Mainz 05 – Schalke 04
Mainz have practically secured their place in the Bundesliga for next season and coach Martin Schmidt will be sticking around too. He signed a new deal until 2018 this week having picked up 12 points in eight games since he took over.
Roberto Di Matteo has been on a more fruitless run of late. His Schalke side are without a win in five – something that didn’t happen once under predecessor Jens Keller. They haven’t won away from home in the second half of the season and Mainz are likely to extend that run. A draw’s worth backing at 3.40.
Borussia Dortmund – Eintracht Frankfurt
Dortmund were dominant in their first game since Jürgen Klopp announced his summer departure as they beat Paderborn 3-0. Next up, it’s Thomas Schaaf’s Eintracht Frankfurt who are rarely dull, even if they slunk to their first goalless draw of the season last weekend.
Borussia’s attacking maestro Marco Reus is back in training but this one may come a bit too soon for him. That opens the door for Eintracht though they’re likely to be missing Stefan Aigner. Don’t expect a conservative approach from either coach here. As a result, a few goals are likely with more than 3.5 at 2.15.
Hannover 96 – TSG Hoffenheim
The Bundesliga’s ninth coaching change came on Monday as Hannover dispensed with Tayfun Korkut after a thirteen game winless run. In comes Michael Frontzeck, an expert in Bundesliga relegation having left clubs in the division’s bottom three in all three of his top flight coaching jobs.
Fortunately for him, it’s Hoffenheim who roll into Lower Saxony this weekend. They put up a good fight against Bayern last weekend but on the road they have been toothless, winning just one of their last 12 on the road. The new coach effect could just work for Hannover here with the home win worth going for at 2.45.
Hamburg SV – FC Augsburg
Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia has talked of being in cup mode because with just five games remaining, it looks like HSV’s 52 year stay in the Bundesliga is coming to an end. It’s a sell out for the visit of Augsburg, yet Labbadia won’t have Valon Behrami at his disposal after his sending off in the Nordderby last weekend.
Facing the Bundesliga’s cellar dwellers is Augsburg’s pleasure this weekend. They ended a poor run of form against Stuttgart last weekend as they look to qualify for Europe for the first time. Their away form has been shabby though and with Hamburg not scoring many, under 2.5 goals looks possible here at 1.80.
VfB Stuttgart - SC Freiburg
This Baden-Württemberg derby has added significance given that both sides are scrapping for survival. Freiburg, nestled in 14th, had looked on course for safety before their 3-2 reverse at the hands of Mainz whilst Stuttgart, stuck in 17th, were defeated by Augsburg.
What will have frustrated both sides is that in truth neither of them played that badly last weekend. Ahead of this one though, being at home should give Stuttgart an important edge. They’re 1.90 to win here.
FC Köln v Bayer Leverkusen
Over in North Rhine-Westphalia, there’s a Rhine derby as Cologne look to halt Leverkusen’s seven game winning streak. Should Roger Schmidt’s side win again, they will set a new club record but Cologne have done well at stymieing visitors to the Rhein-Energie Stadion this season. It’s just that scoring themselves has proved difficult too on quite a few occasions as last weekend proved with their eighth nil nil draw of the season. Even though safety looks all but assured, Leverkusen’s momentum should carry them through in this one at 1.70.
Bayern Munich – Hertha BSC
As any German team is that wins by a few goals, Bayern were “ruthless” in their dispatching of Porto on Tuesday night even though usual protagonists Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry were still watching from the sidelines. The unfortunate Holger Badstuber has joined them there after he suffered yet another serious injury which rules him out for the next four months.
On a better note for Bayern, the league title could be wrapped up by the end of the weekend. Taking the points against Hertha will start that process but the visitors shouldn’t be entirely underestimated. They’re on a seven match unbeaten run but Bayern should still be ahead at both half time and full time at 1.48.
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