Dortmund v Frankfurt, Saturday 2.30pm
It’s difficult to anticipate how Dortmund will play on Saturday after everything they’ve had to go through this week. Personnel wise, the attack on the team coach has seen Marc Bartra ruled out for four weeks. Marco Reus though is back in the Dortmund squad for the first time in over a month.
Eintracht Frankfurt have only picked up three points in their last eight games. They’ve had no problem with creating chances recently. It’s just taking them which has been the issue. Back them and Dortmund to net with both teams to score at 1.90.
1. FSV Mainz 05 v Hertha BSC, Saturday 2.30pm
Finding the right mixture away from home is the problem for Hertha, as a run of six straight away defeats proves. Getting a result of any kind would do though for Mainz. They’ve lost their last five in the Bundesliga. Coach Martin Schmidt has been assured of his job until the end of the season but his side are only out of the relegation playoff spot at present thanks to a superior goal difference to Augsburg. Both teams will see this as an opportunity to end their respective bad runs, so both teams to score at 1.98 looks well priced.
VfL Wolfsburg v FC Ingolstadt, Saturday 2.30pm
This is a big game at the bottom of the table. Ingolstadt looked doomed before the international break but three wins followed it. Big credit is due to coach Maik Walpurgis with the club now just a point off safety. They’re two off Wolfsburg who have only taken a point in their last three games. Their last game was an emphatic 4-1 defeat to Schalke. Andries Jonker is expected to be a touch more conservative in this one but such is the must-win nature of this game, plump for over 2.5 goals at 2.06.
FC Augsburg v 1. FC Köln, Saturday 2.30pm
Striker Raul Bobadilla is an injury worry for Augsburg ahead of Cologne’s visit to Bavaria. That’s a concern for Augsburg who badly need players of Bobadilla’s character at present. They’re in the relegation playoff spot and most worryingly, Ingolstadt behind them look much better than them at present. This game could suit Cologne who are up challenging for the European places and very dangerous on the counter. Yuya Osako should return to the starting line-up and that’s key to getting the best out of top scorer Anthony Modeste. Back the visitors to come away with a win at 2.60.
TSG Hoffenheim v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Saturday 2.30pm
Gladbach beat arch-rivals Cologne 3-2 last time out but their grip on the game was greater than the score-line suggests. This will be a different challenge. Only Bayern and Dortmund average more possession in the division than Hoffenheim. There are question marks over whether midfielder Kerem Demirbay or striker Sandro Wagner will be fit enough to start for them on Saturday. Both have been vital in getting the club up to third in the table. Gladbach have a host of players missing too though and given that Hoffenheim are still unbeaten at home this season, it’s worth backing the hosts to edge this one at 1.98.
RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg, Saturday 2.30pm
The division’s two promoted sides find themselves in the top six prior to their meeting on Saturday. Leipzig could be assured a Champions League qualification place by the end of the day but they’ll be without captain Willi Orban after his red card in their last game – a 1-0 win over Leipzig. Freiburg won by the same score-line against Mainz but weren’t all that convincing. It’s very difficult to predict which Freiburg side will turn up. The fact they have a goal difference of -11 and yet still sit sixth in the table is a pointer towards that. Leipzig have won their last three but Freiburg will be a step up in quality to what they have faced recently. Such is the generous pricing of an away win here, it’s worth risking the visitors to win this at 8.00.
Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich, Saturday 17.30
Much had been made of Bayern’s form heading into the game against Real Madrid during the week but they were defeated 2-1 in the end. Robert Lewandowski missed it through injury and he’ll miss this one after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season in the big win over Dortmund last weekend. Leverkusen meanwhile have been looking pretty mediocre of late in mid-table. Even if Bayern won’t have Lewandowski at their disposal, an away win has to be expected here at 1.69.
SV Werder Bremen v Hamburg SV, Sunday 2.30pm
When Bremen and Hamburg clashed in the first half of the season, they were two of the most out of form teams in the division. How times change. In the second half of the season, only Bayern and Gladbach have taken more points than them. This Nordderby should be one of the games of the weekend especially as Werder can welcome back Serge Gnabry from injury. Hamburg though will be without Kyriakos Papadopoulous. Hamburg aren’t quite as potent away from home either making it likely that Werder will shade this at 2.23.
SV Darmstadt 98 v FC Schalke 04, Sunday 4.30pm
It says a lot about Schalke's performance against Ajax in the Europa League that goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann was their best player by a mile. A big improvement is needed ahead of the second leg but in the meantime, they’ll head to Darmstadt. This could be the weekend that the Lilies are relegated. They ultimately haven’t been able to compete in the division this season but given their miniscule resources, there is certainly no shame in that. Back Schalke to respond to their bad trip to Amsterdam with an away win here at 1.64.