VfL Wolfsburg - Hannover 96
Wolfsburg did what no other Bundesliga side had done this season on Wednesday as they thrashed third division leaders Arminia Bielefeld in the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal. How much more of a challenge the Lower Saxony Derby will be is questionable.
Hannover continued their slide down the table even with new management as coach Michael Frontzeck lost his first game in charge against Hoffenheim. Dieter Hecking, his opposite number on Saturday, wants his side to seal their place in the group stages of next season’s Champions League and with Wolfsburg unbeaten at home this season, a comfortable win for them is foreseeable. A win -1 goal is at 2.12.
SV Werder Bremen - Eintracht Frankfurt
It’s been nearly two years since Thomas Schaaf left Werder Bremen and on Saturday, he returns as an opposition coach to the Weserstadion for the first time. His current side, Eintracht Frankfurt, haven’t scored in the three games since the Bundesliga’s leading goal getter Alex Meier was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Werder are only three points ahead of Eintracht and their form has cooled of late too. These two sides though have provided the most goals in the Bundesliga this season, so despite Eintracht’s recent drought, expect a few to arrive on Saturday with +3.5 at 2.30.
FC Schalke 04 - VfB Stuttgart
With each passing week, the pressure grows on Roberto Di Matteo. After last Friday’s defeat at Mainz, Schalke are in danger of missing out on a European place after going six without a win in the Bundesliga. The last time they were on that bad a run in Gelsenkirchen, they sacked the coach, Huub Stevens. It just so happens that he’s returning to Schalke with Stuttgart on Saturday.
Stevens was left infuriated by his relegation threatened side throwing away a two goal lead against Freiburg last time out. His side though have showed greater resolve of late and with Schalke ponderous, a draw is good value at 3.60.
FC Augsburg - 1. FC Köln
Inconsistency from Augsburg has helped open up the race for a place in the Europa League. They won their last home game against Stuttgart before doing the impossible as they lost at Hamburg last weekend.
Cologne have impressed of late with a certain sturdiness that has seen them only lose one of their last seven. Yet not many teams have beaten Augsburg at home this season making three points for Markus Weinzierl’s side likely at 2.10.
SC Freiburg - SC Paderborn 07
Three of Freiburg’s final four games see them play clubs below them and that starts with Paderborn on Saturday. Whilst they came from two goals down to claim a point last weekend, Paderborn let a two goal lead slip to draw on Sunday. That result kept them off the bottom of the league and it’s surprising that survival is still such an attainable prospect for André Breitenreiter and co.
However, they will be without the suspended Michael Heinloth and Mario Vrancic on Saturday. Freiburg took a while to get going at Stuttgart but they should have enough to overcome Paderborn here at 1.85.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Borussia Dortmund
Jürgen Klopp’s announcement that he will leave the club this summer has helped galvanise Borussia Dortmund in the final throes of the season. That continued with a penalty shootout victory against Bayern in the semi-finals of the German Cup.
Victory in the final against Wolfsburg would assure them of a Europa League place next season but they can still reach it via the Bundesliga. Hoffenheim are a place above them and gained a welcome win at hapless Hannover last weekend. They’ll be without defender Tobias Strobl whilst Roman Weidenfeller is expected to return in goal for Dortmund. Given the momentum of the Klopp farewell, it’s tricky to see anything other than an away win here at 1.80.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen - FC Bayern München
So Bayern Munich may have won the league title last weekend but dreams of a treble slipped away in the week as Dortmund ended their dreams of a third successive German Cup. Arjen Robben was injured again on Wednesday meaning he’s now out for the rest of the campaign whilst Robert Lewandowski will miss this weekend’s game through injury too.
Leverkusen may well face Pep Guardiola’s team at a good time especially with the visitors facing Barcelona in the Champions League next week. They have been in excellent form and have far fewer injury worries. Still, beating Bayern is never that straight forward, so back a draw at 3.40.