Raphael Honigstein's Bundesliga Betting: In-Form Werder To Stun Schalke


Friday

VfB Stuttgart - Borussia Dortmund

There may be 13 games left in the season but it's starting to look bleak for Stuttgart. After their Baden-Württemberg derby defeat to Hoffenheim last weekend, coach Huub Stevens was struggling for explanations with VfB on the bottom of the Bundesliga.

Who better to arrive next then at the Mercedes-Benz Arena than a Borussia Dortmund side that finally look capable of going on a run to exit the relegation battle once and for all. BVB have Juventus next week in the Champions League but Jürgen Klopp made it clear that he won't be resting anyone. Stuttgart are without a goal at home in over nine hours and that coupled with Dortmund's momentum from their comeback victory over Mainz should see them over the line here at 1.60.

 

Saturday

FC Augsburg - Bayer Leverkusen

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Leverkusen's Bundesliga record against Augsburg is comprehensive - played seven, won seven. Roger Schmidt's team though travel to Bavaria off the back of consecutive defeats, the latter of which was a game of the season contender, a 4-5 reverse against Wolfsburg.

Augsburg were beaten 3-2 at in-form Werder Bremen last Saturday but have been excellent at home this season. Bayern are the only team to topple them at home in their last nine games. With their next visitors wobbling, they're well priced to end their Leverkusen hoodoo at 3.20.

 

FSV Mainz 05 - Eintracht Frankfurt

After Karneval weekend had passed in Mainz, Tuesday brought the end to any lingering jokes: Coach Kasper Hjulmand sacked, Under-23 coach Martin Schmidt in. So for this Rhein-Main derby, it was set to be the Bundesliga's least experienced coach against the most experienced coach, Thomas Schaaf.

The latter brought up 500 games coached in the division with a tidy 1-0 win over Schalke as goalkeeper and club captain Kevin Trapp excelled. However, illness may deny Mainz's Martin Schmidt from being on the touch line on Saturday. Eintracht are usually good value for a few goals and with or without Schmidt, coaching changes in the Bundesliga this season have tended to provide an immediate bounce. That may well result in a few goals with over 3.5 at 2.55

 

Schalke 04 - Werder Bremen

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Roberto Di Matteo's Schalke certainly gave Real Madrid a better game than Jens Keller's Schalke last year. Their good showing against the Champions League holders though still resulted in an inevitable defeat albeit with impressive showings from 19-year olds Timon Wellenreuther and Felix Platte. The best news of the night though was that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's injury was not as bad as first feared. He will still miss the visit of the Bundesliga's form team.

Werder Bremen, last in the table going into their final game of 2014, now sit five points off the Champions League places. They can move to within two points of Schalke with a victory and such is their run, Viktor Skripnik's men are worth backing at 3.50

 

SC Freiburg - TSG Hoffenheim

Another week and another Baden-Württemberg derby in the Bundesliga. Saturday sees a return to the Black Forest too for goalkeeper Oliver Baumann for the first time since he left Freiburg in the summer. His coach Markus Gisdol may not be there though. He's had the flu and has been unable to take training this week. 

Hoffe's visit to Freiburg won't be straightforward as it is, particularly after Christian Streich’s side have leapt out of the relegation zone  with a significant win at Hertha last week. Hoffenheim struggle on the road but I prefer the draw at 3.40.

 

SC Paderborn - Bayern Munich

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Paderborn were top heading into the reverse fixture - funnily enough though, they were toppled by plucky underdogs Bayern back in September. The champions haven't budged either from their position atop of the Bundesliga since that win.

However, the promoted minnows broke a 10-game winning duck with victory at Hannover last weekend. Beating Bayern would be one of the upsets of the season but after their midweek stalemate against Shakhtar, Pep's side are likely to be even more up  for this encounter. For Bayern to be leading at half time, it's 1.45.

 

FC Köln - Hannover 96

Cologne managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of yet another goalless stalemate in last week's Rhein Derby at Gladbach. Granit Xhaka's injury time goal was the first they've conceded in 2015 but scoring is the real problem - they haven't netted in their last three games. Home fans at the RheinEnergie Stadion haven't even seen a goal for any side in their last three games.

Still, Hannover have started 2015 poorly, taking just a point from their four games - their worst start to a Rückrunde in five years. With both sides struggling for goals, footballing logic dictates that there will be a few on Saturday - back over 2.5 at 2.35.