Borussia Dortmund v Hannover 96
Last weekend was the first time this season that Borussia Dortmund have failed to score in the Bundesliga. They were held to a goalless draw by Hertha but since then, Thomas Tuchel’s side have bounced back. They nabbed a 3-1 DFB-Cup win at Stuttgart and next up, it’s bottom club Hannover. The visitors to Dortmund on Saturday have lost each of their three games under Thomas Schaaf so far and don’t expect that to change at the Signal Iduna Park this weekend. Pick Dortmund to win by -2 at 1.82.
VfL Wolfsburg v FC Ingolstadt
Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking has called for patience ahead of facing Ingolstadt. However, their fans tolerance has ebbed away of late with loud whistling greeting their draw against Cologne in their last home game. Wolfsburg are now seven without a win in the Bundesliga too after defeat to Schalke last Saturday.
What’s worse is that Ingolstadt have looked really impressive in their away games at Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund this season, even if they lost both in the end. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side took a point at Gladbach and Schalke as well. Such are Wolfsburg’s current woes, back Ingolstadt to draw or win at 2.16.
VfB Stuttgart v Hertha BSC
Whilst Stuttgart were knocked out of the DFB-Cup by Dortmund on Tuesday night, Hertha advanced on Wednesday and will now face Dortmund in the semi-finals. Pal Dardai’s side showed that they have nothing to fear given that they played them last weekend and had the better of their 0-0 draw
Still, Stuttgart are the only side to have won each of their three games since the turn of the year but keeping clean sheets has been something they’ve still struggled to do. Hertha are renowned for their organisation under Dardai but perhaps that’ll slip a touch here after their midweek exploits. Back a few goals here, with over 2.5 priced at 1.78.
SV Werder Bremen v TSG Hoffenheim
This week saw Huub Stevens step down as Hoffenheim coach due to a heart problem. In comes 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann who’d previously enjoyed success with the club’s youth team. He’s become the Bundesliga’s youngest ever coach but his side are 17th in the table.
Up first are the team five points and one place above them – Werder Bremen. They’re into the semi-finals of the DFB-Cup after a surprise away win at Leverkusen. Picking up points at home though has been a real issue for Bremen this season. This one could be a bit nervy given what’s at stake for both sides, so go for under 2.5 goals here at 2.15.
SV Darmstadt 98 v Bayer Leverkusen
Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt confirmed that Javier Hernandez will be out for a maximum of two weeks after he was injured in their cup defeat to Bremen. He won’t be playing against Darmstadt then but their coach Dirk Schuster has warned that Leverkusen have other attacking players with great quality.
Darmstadt picked up their fifth away win of the season last weekend at Hoffenheim to keep themselves five points above the bottom three. Even without Chicharito though, Leverkusen should prove a little too strong here for the hosts. Back an away victory at 1.72.
1. FC Köln v Eintracht Frankfurt
With Cologne having a fully fit squad, coach Peter Stöger showed his sensitive side earlier this week. “As a person it hurts that I can't play everyone.” On Saturday evening, he’ll need to put his healthy team to good use against Eintracht Frankfurt who thrashed Cologne 6-2 in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Alex Meier scored a hat-trick in that game, making it seven goals in his last three matches against Cologne. Even with Eintracht struggling just above the bottom three, Meier has notched six in his last five Bundesliga games. Cologne have struggled to keep a clean sheet of late, so back Meier to score at anytime in this one at 2.95.