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FC Nürnberg 2.80, the draw 3.30, VfB Stuttgart 2.50
Huub Stevens led Stuttgart to their first win in ten games in his home debut against former club HSV. It wasn’t pretty and not quite convincing either - “there were too many bad moments,” said Stevens - but the team’s new defensive set-up might work even better against Nürnberg on Wednesday night. The Franconians are playing a much more expansive style under Gertjan Verbeek but have lately lost their confidence. Nürnberg are also without key defenders Javier Pinola (suspended) and Ondrej Petrak (broken nose, concussion). I’d back Stuttgart to get another win. (2.60).
FC Augsburg 2.40, the draw 3.40, Bayer Leverkusen 2.85
Sami Hyypiä’s coming under pressure in the wake of nine winless games (in all competitions). “We used to be very happy with him and we still are, basically,” said Rudi Völler after the 3-2 home defeat by Hoffenheim on Saturday. It didn’t sound like the most emphatic of backings. The trip to the SGL-Arena looks rather daunting, all of a sudden - Leverkusen can’t afford to drop too many more points if they are to defend fourth spot. Augsburg are a bit of a nightmare to play against but Leverkusen should come away with a point. I’ll go for the draw 3.40.
Eintracht Frankfurt 2.85, the draw 3.40, Borussia Mönchengladbach 2.40
Armin Veh said he was happy with the depth of the squad ahead of the game against the Foals. It’s true: the side has been able to cope with loss of Sebastian Rode, Alex Meier and Bamba Anderson better than anticipated. Gladbach, however, are back in the groove after their horror start to 2014. Lucien Favre’s side has refound the balance between defence and attack and should take full advantage of the space available in the Commerzbank-Arena. There’ll be goals. Over 2.5 1.78.
Hamburger SV, 2.05, the draw 3.40, SC Freiburg 3.55
Hakan Calhanoglu and Ivo Ilicevic are both injured for the home side. Mirko Slomka will compensate the loss of both midfielders by changing to a 4-4-2 formation. Jacques Zoua and Pierre-Michel Lasogga, who last played at home in in the 3-0 over Dortmund, will partner in attack. Freiburg, fresh from two wins (3-1 v Bremen, 4-1 at Frankfurt), are back suddenly the team of the moment. Physically, they look much stronger and consequently, they create more chances and defend better. This looks an open game. I’ll take both teams to score. 1.70.
TSG Hoffenheim 1.88, the draw 3.80, Hannover 3.75
Hannover were beaten roundly (3-0) at Dortmund on Saturday and it could be similar outcome away to the goal-machine Hoffenheim, who edged another high-scoring match with a 3-2 in Leverkusen. The away team have main striker Artjoms Rudnevs back in contention - Mame Diouf is out for weeks with a shoulder injury - but TSG are simply irresistible going forward. The overs are prohibitively short but I fancy Markus Gisdol’s team to win big. Take them at -1 for 3.25.