After yet another dithering international break which, let’s be honest, no one really cares about when Germany come up against the likes of Azerbaijan. It’s time to get back to business and back to the games that really matter in this week’s Bundesliga matchday!
Hertha Berlin v Hoffenheim
Hertha Berlin went into the international break after a damaging 4-2 defeat against FC Köln away from home, with Anthony Modeste tearing Hertha apart where he scored a hat-trick but failed to find a place in the French national team. So Hertha Berlin will be looking to bounce back straight away from their torrid time in Cologne although it’s not the easiest game to bounce back in, Hoffenheim are a very well respected team and find themselves currently sat in 4th and look solid for a Champions League place under Julian Nagelsmann.
Hoffenheim have had a few good results as of late such as beating Ingolstadt 5-2 and beating Leverkusen 1-0 just before the international break to further enhance their chances of European qualification but their recent away performances have been lacking the same calibre which saw them go on their huge unbeaten start to the season.
For this game, I believe that Hertha will keep up their amazing home record with another win against Hoffenheim and with their poor recent away performances against Wolfsburg, Leipzig and Schalke and are without a win in their last 4 away games. Overall I believe that Hertha will triumph in this game 2-1.
Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund
It’s time for the huge Revierderby between Schalke and Dortmund and it’s such a tough one to call with Dortmund not playing to their full potential which was showed in their 1-0 win against Ingolstadt before the international break. Dortmund’s away performances have been severely lacking at times during this season such as their 2-1 defeat against Hertha Berlin in their last away game before the break as well as defeats at Darmstadt and a draw at Mainz.
Schalke, on the other hand, are on a decent run of form at the minute with back to wins in the Bundesliga against Mainz and Augsburg as well as progression into the next round of the Europa League after defeating Mönchengladbach over 2 legs (3-3) on away goals.
Overall for this game, I think that Schalke have a better chance to win this game than they have done in the last few games, I feel that a 2-2 draw is a fair result for the game but it is a game that Schalke could edge.
Werder Bremen v Freiburg
Werder Bremen are currently second in the form table only behind Bayern Munich so something is definitely starting to work for Alexander Nouri and his men. Bremen are looking solid for survival this season with great wins against fellow relegation rivals such as Wolfsburg and Darmstadt but also an impressive win at home to Leipzig along with a Junuzovic screamer and an away draw at Leverkusen have put Bremen 10 points clear of the automatic relegation places and 2 points clear of Hamburg in the relegation play-off.
Freiburg, on the other hand, have been impressive on their return back to the big time and have been a steady eddy in the league with them looking safe from relegation but unlikely to qualify for any European competition. Although with good class players in their side such as Nils Petersen and Vincenzo Grifo who can give Freiburg fans hope on bringing the Werder Bremen lads back down to earth and back into the relegation battle.
My thoughts on this game are varied, if Werder Bremen’s Serge Gnabry is in full fitness and ready to play then I think Bremen will win, he offers so much to their team and can win games on his own, such as when they defeated Wolfsburg 2-1 away from home. But if he isn’t fit then they will struggle as Freiburg are a very good side no matter where they play and Bremen’s great run of form could be halted by the international break but we’ll have to wait and see but overall I believe that Bremen will win this 2-1.
RB Leipzig v Darmstadt
RB Leipzig couldn’t have finished on a worse performance before the international break. Their 3-0 away drubbing at Werder Bremen will feel like a real sucker punch for Ralph Hasenhüttl as they slipped to 13 points adrift of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga. Although it was the same old issues for Leipzig as their high pressing on other teams allows them to be easily countered and left wide open at the back. Although there was not a lot anyone could do about Junuzovic’s thunderbolt goal.
Darmstadt on the other hand still have their unwanted record of losing every single away game they’ve played this season. Last time out saw them lose 2-0 to Wolfsburg in a game that was a very solid win for Wolfsburg.
My thoughts for this game are that due to Darmstadt’s away record and Leipzig’s good home record as well as the quality we know that Leipzig can deliver with the likes of Werner and Forsberg that it will be an easy 3-0 win in favour of RB Leipzig and a much-needed win for Leipzig.
