Werder Bremen -TSG Hoffenheim
The reverse fixture between these two finished 4-4 – a crazy match that epitomised Hoffenheim’s season. Of late though, Markus Gisdol’s side have found what seemed so unlikely for so long: consistency. Should they avoid defeat at Werder on Saturday, it’ll be the first time in their six-year Bundesliga stint that they’ve gone six games without defeat in a season.
Werder on the other hand need another victory to ease any lingering relegation fears. After Nils Petersen’s comical own goal against Mainz last week, Robin Dutt can be safe in the knowledge that he can play the returning Franco Di Santo instead. With their final two away games at Leverkusen and Bayern, Werder need points against Hoffenheim and they might only get one here. The draw is 3.45.
Borussia Dortmund - Mainz 05
After advancing through to the DFB-Pokal Final on Tuesday, it’s Mainz next for Borussia. They’ve supplied them with personnel such as coach Jürgen Klopp, defender Neven Subotic and talented young full back Erik Durm. Subotic is out for the season whilst ‘keeper Roman Weidenfeller is likely to miss this through injury. If he does, Mitch Langerak will deputise with Borussia able to guarantee a Champions League group stage place with a win.
As for Mainz, former coach Klopp has praised his successor Thomas Tuchel this week, saying that he could train any club in the world. Still, expect Mainz to struggle this weekend with Borussia purring once more. They are 1.80 to win with a one-goal handicap.
Eintracht Braunschweig - Bayern Munich
It’s top against bottom in Lower Saxony but basement club Braunschweig are in better form than Bayern since the Meisterschale was secured in Berlin. Even if Eintracht were defeated 2-0 at Freiburg last week, they remain close to others in the Bundesliga’s nether regions. An unlikely escape is still possible.
Bayern, through to the Pokal final on Wednesday, will be without Rafinha for the next three games after he got a little too close to Henrikh Mkhitaryan in last Saturday’s 3-0 Klassiker defeat. Manuel Neuer is an injury doubt in goal, so third choice keeper Lukas Raeder is line for another start. It’s been six years since Bayern last lost to the bottom club but with their recent Bundesliga form, there’s good value in the 2.95 double chance on the Champions not winning – strange, I know.
FC Augsburg - Hertha BSC
Jos Luhukay left Augsburg in the summer of 2012 for Hertha. Having just kept the club up against the odds, repeating that feat at the time seemed a thankless task. It’s a task all the same that Markus Weinzierl has done exceptionally, especially this season where, despite a sticky patch of late, Augsburg are on course for an historic top half finish.
Since leaving, Luhukay has taken Hertha back in to the Bundesliga but on his first return to the SGL-Arena, his side are eight games without a win. They’ll be without top scorer Adrian Ramos again and a win for the 1.85 Augsburg against their Bundesliga maker is foreseeable.
SC Freiburg - Borussia Mönchengladbach
Freiburg’s 2-0 win against Braunschweig last weekend was their fourth in six. Those points could prove vital, especially as they play Wolfsburg and Schalke in the coming weeks. First up, it’s another European chaser, Gladbach, who bring with them a star of Freiburg’s last campaign as Max Kruse finds himself gunning for a Champions League place for a second season running.
Yet Gladbach’s push for fourth wasn’t helped by their 1-1 draw against Stuttgart last weekend. They’re boosted by the return of centre back Martin Stranzl which might ensure this one’s a low scoring affair. Under 2.5 goals is 1.96.
Hamburger SV - VfL Wolfsburg
Both need a result here but for different reasons. Hamburg continue their fight against relegation after a 2-1 reverse at Mirko Slomka’s former club Hannover last week. They’re blighted by injuries too with Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Rafael van der Vaart out whilst Heiko Westermann is a doubt.
Wolfsburg on the other hand must keep the pressure on Bayer Leverkusen in the race for the final Champions League spot. Dieter Hecking won’t have Junior Malanda for the rest of the season after he was injured in the midweek cup defeat at Dortmund. Four of the last five between these two have finished 1-1 – a fifth in six isn’t implausible given both sides’ needs. The 1-1 draw is at 7.00.