FC Augsburg v Bayer Leverkusen
Wednesday was described by Kicker as the absolute low point of Roger Schmidt’s year and a half in charge of Leverkusen. They had numerous key players out injured but the manner in which they were thrashed 4-1 at home by relegation candidates Werder Bremen was embarrassing.
Augsburg are in the midst of that aforementioned relegation battle, particularly after a 2-1 reverse to second from bottom Hoffenheim. The visit of Leverkusen is a great chance for points though, particularly with Javier Hernandez now out suspended. Back Augsburg to add to Leverkusen’s woes here with a home win at 2.80.
FC Köln v Schalke 04
A 3-2 victory over Hamburg has given Schalke confidence ahead of their trip to Cologne according to coach André Breitenreiter. It’s also helped him out too after SPORT BILD mooted this week that incoming sporting director Christian Heidel might fancy having Lucien Favre as his coach instead.
Cologne emerged with a point from their trip south to Ingolstadt. Their top scorer Anthony Modeste nabbed their equaliser there but he took a knock to the head so he might miss this one. Peter Stöger’s side tend to raise their game against the bigger teams and with Schalke not being all that convincing of late, pick a draw here at 3.30.
Werder Bremen v Hannover 96
Claudio Pizarro may be 38 years old but it didn’t show on Wednesday evening as his hat-trick against Leverkusen secured a big result for Werder. Hannover, meanwhile, were on the receiving end of an André Schürrle hat-trick. They remain bottom as coach Thomas Schaaf returns to the club where he’s viewed as a legend.
This game could be the last chance for Hannover according to Werder coach Viktor Skripnik but it’s a pretty big game for him too as his side have struggled to string back-to-back wins together. Hannover are not a good team but such is the crazy nature of the division, it would be very typical of the Bundesliga if they were to win here. Back an away victory at 4.85.
Eintracht Frankfurt v FC Ingolstadt
Whilst Ingolstadt edge ever closer to safety, Eintracht are very much in trouble. Quite a few refereeing decisions didn’t go their way in Berlin but their 2-0 defeat to Hertha saw them slide into the relegation playoff spot. As Hamburg discovered last weekend, Ingolstadt are not a pleasant team to play against. Eintracht haven’t scored in any of their last three games whilst the away side are not renowned for high scoring encounters. Back under 2.5 goals here at 1.64.
VfB Stuttgart v TSG Hoffenheim
Hoffenheim’s revival under Julian Nagelsmann continued on Wednesday with a vital victory over relegation rivals Augsburg. Now, Nagelsmann says he wants to drag Stuttgart back into the mire and that might be possible, given their weak performance at Gladbach.
“The team wants to show a reaction,” according to Stuttgart coach Jürgen Kramny. They usually create plenty of chances but Hoffenheim have also looked far more potent since Nagelsmann’s appointment. Back over 3.5 goals in this one at 2.16.
VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Mönchengladbach
There were morale boosting wins for Wolfsburg and Gladbach during the midweek fixtures as Wolfsburg thrashed northern rivals Hannover 4-0 whilst Gladbach beat Stuttgart by the same score line at the Borussia Park. Those results spoke of the strength both sides have going forward. Be warned though – they also have defensive frailties to be exposed. This one has the potential therefore to be high scoring, so go for over 3.5 goals at 2.45.
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich
The Saturday evening game should be a cracker as second place Dortmund take on league leaders Bayern. Currently, there’s five points between the top two after Bayern’s surprise defeat to Mainz on Wednesday. Dortmund have the chance to reduce that to two and encouragingly for Thomas Tuchel, he’ll only be without defender Sokratis on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola has quite a few more injuries to contend with but can take strength from the way that Bayern comfortably beat Dortmund earlier in the season. Yet Tuchel will have learned from that experience and the momentum currently is with them. The title may be a step too far but a victory here is not. Back Dortmund to win at 3.25.
Mainz 05 v SV Darmstadt 98
In the shock result of the season so far, Mainz won at Bayern on Wednesday night. That was just the latest in a string of great results and performances from Martin Schmidt’s side. Darmstadt meanwhile seem to be sliding towards the relegation that so many predicted before the start of the season. There was no shame in their 2-0 defeat at home to Dortmund but they’re now just two points above the bottom three. Mainz will be buoyant from their Allianz Arena success and providing they can find the necessary focus, they’ll win this one too at 1.75.
Hamburg SV v Hertha BSC
Hertha didn’t convince on Wednesday nightbut they won again, meaning they’re still on course for the Champions League group stages next season. Hamburg lost their cool in Schalke with captain Johan Djourou sent off in their 3-2 defeat. As a result, he’ll be missing for Hertha’s visit on Sunday. Pal Dardai’s side don’t play with the greatest amount of flair but they are exceedingly well organised. They’ve only lost one of their last ten in the Bundesliga and with Hamburg inconsistent, you can envisage another win for Dardai and Hertha here at 2.50.