Eintracht Braunschweig - Borussia Dortmund
Centre-back Mats Hummels could be back in the fold after two months on the sidelines but new signing Milos Jojic, a 21-year-old midfielder from Belgrade, is not ready to feature for the Black and Yellows. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to play in midfield for the injured Kuba Blaszcykowski.
Braunschweig should be unchanged after winning a point at Bremen (0-0) last week. The home side like to make things difficult for the opposition but they carry little attacking threat (10 goals in 18 games).
Dortmund will get a win in a calm, professional manner; careful to keep things tidy at the back. Under 3.5 (1.58) is good bet here.
Schalke 04 - VfL Wolfsburg
The Royal Blues waved goodbye to midfield enforcer Jermaine Jones this week, he’s gone to Besiktas. Captain Benedikt Höwedes, however, will be available for this crucial battle for the Champions League places.
With Kevin-Prince Boateng in a deeper position, there’s a nice bit of variation on the pitch, and of course having Klaas-Jan Huntelaar upfront really helps.
Much-hyped Wolfsburg lost 3-1 at home to Hannover but they will put up a strong resistance here and it should be a fascinating match. Both teams to score at 1.52 looks good.
Bayer Leverkusen - VfB Stuttgart
After a super-solid run, Leverkusen have somehow slumped to three defeats in a row in the league.
With Emir Spahic returning in defence and impact player Sidney Sam being available again from the bench, you have to back them to get back into the winning groove against Stuttgart.
The Swabians were unlucky to go down 2-1 v Bayern on Wednesday but only two wins in the last ten games tell the real story. They’re pretty average this season (in a non-too-pretty way). Christian Genter (injured) will also be missed in midfield. Leverkusen at 1.52 is the bet.
TSG Hoffenheim 1899 - Hamburger SV
Markus Gisdol had told reporters that his team had worked hard on the defensive side of things in the winter break. The result: a 4-0 defeat by Nürnberg.
On the plus side, influential forward Kevin Volland is in the starting line-up again, and they are the sort of side who can really turn it on against a team with defensive issues. Hamburg, fresh from a 3-0 home defeat, certainly fit the bill. Bert van Marwijk’s side are also without their best striker, Pierre-Michel Lasogga.
It should rain goals regardless, with over 4.5 at 3.95.
Mainz 05 - SC Freiburg
A battle of attrition looms in the Co-Face-Arena on Saturday.
Both sides could well neutralise each other with their constant pressing in midfield; without an early goal, this one looks headed for a stalemate.
Mainz are the more talented side but Freiburg have found a bit of belief after beating Leverkusen in fairly heroic fashion last week. There’s value in backing them on the double chance at 2.00.
FC Augsburg - Werder Bremen
A few years ago, the thought of Werder being severe underdogs in a visit to Augsburg would have been preposterous, but things have changed.
Markus Weinzierl’s hard-working side are safe in mid-table while Robin Dutt’s more prominent but pretty unorganised team are nervously glancing over their shoulders at the relegation zone.
Recent results certainly point to another home win but this could be a case where the market has swung a little too much. The difference in class isn’t as big in reality. I’d take Werder on the double chance at 2.10.
Hannover 96 - Borussia Mönchengladbach
Winning away to Wolfsburg was a fantastic start for Tayfun Korkut.
The new Hannover manager might be forced to throw in new signing Frantisek Rajtoral, a Czech defender, straight in on Sunday as regular right-back Hiroki Sakai is suspended and there are no other obvious alternatives.
The Foals have no fresh injury worries. Against Bayern last week, they didn’t play their best game but they will relish hitting Hannover on the break. I see them winning at 2.60.
Hertha BSC - 1. FC Nürnberg
The visitors finally got their first win of the season against Hoffenheim last week. Much-improved performances under Gertjan Verbeek made a bit of success almost inevitable. The Dutchman will bring Ondrej Petrak for the injured Per Nilsson at the heart of the defence but otherwise, the side is unchanged.
Jos Luhukay will be able call upon key striker Adrian Ramos, who was heavily linked with a move to Dortmund - the Colombian has recovered in time from a knee injury.
I don’t see too many goals in this one, with under 2.5 at 1.90.
Bayern Munich - Eintracht Frankfurt
The league leaders left it very late to beat a dogged Stuttgart side on Wednesday night. All told, it was a pretty poor performance, but with Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mario Mandzukic all likely to be available on Sunday, there should be a bit more oomph.
Frankfurt didn’t really convince in their 1-0 win over Hertha and are seen as complete no-hopers by the market.
Bayern could well win big here, with over 3.5 goals at 1.88.
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