SC Freiburg - VfB Stuttgart
This, too, is a derby. Freiburg (from the region of Baden) beat their Swabian rivals in the cup earlier this season, and have a bit more optimism following their first win of the campaign in Nuremberg. The trip to Estoril in the Europa League (0-0) won’t have helped in preparation, however. In addition, defender Oliver Sorg is suspended. The visitors have some worries over DM Christian Gentner but are favourites to get their revenge. Back them at 2.3.
Bet now on all the weekend Bundesliga action
Follow Raphael Honigstein's Bundesliga betting tips every week