It’s crunch time in the Bundesliga and every single point is crucial for all involved, and it’s time for another Matchday to unfold!
Köln v Hoffenheim
Two high flying teams that have hugely overachieved this season with both of sitting pretty in the top six. Both sides will look back on this season as a very successful season, which has seen the goal scoring exploits of Anthony Modeste and the tactical genius of Julian Nagelsmann.
FC Köln come into this game following their most recent defeat to Augsburg away from home, which meant that Augsburg have managed to create a bit of breathing space between themselves and Ingolstadt at the foot of the table. But it is teams like this that Köln have to be beating week in week out if they want to ensure that they qualify for European competition next season as they currently sit in 7th, but Köln have a very strong home record only seeing defeat once to Bayern Munich 3-0.
The reverse fixture of this was a whopping 4-0 to Hoffenheim, and nothing seems like it can bring Hoffenheim down this season. Hoffenheim are playing insane and it’s thanks to players showing their quality such as Adam Szalai, who had a tough time in front of goal prior to Euro 2016.
This game is such a tough one to call as both sides are quality on their day, but I feel that a draw is a fair result for two sides pushing to get as many points as they possibly can to cement their places in Europe next season.
Hamburg v Darmstadt
Hamburg’s home form since the winter break has been incredible with six wins, one draw and one defeat from their eight home games they’ve played since the Bundesliga restarted again. Here they will look to build on their four consecutive home wins with a victory against a very inferior Darmstadt side.
Darmstadt avoided the drop last weekend with a surprising victory against a visiting Schalke side which postponed the doom and gloom for another week. Their appalling away record puts Darmstadt hugely out of the running for any chance of survival this week, and this could be the week we seem relegated to the 2. Bundesliga.
For this game, I have to say that it will be a solid 3-1 win to Hamburg as they look to build on their amazing home form and finish as high as possible in the table after looking all but safe now.
Hertha Berlin v Wolfsburg
Hertha Berlin come into this game off the back of another away defeat which has been too much of a common trend for Pal Dardai and his Hertha boys. Their away performances continue to be the thing that drags them down. If they managed to improve their away performances in the second half of the season, I firmly believe that Hertha Berlin would be challenging for a Champions League spot.
Wolfsburg managed to secure a very solid 3-0 win against Ingolstadt in their last fixture. It’s so strange and baffling to see them still down in 13th position and only one point off the relegation play-off. They’re actually starting to put results together, such as beating Leipzig and wins against the teams around them, but they still seem to be down there.
For this game, I have to go with a Hertha Berlin win. I always back them when they play at home and I think if they can stay organised and effectively deal with the crosses put into Mario Gomez then Hertha will do just fine in this game with a 2-1 win.
Bayern Munich v Mainz
Bayern have taken a stumble in these last few weeks with defeats against Hoffenheim and a draw against 10 man Leverkusen last time out. But when you’re 13 points clear at the top you can afford to make these mistakes. Although they now sit eight points clear of their nearest rivals Leipzig and still have to travel away to Leipzig so three points at home to Mainz is a must.
Mainz come into this off the back of a 1-0 win against Hertha Berlin at home and are playing under less pressure due to that win, thus distancing themselves from Ingolstadt in the relegation places.
I can’t really see anything but a big Bayern win this weekend I think as they will be hoping to boost their confidence after a demoralising defeat after extra time in Madrid. I say 4-0 to Bayern with a Lewandowski hat trick.
Ingolstadt v Werder Bremen
Ingolstadt took a huge blow to their survival hopes with defeat in Wolfsburg and saw all their relegation rivals triumph in their games, although they insist that confidence and harmony amongst the side is high at the moment.
Werder Bremen have turned the tables immensely, from being tipped for relegation they now find themselves in 8th place and still eligible to qualify for Europe next season. Although if they are going to do this then a win against Ingolstadt is probably necessary to make this dream a reality as they only sit one place outside the European spots.
This game is a real six pointer for both Werder Bremen and Ingolstadt in terms of survival and European hopes. But it is a game that will end in a 1-1 draw for me as Ingolstadt slide further and further towards relegation.
Frankfurt v Augsburg
The home side are winless in 10 and in the bottom half and well out of the running for the Champions League spots, and probably the Europa league now too. The demise of Eintracht Frankfurt has been sad really as they were high flying before their current run of form. But this is the same side that were in the relegation playoff last season, so we can say that it was inevitable really.
Augsburg recorded a very solid win against Köln at home last time out and that could prove to be a very big three points in their hope of survival.
For this game I believe that a 0-0 draw and a very boring game will be the end result, but I never like to see a 0-0 and would love to be proved wrong. I just think that both sides don’t offer enough going forward to break down the defence.
Mönchengladbach v Dortmund
Mönchengladbach come into this game after losing 5-3 in a thrilling game against Hoffenheim last week, but showed great resilience to come back from two early goals to tie it up 2-2 before Hoffenheim eventually moved on to get the 5-3 win.
Dortmund on the other hand have fallen victim to an elimination in the Champions League this week and Mönchengladbach will be eager to use this to their advantage as they have had a longer resting time than Dortmund.
For this game I think that a Mönchengladbach win will be the end result as Dortmund’s away performances have let them down this season big time.
Freiburg v Leverkusen
Freiburg are having a party at the moment as they sit pretty in 6th on their comeback season to the Bundesliga, whilst Leverkusen sit in a measly 12th position in the bottom half, which leads you to believe that instead in an average season Leverkusen would be 6th and Freiburg 12th, but here we have a tale of one overachieving side and a hugely underperforming one.
Leverkusen on the other hand will be very happy with their 0-0 draw at home to Bayern Munich, especially having Tin Jedvaj sent off and so will be hoping to build on this. It is still mathematically possible for Leverkusen to qualify for Europe but it is very unlikely I think.
Schalke v Leipzig
Schalke are another side on the end of the Europa league treatment, and the tired legs left behind on a matchday from their exit in the quarter finals to Ajax is something that they’ll have to shake off quickly if they want to come away with any points when they play Leipzig on Sunday.
Leipzig come into this one having closed the gap to still a large eight points against Freiburg with their 4-0 victory, but are still a far cry off the top in reality too. But Leipzig’s recent away performances have slowly started to drag them down and this could be another week of the same story as the Veltins Arena is a tricky place to go to. I’ll say a 2-1 win to Leipzig though due to the side effects of playing in Europe for Schalke.