SV Hamburg - SC Freiburg
Bruno Labbadia is Hamburg’s fourth coach of the season but the club won’t mind that fact should he continue to haul them out of trouble. After back-to-back wins, Hamburg are out of the relegation zone setting up quite a six-pointer against Freiburg, another side threatened with the drop.
Home defeats to Mainz and Paderborn have put Christian Streich’s side in a dangerous position. The renewed fight and momentum that Hamburg have suggests Friday night will be a difficult one for Freiburg too, with Hamburg to win at 2.10.
FC Bayern Munich - FC Augsburg
For a second year in a row, things haven’t worked out as planned for Bayern after winning the Bundesliga. Their 3-0 defeat to Barcelona was the third game in a row that they’ve lost since becoming German champions nearly a fortnight ago.
On Saturday, they face fellow Bavarians Augsburg who are trying to seal their own place in Europe for next season but have faltered in the last few months. Given Bayern’s injury predicament and with a second leg to come against Barcelona, this could prove a good time for Augsburg. A tight affair might follow with under 2.5 goals at 1.94.
Eintracht Frankfurt - TSG Hoffenheim
It’s now four games since Eintracht Frankfurt’s top scorer Alex Meier got injured and four games since Eintracht Frankfurt scored a goal – an anomaly for any side coached by Thomas Schaaf. Eintracht though are on a good unbeaten run at home having not lost there since Bayern Munich visited in November.
Hoffenheim ended their bad patch on the road in their last away game when they won at Hannover. Coach Markus Gisdol has said in the build up that “Europe is not our goal but our dream”. If they’re to reach that, a win here is important but expect both sides to meet in the middle to earn a draw at 3.45 which will frustrate both sides.
Borussia Dortmund - Hertha BSC
Borussia Dortmund managed a draw away at Hoffenheim last Saturday which still keeps them in with a chance of qualifying for the Europa League through the Bundesliga. They’ll be without the talismanic figure of Marco Reus though this weekend as he’s kept out by injury.
Hertha are the side coming to the Westfalenstadion on Saturday and have shown their worth in close games against Bayern and Gladbach. The issue for Pal Dardai’s team is that they lost both matches in the last ten minutes and the relegation zone is edging closer at just the wrong time.
Even with Reus out, the reinvigorated Dortmund should be strong enough to win here. They’re at 1.80 to be winning at half time and full time.
Hannover 96 - SV Werder Bremen
At the half way stage this season, Hannover had an outside chance of a European spot whilst the season looked all about avoiding relegation for Werder Bremen. How the season has turned around since with Hannover now staring at relegation and Werder edging closer to an unlikely place in the Europa League. Defensive discipline is something neither of these sides has shown in abundance this season and expect the pressure on both teams to win to result in a few goals, with over 2.5 at 1.60.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Both Gladbach and Leverkusen have a place in next season’s Champions League but this match will help decide which club has to go through a qualifier and which club goes straight into the group stages. Having that security would perhaps mean more to Gladbach after they were knocked out in the Champions League qualifiers three years ago.
Lucien Favre’s side have been the best team in the second half of the season but Leverkusen are unbeaten in ten prior to their short trip on Saturday. Gladbach’s home form though has been superb and even though it won’t be a walkover, you’d back them to win again here at 2.50.
VfB Stuttgart - FSV Mainz 05
Bottom of the table Stuttgart aren’t down just yet but Saturday is crucial to their survival chances. It wouldn’t be as pivotal had VfB not thrown away 5 points from winning positions in their last two games.
Mainz meanwhile were defeated late on by Hamburg last weekend which all but ended their hopes of European football. Having that freedom to play is likely to benefit Mainz with striker Shinji Okazaki returning to the club where he failed to make much of a mark whilst Stuttgart posses the potent Daniel Ginczek. With Stuttgart’s games produced four goals or more in five of their last six, over 3.5 looks good value here at 2.75.