Raphael Honigstein's Bundesliga Betting: Hamburg and Wolfsburg square-up in dramatic relegation showdown on final day

1. FC Köln v 1. FSV Mainz 05

Mainz showed great spirit to overturn a two goal deficit against Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend and ultimately claim the win that secured their place in the Bundesliga for another season. The pressure’s off Martin Schmidt’s side then, in contrast to opponents Cologne. They need a win to secure at least seventh place, which with a Dortmund cup final victory would be enough for a Europa League qualification spot. Peter Stöger has a near fully fit squad to choose from whilst Mainz’s Pablo De Blasis is out suspended. Cologne have been great at home this season and with Mainz dreadful away, expect them to end the campaign on a high with a home victory at 1.58.


Hamburg SV v VfL Wolfsburg

It’s Hamburg who occupy the relegation playoff spot heading into the final day of the season. The added twist is that a win against Wolfsburg would make their opponents face the playoff instead of them, providing Augsburg don’t suffer a heavy defeat at Hoffenheim.

Hamburg’s recent record against Wolfsburg doesn’t bode well. They’ve not beaten the Wolves in any of their last 11 encounters. What’s more, Pierre-Michel Lasogga, the scorer of a crucial equaliser against Schalke last weekend, is out injured. At the back, Dennis Diekmeier is suspended, whilst Wolfsburg will be without Riechedly Bazoer due to suspension too. This won’t be a pretty game and the away side are in dire form themselves, so go for a frantic draw to ensue at 3.40.


Hertha BSC v Bayer Leverkusen

Last weekend saw Hertha finally end their awful run of nine straight away defeats and that victory at Darmstadt has put them in pole position for the Bundesliga’s Europa League group stage spot. A win against a Leverkusen side experiencing their worst campaign in 14 years would secure that. They did manage to recover from 2-0 down to snatch a point against Rhine rivals Cologne last weekend but it still didn’t do much to cover up an abysmal season. Hertha coach Pal Dardai has called on his side to “sweat blood” for victory here. Whilst they might not be able to do that, Hertha should claim the three points they need at 1.98.


Borussia Mönchengladbach v SV Darmstadt 98

There’s still an outside chance that Gladbach could claim a Europa League spot on Saturday, should they beat Darmstadt and other results go in their favour. This, on the other hand, marks the end of the road for Darmstadt’s two year adventure in the Bundesliga, but they have at least put up a fight in the second half of the season since Torsten Frings took charge in January. Gladbach have been a bit reserved by their standards of late but expect them to give their fans some final day cheer in the form of a few goals. With Darmstadt likely to go down swinging too, back over 3.5 goals at 2.10.


Bayern Munich v SC Freiburg

Bayern will lift the Bundesliga title for the fifth year running on Saturday but Freiburg won’t just be there to spoil the party for the champions. Christian Streich’s side know that a win would secure them a qualification spot in next season’s Europa League. Bayern’s 5-4 win against Leipzig last weekend showed their mental supremacy given that they were 4-2 down with just six minutes to play. It should also give Freiburg hope of being able to exploit some defensive weaknesses with the title being wrapped up making Bayern a little more lax than usual. The best value then is to be found in picking the away side to score over 1.5 goals at 4.10 (but you’d still expect Bayern manage more than the visitors).


Borussia Dortmund v SV Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen’s last two games have been lots of fun for the neutral with 15 goals in total. The problem for Werder is that they’ve conceded nine of them – a steep tally when you consider they’d only conceded nine goals in their previous 11 games. They head to Dortmund who will be looking to clinch their place in the Champions League group stages.

Thomas Tuchel suffered a big injury blow last weekend when Julian Weigl broke his ankle, ruling him out for three to four months. Dortmund are a stronger side when he’s in it but they should still be able to create plenty against the gung-ho visitors. The hosts however will need to be wary of Werder’s counter attacking capabilities. All in all, go for goals with over 4.5 at 2.12.


TSG Hoffenheim v FC Augsburg

As Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric put it, Julian Nagelsmann’s side are going to try and beat Augsburg by “a good goal difference.” That’s because Dortmund are level on points with the Hoffe but crucially, it’s Dortmund who occupy the final Champions League group stage place having scored four more goals.

Augsburg managed to hold Dortmund to a 1-1 draw last weekend but there’s still a chance that with a heavy defeat here, they could slip into the relegation playoff if Hamburg beat Wolfsburg by a slender margin. The way that Hoffenheim ruthlessly smashed five past Bremen last week along with their consistently good performances at home this season makes a win at -1 for the hosts worth backing at 1.80.


FC Ingolstadt v FC Schalke 04

The season is already over for both Ingolstadt and Schalke. The hosts were relegated last weekend after failing to win at Freiburg whilst Schalke’s draw against Hamburg means they can no longer qualify for the Europa League.

Ingolstadt’s performances have perhaps not been quite as bad as their position in the table suggests but they have had problems keeping out visiting sides this season with just one clean sheet kept at home. Given the form that Schalke striker Guido Burgstaller has been in since joining the club in January, it looks wise to back the burly Austrian to score at anytime here at 2.55.


Eintracht Frankfurt v RB Leipzig

Both Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig managed to blow two goal leads in spectacular style last weekend. Frankfurt were two up at local rivals Mainz after an hour before collapsing to a 4-2 defeat. Leipzig meanwhile were 4-2 up with just six minutes to play before losing 5-4 to Bayern Munich.

Frankfurt won’t have striker Ante Rebic available after he picked up his tenth yellow card of the campaign last weekend. That might be a relief for Niko Kovac with Frankfurt playing in the DFB-Cup final against Dortmund next weekend. Not only are the home team are likely to have an eye on that, they’ve also only won one of their last 14 games. So back Leipzig to end the season with a flourish at 1.89.