VfL Wolfsburg v SV Werder Bremen
“We have to forget this game quickly,” said Wolfsburg coach Valerien Ismael after his side went down 3-0 at Dortmund in tepid fashion. It belied the promise shown in the victory against Hoffenheim the previous weekend as the Wolves remain embroiled in a relegation battle.
Werder Bremen are too but they picked up a priceless win at Mainz last weekend even if it wasn’t the most convincing display. Bremen have only lost one of their last five away games and come into this one just three points behind the hosts. Wolfsburg though should just about edge this one at 1.90.
Bayern Munich v Hamburg SV
Playing Hamburg at the Allianz Arena is usually cause for Bayern Munich to tee off, having scored 36 goals in their last six home games against them. However, under Markus Gisdol Hamburg aren’t in as bad a state as they have been in previous years. What’s more, Bayern Munich have not been as good under Carlo Ancelotti as they were under Pep Guardiola.
Defender Kyriakos Papadopoulous is a doubt for Hamburg after picking up an injury in their 2-2 draw against Freiburg last weekend. His presence will be key to their fortunes here but such are the chances that Bayern are continually giving up at present, back both teams to score at 2.07.
Bayer Leverkusen v 1. FSV Mainz 05
Atletico Madrid showed in the Champions League on Tuesday night how Leverkusen’s defensive flaws have never really disappeared. Their 4-2 win at the BayArena has effectively killed the tie, meaning the pressure is back on Roger Schmidt to get Leverkusen into the competition again next season. He’s up against the Bundesliga’s other coaching Schmidt, with Martin Schmidt of Mainz the opponent this weekend. They’ve played seven away games against sides above them this season and lost them all. Leverkusen are defensively frail but their firepower up front should give them a home a win at 1.64.
SV Darmstadt 98 v FC Augsburg
Rock bottom Darmstadt weren’t all that bad away at Hoffenheim and coach Torsten Frings recognised that after the game. Still, it wasn’t enough as they fell to a 2-0 defeat and time is starting to run out for Darmstadt to conjure up a miraculous survival. Augsburg are in danger of getting dragged back into the relegation scrap with Manuel Baum’s team lurking just five points above the bottom three. Anticipate a cagey encounter with it best to plump for a draw here at 2.95.
SC Freiburg v Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund have won their last 11 games against Freiburg, but in the Bundesliga this season, they have only chalked up one more win than their opponents on Saturday. Freiburg showed against Bayern Munich too that they can more than hold their own against the division’s finest.
Dortmund are certainly sharpest going forward, particularly when Ousmane Dembélé is involved at present, but at the back, they haven’t kept an away clean sheet in the Bundesliga this season. Freiburg are ranked third in the division when it comes to taking their chances, so backing over 3.5 goals is well priced at 2.40.
RB Leipzig v 1. FC Köln
Leipzig closed to within five points of Bayern Munich at the top of the table with a 2-1 win at Borussia Mönchengladbach last Sunday. That’s the same result that Cologne got at Gladbach earlier this season and they’re likely to prove stubborn opposition to Leipzig on Saturday afternoon.
Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl and Cologne boss Peter Stöger were team-mates back in Austria in the nineties. Stöger hasn’t lost any of their five meetings to date and his Cologne team being one of the most difficult sides to beat in the division won’t make this time round any easier for Hasenhüttl. Yet going forward, the form of Leipzig pair Emil Forsberg and Timo Werner should make the difference this time round. A home win is priced at 1.72.
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt
Hertha were fuming after they were denied a rare win against Bayern Munich by Robert Lewandowski’s 96th minute equaliser. The feeling was mutual for Eintracht Frankfurt after they felt wronged by the referee in their 2-0 defeat to Ingolstadt. Eintracht’s tough tackling defender David Abraham was sent off in that game meaning he will miss the trip to Berlin with fellow centre back Jesus Vallejo out injured. That’s a real blow to Niko Kovac with both Abraham and Vallejo key performers for Frankfurt this season. Their absence combined with Eintracht’s form starting to wobble makes backing a home win worthwhile at 2.02.
FC Ingolstadt v Borussia Mönchengladbach
Ingolstadt have only accumulated six points from five games so far in 2017 but their performances have merited a better return than that. They remain in the relegation zone for now but their chances of survival brightened significantly with victory at Frankfurt last weekend. Forward Mathew Leckie was sent off in that game though and will miss Gladbach’s visit on Sunday.
Borussia arrive in Bavaria fresh from a stunning comeback win at Fiorentina in the Europa League. You would normally expect Gladbach to be the stronger side but Thursday’s trip to Florence might just take a bit out of them both physically and emotionally. It’s best to back a draw here at 3.00.
Schalke 04 v TSG Hoffenheim
There was an injury blow for Schalke during the week as Naldo was ruled out until further notice with an adductor problem. It means that Bayern loanee Holger Badstuber is likely to slot in alongside Matija Nastasic and Benedikt Höwedes for Sunday’s game against Hoffenheim.
The Hoffe moved up into the top four with a 2-0 win over Darmstadt last weekend but they were nowhere near the best. Julian Nagelsmann will want his side to hit the same level of performance as they did when they overcame Schalke earlier in the season. Markus Weinzierl’s team are eleven points behind them in the table but are much improved since the reverse fixture. This should be a close game, so go for under 2.5 goals at 1.98.