Raphael Honigstein's Bundesliga Betting: Dortmund to be held by frugal Hertha as Bayern run riot at the Allianz


Friday

Bayer Leverkusen v Werder Bremen

Don't look now but 14th-placed Bremen are one of the form sides of the Bundesliga with three wins on the spin, even if the last one was quite flattering at home against Darmstadt. They face a Leverkusen side that fired head coach Roger Schmidt on Sunday after a string of poor performances across competitions, with former Hannover and Kaiserslautern boss Tayfun Korkut taking over in a caretaker role. The Turk has a wholeheartedly unimpressive record in Germany thus far, but has never managed an outfit with as much talent as Leverkusen. A draw looks enticingly priced at 3.95.

 

Saturday

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt

Bayern are on a roll, having won their last four matches by a combined scoreline of 19-1. Carlo Ancelotti's men seem to be peaking at the right time towards the meaty end of the campaign and, especially in front of their own fans, have also played much better than they did for most of the Italian Mister's first season in Germany. Conversely, Frankfurt have dropped four straight in the Bundesliga and will be hard pressed to stop the onslaught at Allianz Arena. The best value should be in going for a large margin of victory for the hosts, with over 3.5 goals at 2.10.

 

SV Darmstadt 98 v 1. FSV Mainz

05Darmstadt played their best game of football this season at Bremen last weekend but had nothing to show for it, making this one and, really, most of their matches left on the schedule a must-win. Mainz are perhaps the only true mid-table side in the Bundesliga at this stage and it shows in the variance of their performances, as Martin Schmidt's team has won two, lost two and drawn three league matches in 2017. With Mainz usually not doing too well when they have to dominate possession, go for a draw at 3.15.

 

Hertha Berlin v Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund are on their best run of form of the season with head coach Thomas Tuchel having found a way to introduce some consistency in his side at last, as a run of four wins including the important 4-0 over Benfica in the UEFA Champions League indicates. However, if anything can stop the BVB express, it is a trip to stingy Hertha, who earned a point from the first meeting and forced a cup tie into a decision via penalty shootout earlier this year. The capital club has the best home record in the Bundesliga, having conceded only five goals all season. Go for a draw (3.70) and under 2.5 goals at 2.14.

 

RB Leipzig v VfL Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg just about hung on for a draw at Mainz last weekend in Andries Jonker's first match in charge. The Wolves still dropped even deeper into the relegation fight thanks to a Hamburg win the day after. Leipzig are still second in the league but have rarely met the lofty standards they set for themselves in the first half of the season since the winter break, for example deservedly dropping points against Augsburg on the previous matchday. They have, though, been strong at home and have one of the in-form strikers of the league in their team. Go for a home win and Timo Werner to score anytime priced at 2.05.

 

SC Freiburg v TSG Hoffenheim

Freiburg are perhaps the biggest overachievers of the season in the Bundesliga and that's down mostly to their strong home form. Christian Streich's side has won a remarkable seven matches in front of their own fans already, with the lacklustre 3-0 defeat to Dortmund in their most recent home outing the exception and not the rule. Hoffenheim remain one of the hardest-to-beat sides in Germany and an away win would be massive in the fight for the Champions League with fifth-placed Hertha and third-placed Dortmund facing each other. Hoffenheim have won at Freiburg just once, however. A draw looks most likely (3.45).

 

FC Ingolstadt v FC Köln

In a puzzling piece of scheduling, Ingolstadt host the Bundesliga so-called "Topspiel", the late-afternoon kick-off on Saturday. Under new boss Maik Walpurgis the Bavarians have looked competitive in most matches, with 16 points from 13 matches a reasonably respectable yield so far. Walpurgis' team beat Leipzig and held their own against Bayern and in-form Mönchengladbach at home this season. Cologne have dropped off considerably after a strong first half of the season, having last won on February 4 against Wolfsburg. Backing a scrappy home win looks the right bet at 2.50.

 

Sunday

Schalke 04 v FC Augsburg

The beacons are finally lit at Schalke after a drubbing at the hands of Mönchengladbach dragged them down to 13th in the table, just four points above Hamburg the relegation play-off spot. First-year head coach Markus Weinzierl desperately needs a win to calm the notoriously unstable environment around the Ruhr side, even if he has the full backing of sporting director Christian Heidel. Weinzierl, of course, was successful in not only keeping Augsburg in the Bundesliga but also making them play decent football. His once-removec successor Manuel Baum has done the same since taking over late in 2016. Still, it's hard to see past the home side under pressure in this one at  1.73.

 

 Hamburger SV v Borussia Mönchengladbach

Hamburg reacted well to their 8-0 shellacking by Bayern, picking up a vital win over Hertha on Sunday, their third in the last five matchdays. They host a Gladbach side in astounding form, though, with the Foals rapidly climbing the table under the steady hand of Dieter Hecking. The two teams met in the cup earlier in March and Gladbach were merely the luckier, but not the better side in a 2-1 win. They will surely start to feel the impact of a busy schedule with Europa League games taking their toll, while HSV have not lost at home since early November. Aim for a draw at 3.25.