The international break is over and our beloved Bundesliga is about to return. There are a couple of mouth-watering encounters on Match Day 28 and here is the latest installment of our prediction piece in which we take a look at all nine games:
Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund
Calling this fixture ‘Der Klassiker’ would’ve made sense some five years ago but currently it looks nothing more than a desperate marketing strategy. Even when BVB were getting the best of Bayern many fans of the league protested this label. And so we won’t be calling it that.
There isn’t much to make you excited about this game at the moment. The sides couldn’t be further apart. The Bavarians are gunning towards their six Bundesliga title and are favorites to reach the Champions League Semi-Finals after being drawn against Sevilla. BVB, on the other hand, are looking to see out what has been a poor season, by their standards. A win against Bayern will definitely lift the spirits of the Black and Yellows. It will also go a long way in cementing their top-four status.
The two sides have met twice this season, three if you count the Super Cup. Bayern have won all of them. Last season’s league game at the Allianz Arena ended with a resounding 4-1 win for Bayern. However, BVB had their revenge in the DFB Pokal thanks to Ousmane Dembele’s brilliance.
Omer Toprak and Marco Reus are possibly out of the game which is a big blow for Dortmund.
A win for Bayern looks likely (I hope I didn’t sting the excitement out of this game).
Hoffenheim vs Cologne
Well, this game is an exciting one. Despite being four points behind Leipzig Hoffenheim harbor the hope of directly qualifying for the Europa League. They entertain a reinvigorated Cologne side.
The Billy Goats are no longer bottom of the table and they are still hoping they can somehow be able to avoid relegation, which they can still do if you’ve read Abel’s article. This game will be vital in that respect.
Goal Keeper Timo Horn was speaking about his club’s form and the upcoming fixtures (quote via the club’s site) :
“We have seven very important matches coming up. Everyone is aware of that. We will approach them with complete vigor. Thanks to a good second half of the season and the struggles of our rivals, we are in a situation in which we are once again fighting. We have to take this chance, even if it will be difficult with a five-point gap.”
He also spoke about the team’s spirit:
“The spirit in our surroundings is positive, which has an effect on the team. We do know, however, that this kind of thing can quickly go in the other direction as well. This whole season has been an up-and-down of emotions, but we are still believing in the wonder, especially after our win against Leverkusen. It gave us some real momentum. We have to use this momentum now.”
It will be a close encounter but I’m favoring Cologne as they have a lot riding in this game.
Schalke vs Freiburg
The Royal Blues welcome Freiburg as they look to tighten their grip on second place. Freiburg are 14th and five points ahead of the relegation/promotion play-off spots. Their safety is far from certain and a game against an in-form Schalke side is perhaps something they could do without, as the Royal Blues have won five in a row while Christian Streich’s boys last earned all three points five matches back.
Tedesco on Freiburg: “You have to take your hat off to Freiburg. Despite losing lots of players, they have managed to stay competitive. “It’s part of Freiburg’s DNA to run a lot make space tight, while still managing to move their opponents around. They have a good mix and a very strong mentality.”
And on the international break: “The break didn’t come at a good time as we were on a good run.”
A win for Schalke!
Bayer Leverkusen vs Augsburg
5th placed Leverkusen face 10th placed Augsburg. Bayer are only a point behind fourth-place going into this game. After an improved campaign from last season, they will want to secure a return to the Champions League. A Europa League appearance although not catastrophic will still be underwhelming.
Lucas Alario won’t be able to feature for Leverkusen after his moment of madness against Cologne but the side is well equipped up front.
Marco Richter and Alfred Finnbogason are doubtful for this game while Jeffrey Gouweleeuw is back from injury.
Augsburg will pose a real threat but I’m expecting Leverkusen to get back to winning ways.
Hannover vs RB Leipzig
Leipzig have secured their place in the quarterfinals of the Europa League and have beaten Bayern last time out. They may have had problems along the way but they are still managing to have a solid campaign. They now need to beat Hannover in order to secure a top-four finish. Leipzig are currently sixth but with only two points separating them from Eintracht in fourth they will still fancy their chances of being a part of Europe’s elite competition for the second consecutive season.
Hannover, who have dropped down to 13th spot after their loss to Borussia Dortmund still need to remain alert as they can easily get sucked into a relegation fight.
“One thing is clear: we’re not through yet. The sooner we get the points, the safer and calmer we can go into the next games.”
In form Leipzig to win!
Stuttgart vs Hamburg
What an incredible job Korkut is doing at Stuttgart. The side is now in eighth place after their 2-1 win away at Freiburg, and Mario Gomez is providing enough goals to make a difference.
Hamburg, on the other hand, find themselves rock bottom. Managerial changes are not fixing their problems. All that is left now, at least by the looks of it, is to wait for the inevitable.
One bit of good news at HSV….
Kyriakos Papadopoulos will remain an integral part of our first team squad. He has apologised to the coach and his teammates for his conduct after the game against Hertha and a meeting was held with Bernhard Peters, Christian Titz and Thomas von Heesen to clear the air. pic.twitter.com/Tm2ui1CLrS
— HSV English (@HSV_English) March 29, 2018
Stuttgart to come out on top!
Hertha Berlin vs Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg is another side enduring a feeble campaign. tied with HSV for the least amount of wins (four) in the league. Hertha aren’t particularly enjoying a glittering season but they are at least in the comfy mid-table zone.
The Capital club has won two of the last 5 meeting between the two sides while two of them ended in a draw.
Bruno Labbadia speaking before the game:
“I’m not paying any attention to other teams, just to us, because we still have our fate in our own hands. However, we should be wary not to write any of the other teams off. ”
I am going for a Hertha win.
Werder Bremen vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Bremen is another side on the ascendancy. Just like Stuttgart, the managerial change is paying off for the Green-Whites.
Their opponents are enjoying a solid campaign under Niko Kovac. Currently 4th in the table The Eagles are beginning to dream about the Champions League. That would be some accomplishment, wouldn’t it?
Florian Kohfeldt on Eintracht:
“Their consistency this season is a testament to their quality. They press with aggression and push their wide players forward.”
And on the relegation battle:
“It’s still precarious. I’m not ruling anything out until it’s mathematically impossible, and I’ll make sure the team does the same.”
There are no new injury worries for Bremen but Gondof remains a doubt for this game.
A solid home side vs a team that loves away games, a draw is my prediction.
Mainz vs Borussia Mönchengladbach
A poor campaign has seen Mainz occupy the playoff spot at the moment. They also have Cologne, who are five behind them, breathing down their neck.
Manager Sandro Schwarz is well aware of that and reckons his side needs to send a message on Sunday with an intensive performance. He also has to make decisions in the goalkeeping respect: “We’ll make a decision soon on the goalkeeper situation between Adler, Zentner & Müller. They are all fit and training!”
Gladbach’s season has been full of inconsistency. The foals are ninth and may not have much to play for this season. But after such type of season don’t be surprised to see them lose a few of their star players in the summer. The decision regarding Dieter Hecking is also something to keep an eye on.
I’m expecting a Mainz win.
Let the games begin
Waiting for the weekend like…now what? pic.twitter.com/WsYsiUNlAC
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) March 30, 2018