Raphael Honigstein's Bundesliga Betting: Bayern Injuries Mean Dortmund Can Take Klassiker Honours

SV Werder Bremen - FSV Mainz 05

Viktor Skripnik's first game in charge of Werder Bremen was the reverse fixture against Mainz in November. The subsequent win proved a harbinger of the revival which was to follow. Werder have gone from battling relegation to outside European contenders despite assistant coach Torsten Frings' assertions that Werder aren't safe just yet.

Mainz held Wolfsburg last time out, demonstrating the progress made under recently appointed coach Martin Schmidt in the five games he's taken charge of so far. Werder though should overcome Mainz on Saturday at 2.40.


Bayer Leverkusen - Hamburg SV


The latest international break was inconveniently timed for Bayer Leverkusen having won six of their last seven in all competitions, conceding just once in that time. If Roger Schmidt's side finish the season in the manner which they've been playing recently, then Champions League football will return to the BayArena next season.

Hamburg are the visitors on Saturday and it's their first game since sacking Joe Zinnbauer. Sporting director Peter Knäbel has become the coach; a risky decision given that he's not held a senior coaching role in 15 years. He's set to reinstate Rene Adler as first choice goalkeeper but it shouldn't make much of a difference against the keeper's former club. It's not even hard to foresee Leverkusen being ahead at half-time at 1.82.


Eintracht Frankfurt - Hannover 96

There were doubts over whether coach Tayfun Korkut would keep his job after Hannover slipped to a tenth winless game in a row with their defeat to Dortmund. Korkut survived but Eintracht Frankfurt are an uncomfortable side to travel too, having not lost any of their last seven home games. Neither side is impressive defensively yet Eintracht's greater attacking prowess points towards a home win at 1.95.


TSG Hoffenheim - Borussia Mönchengladbach

FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga : News Photo

Gladbach secured one of the results of the season as they became the first team in the campaign to win at Bayern last time out. "The fact that we won there shouldn't lead to us becoming careless," said Lucien Favre, the coach behind that victory.

The result puts them third heading to European chasing Hoffenheim. Markus Gisdol's side disappointed at lowly Paderborn last time out. They're likely to raise their game here but with Gladbach not generous when it comes to conceding, goals may be in short supply with under 2.5 at 1.98.


SC Freiburg - FC Köln

Freiburg's win over Augsburg in their last game took them out of the relegation zone as Christian Streich's side look set to embark on their latest improbable escape from the drop. They've already beaten Cologne at home this year as they advanced to the quarter finals of the DFB-Pokal.

Cologne's Bundesliga safety isn't quite secure and given Freiburg's tendency to turn it on around this time of year, another home victory for Christian Streich is worth backing at 2.45.


VfL Wolfsburg - VfB Stuttgart

With Bayern having dropped points just under two weeks ago, Wolfsburg missed the chance to close the gap to eight on the leaders (close by recent Bundesliga standards anyway) as they drew 1-1 at Mainz. Still, by the time Bayern step out to face Dortmund, the gap could be down to seven, providing Kevin De Bruyne and co can put on a show against Stuttgart.

However, for the first time in 2015, Stuttgart showed something akin to resilience as they came from behind to overcome Eintracht Frankfurt. It's given VfB a good chance of survival but this isn't the game Huub Stevens would have wanted to follow up that victory with, especially with Wolfsburg unbeaten at home in over a year in the Bundesliga. Back the hosts then at -1 at 2.12.


Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich

FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga : News Photo

So Dortmund haven't quite managed to match Bayern again this season. Still, they will pose a considerable threat to the champions on Saturday evening. The international break has been a painful one for Bayern on the injury front - quite literally in the cases of Arjen Robben and David Alaba with both likely to miss the rest of the league campaign.

With Ribery out for Bayern too, BVB's chances increase further, even more so when considering that they're on a seven match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga. Their late surge may not win them a place in Europe but a Klassiker victory is certainly feasible at 3.50.