Bayern Munich v Augsburg
Bayern Munich went into the international break after a solid 1-0 win away from home at Mönchengladbach with a goal from Thomas Müller on his 250th game for the club in the Bundesliga and put themselves 13 points clear of their nearest title rivals.
Augsburg are a very tricky team and look safe for another season in the Bundesliga but not many teams go away to the reigning champions and come away with at least a point. Augsburg aren’t in the best of form and looked very inferior to Schalke when they came up against them and this is something they will quickly need to shake if they plan to move on in the future.
My thoughts for this game will be a Bayern 2-0 win as Augsburg are not the worst team for conceding goals but there’s just no stopping Bayern at the moment so don’t be surprised to see them complete a treble this season as it now looks a real possibility.
Hamburg v Köln
Hamburg were on a good run of form in their last few games before the international break with big wins against Gladbach and Hertha at home and an away draw at high-flying Eintracht Frankfurt and will be looking to build on that on their return to domestic action but face a tough opponent in FC Köln.
Köln are on fire at the moment and with their in-form attackers of Anthony Modeste who managed to net a hat-trick last time out against Hertha Berlin, but what surprised me was how easy Köln found it to counter them and how open they were at the back. Although Yuya Osako will be out of this game due to injury that he picked up whilst away with Japan which will not leave Köln best pleased about their star man having to miss games due to injury in international fixtures that don’t benefit them.
My thoughts for this game are very mixed and I believe it’s about which team starts the game best and shakes off the cobwebs from the international break as both teams were on fire before the break! So I feel that a 1-1 draw is a fair result as they both get back to grips with domestic football in Germany.
Eintracht Frankfurt v Mönchengladbach
Eintracht Frankfurt have come to a real halt under Niko Kovač after finding themselves around the champions league places. But for the eagles no win in 6 Bundesliga matches means that they now find themselves in 7th and out of the Europa League spots all together which will be a real blow for Frankfurt consider the promise that was shown at the start of the season and there is still time for them to come back but it won’t be easy.
Mönchengladbach will be looking for a refresh in their most recent results after 2 defeats in their last 2 Bundesliga games and an exit from the Europa League to domestic rivals Schalke. Players who have missed the international period such as Lars Stindl should be fully fit and ready to fire upon return to action come the late kick-off on Saturday night.
For this game, I think that a 2-1 result in favour of Mönchengladbach is respectable. Dieter Hecking will be looking for his side to bounce back and continue their road towards the European places after a torrid start to the season.
Ingolstadt v Mainz
For me, Ingolstadt look dead and buried in the automatic relegation spots along with Darmstadt as their last match saw them lose 1-0 to Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park despite probably having the better chances through the likes of Mathew Leckie who had a successful time away with Australia during the international break. But this lack of execution has been their downfall all season and their ability to take their chances shows that Lezcano isn’t good enough for the Bundesliga unfortunately.
Mainz have been a mixed bag of goods in their last 6 games. There is definitely room for improvement in the squad and their results, for me they should have done better against Schalke at home and there was a missed opportunity for points against Darmstadt too seeing as they’re as good as gone from the league.
For this game I think Ingolstadt will take the 3 points but not in a glamorous manner, they aren’t too good at scoring goals but have the ability to defend well and I can’t see this game being any different I predict a 1-0 win for Ingolstadt and Marvin Matip to score from a corner.
Leverkusen v Wolfsburg
Two sides who are definitely guilty of underachieving massively this season. Leverkusen find themselves struggling to find any consistency at all throughout the season and with a Tayfun Korkut at the helm of Leverkusen now he’s still looking for a first win after a 1-1 draw with Bremen and defeat at Hoffenheim.
Wolfsburg are having an absolute shocker season at the moment still and it’s incredible to think that this “crisis” is still going on after all the players they’ve bought in January and the better performances they’ve recorded since the winter break, it’s crazy to think that they currently sit in 15th and 2 points off the relegation play-off.
For this game, though I will say that Leverkusen will get the win, it’s about time Leverkusen and Korkut got a win under their belt and to further put misery on Wolfsburg and push them closer to the drop to take it right down to the wire. I predict a 3-1 win in favour of Leverkusen.