Bayern Munich are now 20 points clear at the top of the table. Cologne and Hamburg, despite having 9 Match Days ahead, look destined to play 2.Bundesliga football next season, while the race to secure European football is just getting started and promises plenty of drama in the coming weeks. Here are the latest predictions:
Mainz vs Schalke
This is a crucial game for both sides on Friday, two sides that find themselves in opposing specters of the league table. The Zero-Fivers are seven points ahead of 17th placed Hamburg. After going three games without a loss and managing to keep two clean sheets, Sandro Schwarz’s side is in good spirit. Goalkeeper Florian Muller has been a revelation and he will be keeping his place between the posts on Friday despite Rene Adler’s return from injury.
A 1-0 win against Hertha Berlin has put Schalke back into second place. The Royal Blues are enjoying a solid campaign and they are on their way to a Champions League return. The man behind their rise, Domenico Tedesco is fully aware of the threat Mainz will pose: “We have to forget about the table. They can play out of their skin on any given day.”
At the end of the day Schalke’s quality can be a lot to handle for Mainz which is why I am predicting an away win.
Bayern Munich vs Hamburg
For the sake of borrowing Chandler Bing’s phrase (he is a character from the TV show FRIENDS if you somehow don’t know about him), Could these sides be any different?
While Bayern are strolling to yet another Bundesliga title, Hamburg who used to know a thing or two about winning titles are ever closer to encountering something they don’t know anything about- Relegation! It is becoming a reality and their poor form hasn’t helped their cause.
In their last three visits to the Allianz Arena, the Dinos have conceded 21 goals without replay. It really is a bad place to visit especially at a time like this.
Although it is too little too late HSV are starting to make structural adjustments. On Thursday the clubs released the following statement:
“HSV has begun reshaping the club. After the supervisory board met to begin its restructuring, during which president Bernd Hoffman was elected as the supervisory board’s chairman and Max-Arnold Köttgen as his deputy, some key personnel decisions have been taken. Heribert Bruchhagen has been relieved of his duties as club chairman with immediate effect.”
It’s reboot time for the Northern club.
It’s not a matter of if but by how much will Bayern win on Saturday. I think they will be merciful and score no more than four goals against the red shorts.
Hannover vs Augsburg
Two sides who are level on points and who lost on MD 25 are facing each other on Saturday afternoon. Perhaps there isn’t much to play for the two sides, despite harboring a small hope of making it into the Europa League spots. Mid-table is perhaps what both sides hoped for at the start of the season.
The sides have met 12 times since the start of the 2011/12 season. Hannover has won six, while Augsburg won only 2 and four of them were draws. With home advantage, Hannover can extend their winning record against The Bavarians.
Hoffenheim vs Wolfsburg
The 5th best home side are hosting poor travelers Wolfsburg. The Wolves are still surrounded by relegation worries, with goal difference the only thing keeping them from the relegation play-off spot. While Mainz are picking themselves up, Wolfsburg are regressing despite a managerial change.
This could be an easy win for Hoffenheim who beat Augsburg 2-0 last time out, and Andrej Kramaric is red-hot scoring goals for Julian Nagelsmann’s side.
Hertha Berlin vs Freiburg
Hertha who lost narrowly to Schalke welcome a side two points below them in 13th. Freiburg were thumped 4-0 by Bayern and that has put a halt to their remarkable run of form. This is an important game for both sides as a win can help them stir further clear off the relegation spots….and get them within striking distance of the last European spot in the table for the stretch run of the campaign.
Paul Dardai: “ We need to take more risks. We have players that can change games but this year we haven’t been able to unlock our full potential and we all have to ask ourselves why.”
Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Mönchengladbach
Last weekend, Leverkusen got back to winning ways and Gladbach showed their two faces in their 2-2 draw against Werder Bremen. Leverkusen are the healthier side in this regional matchup, with only Tin Jedvaj out although Sven Bender is questionable. Gladbach may have Raffael available, as he’s been off/on the last weeks with injury. Die Werkself have already accumulated as many points as they earned all of last season, but have lost their last two home matches.
Stuttgart vs RB Leipzig
Can Tayfun Korkut’s magic continue this weekend?
The former Hannover and Bayer Leverkusen man has four wins )all by one goal) and a draw since taking over at Stuttgart. The side has remarkably climbed to ninth place under him as he’s found a reliable XI and has filling out the same lineup sheet each week.
Leipzig who are still trying to adjust to the demands of a two game per week schedule won’t find it easy at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. They did win at home Thursday against Zenit St Petersburg, but the taste of victory was tainted a bit by allowing the Russian side a late away goal. Still, with Bruma and Timo Werner scoring for Leipzig Thursday, and Naby Keita having a superb match, Leipzig should be up enough to overcome the fatigue factor and get a result against a VfB side that remains strong at home this season.
A draw is the prediction!
Borussia Dortmund vs Eintracht Frankfurt
This is arguably the best game of the weekend as 3rd place Dortmund host the high-flying Eagles at the Signal Iduna Park. The Black and Yellow have drawn their last two league games, but are still on course to achieve their main target of the season, which is securing Champions League qualification. Their loss 1-2 loss Thursday in Europa League action against RB Salzburg, however, was a disappointing step backward and puts their chances of advancing in the EL in real jeopardy.
The best thing in Dortmund is the return of Marco Reus, who didn’t take long to start making an impact. The 28-year-old has three goals in his last three league games.
Niko Kovac’s troops quickly bounced back from their loss against Stuttgart to get a win last week. They will offer a huge challenge for BVB.
The sides drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture. I am predicting the same score line this time as well.
Werder Bremen vs Cologne
No better way to round out the weekend than with a Monday relegation six pointer. Despite being in a relegation fight for the best part of the season, both sides are showing courage and determination.
The Green Whites recorded an important win against Hamburg and made a brilliant comeback to get a point at Gladbach. Cologne, on the other hand, weren’t able to build on their impressive win against Leipzig as they surrendered their lead to lose 2-3 against a rejuvenated Stuttgart as bad luck continues to dog the Billy Goats.
In this massive encounter Bremen’s home form makes them the favorites!