Bundesliga Betting: Leverkusen to relish visit to Hamburg



Borussia Mönchengladbach 5.45, the draw 4.10, Bayern Munich 1.57

The Foals are unlikely to qualify for the Europa League, but the chance to beat champions Bayern will be strong motivation in itself. For the visitors, it’s a case of keeping the rhythm ahead of the Champions League final next week; Jupp Heynckes will play his best XI once again. Borussia are likely to be without key centre-back Alvaro Dominguez but Branimir Hrgota, who scored three goals at Mainz last week, will naturally keep his place next to Mike Hanke. Bayern will win this one, but only by the odd goal.


Borussia Dortmund 1.40, the draw 5.40, TSG Hoffenheim 1899 5.75

Last week’s 3-3 draw at Wolfsburg neatly encapsulated Dortmund’s problem in the league this season - whenever they give less than 100 per cent in terms of concentration or physical effort, they drop points. Hoffenheim, who will be relegated with a defeat at the Westfalenstadion, might play with four strikers on Saturday, so it will be a very open game. Dortmund, with Ilkay Gündogan in place of Mario Götze in the no.10 position, are big favourites to win this one at home, but the safest bet is on the overs here.


VfB Stuttgart 2.10, the draw 3.50, Mainz 3.30

Poor Thomas Tuchel has only won two league games since the winter break, mainly due to injuries piling up. His side will finish in midtable after this rather disappointing run. At the Mercedes Benz-Arena, Mainz are down to the bare bones again - “we are physically and mentally at our limit,” said Tuchel ahead of the trip to Swabia. It all points to a home win for Stuttgart. The cup finalists will probably be without centre-back Serdar Tasci and have no proper alternative, but Mainz rarely create many chances and the home side’s firepower will prove too strong.


Hannover 96 2.62, the draw 3.45, Fortuna Düsseldorf 2.55

Mirko Slomka can field his best defence, with Johan Djourou and Christian Schulz both back. Up front, though, there are few options; Hannover have been looking tired and short of inspiration over the last few weeks. But Slomka’s problems pale in comparison with Norbert Meier’s: no win in eleven games makes them the worst team of 2013, might be missing inspirational skipper Andreas Lambertz and will play Christian Weber as right-back. The 29-year-old was last in action in the fourth division for Düsseldorf II. Meier is expected to keep his job if his side get relegated, which is just as well: Düsseldorf will lose here, and have to rely on others losing points as well to stay up.


1. FC Nürnberg 2.35, the draw 3.55, Werder Bremen 2.75

A 1-1 draw with Frankfurt was enough for Thomas Schaaf to save Werder from relegation, but on Wednesday he was forced out after 14 years in charge. The 52-year-old decided to say goodbye before the last game, so assistants Wolfgang Rolf and Matthias Hönerbach will be in charge. Nürnberg have far less quality on the pitch than the visitors, but a desire to placate the fans after some poor results could well outweigh that disadvantage against a team that hasn’t exactly been known for its strong winning mentality. Home win.


Eintracht Frankfurt 1.95, the draw 3.65, VfL Wolfsburg 3.60

Armin Veh’s team only need one point to make it to the Europa League - “we have the quality to do it,” said club boss Heribert Bruchhagen. Frankfurt are still sweating on the fitness of key attacking midfielder Alexander Meier, however. Without him, they’re only half the threat going forward. The visitors have little to nothing to play for, apart from finishing 9th in the table. A recent good run - eight games without defeat - has shown that Dieter Hecking has found a way to get the best (or at least something fairly good) out of this convoluted, lop-sided squad. It’s not beyond Wolves to spoil the party - away win.


FC Augsburg 1.45, the draw 4.15, Greuther Fürth 7.00

“Whoever thinks this is a banker has no idea,” said Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl. A sell-out crowd hope to celebrate survival in the SGL-Arena. One point against already-relegated Fürth will be enough for Weinzierl’s boys to reach the relegation play-off against 1. FC Kaiserslautern, while three points could see them leap-frog Düsseldorf and stay up automatically. Despite Weinzierl’s words of warning, it’s hard to see past a home win for his remarkably resilient side.


SC Freiburg 2.90, the draw 3.40, Schalke 04 2.35

This is the big one. “A final,” S04 sporting director Horst Heldt called it. A win for Freiburg would see them finish ahead of the Royal Blues in a Champions League spot; “all the pressure is on Schalke,” said SC coach Christian Streich. Jens Keller has conducted closed training sessions ahead of the game and will benefit from Julian Draxler returning from suspension. They should get at least a point here but, Schalke being Schalke, it’s tough to back them. Maybe the unders are a better choice.


Hamburger SV 3.25, the draw 3.90, Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2.00

The northerners can cap a crazy season with a Europa League spot if they win at home while Frankfurt lose. Hamburg are confident after the 4-1 win at Hoffenheim but perhaps that result was a little misleading. Against Leverkusen, one of the best counter-attacking sides in the league, they are are underdogs, despite Leverkusen having no real incentive to perform. The visitors' superior tactics and collective game makes them a good tip for an away win.