TSG Hoffenheim - Eintracht Frankfurt
Hoffenheim’s nine match unbeaten run to start the season has since been replaced by the mediocrity that made them so entertaining last season. Their defeat at Borussia Dortmund last Friday night made it four defeats in their five games.
Eintracht Frankfurt on the other hand have won their last three but Thomas Schaaf has to turn to third choice goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand tonightwith both Kevin Trapp and Felix Wiedwald injured. Hoffenheim’s last two home games have been seven goal thrillers and given Eintracht’s love of attacking, this one might have a few more too, with over 3.5 at 1.92.
SC Freiburg - Hamburger SV
Freiburg have had a problem with holding their nerve at the crucial moments so far this season. Four times this season, they've gone into the 88th minute in a leading position only to then draw the match. The latest example of this came away at Paderborn last weekend where they drew 1-1.
As for Hamburg, they’ve been much better at home than they have been away under Joe Zinnbauer. They survived a late revival last time out against Mainz to move out of the relegation zone. Freiburg and Hamburg though are likely to be well matched, making a draw the most likely result at 3.40.
FC Augsburg - Bayern Munich
Back in April, Augsburg did what no one had done for the past 53 games - they beat Bayern Munich. Eight months later, Augsburg are third and face a Bayern side still yet to lose in the Bundesliga this season.
Markus Weinzierl's team possess the tools required to dismantle the champions. The issue for Augsburg is the effectiveness with which Pep Guardiola is able to alter his side from week to week. It should be a low scoring game with under 2.5 goals at 2.35.
Hertha BSC - Borussia Dortmund
The big team news here is Borussia Dortmund icon Roman Weidenfeller being deposed as the club’s number one until after Christmas. It means 26-year-old Australian Mitch Langerak will have his chance against Hertha in Berlin. Langerak played on Tuesday as Dortmund secured their place at the top of Group D in the Champions League with a 1-1 draw against Anderlecht. Their battle to make sure they qualify for the competition next season continues on Saturday in the capital.
Dortmund are level on points with hosts Hertha who have struggled for form lately, despite a fortuitous victory over Cologne in November. This should be continuation of the away side’s recovery, with BVB to win at 1.55.
SV Werder Bremen - Hannover 96
For all of their improvement under Victor Skripnik since taking over in late October, Werder Bremen still find themselves in an uncomfortable position sitting in the bottom two. A result against fellow northerners Hannover is vital. The visitors to the Weserstadion on Saturday have tumbled down the table after three straight defeats. Usually, they're poor on the road and Werder could have enough here for the win they need at 2.40.
Schalke 04 - FC Köln
Barring the Chelsea debacle, Roberto Di Matteo’s Schalke are in a good patch of form. The latest and arguably the most important goal of Schalke’s season so far came from Max Meyer in Slovenia on Wednesday as they went through to the knockout stages of the Champions League on Tuesday.
Cologne meanwhile are now struggling after an initially impressive return to the top flight. In particular, the defence that started with four straight clean sheets has given way. With the home side’s strikeforce of Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar both in good form in the Bundesliga, a Schalke win looks on the cards at 1.80.
FSV Mainz 05 - VfB Stuttgart
The late game on Saturday sees two sides that have struggled for results of late and both could really do with the points. Mainz are on a run of six without a win with Kasper Hjulmand’s side suffering since losing Dortmund loanee Jonas Hofmann to injury. They’ve only picked up two points in the six games he’s been absent, compared to 12 in the six he played before then.
Stuttgart on the other hand have probably been the most erratic side in the division this season. Coach Huub Stevens has been shown that in his first two games back - with his opener a 4-1 win at Freiburg and the other match being a 4-0 loss to Schalke last weekend. If Huub Stevens can find the “on” button once again, Stuttgart will probably overcome Mainz, priced at 3.10.