It’s the penultimate round of fixtures with drama occurring all over the Bundesliga table, and it looks like it will go right down to the wire…
Every fixture this weekend will take place at 2:30 pm UK time on Saturday with no Friday or Sunday games.
Augsburg v Borussia Dortmund
Augsburg come into this game 2 points above the relegation playoff spot after claiming a draw away at Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend, and it probably should have been 3 points had it not been for André Hahn’s late goal that snatched 2 of those points from Augsburg. But that point that they picked up in Mönchengladbach should see them safe in the Bundesliga for another year as they prepare to take on a Dortmund side who seem to have an internal war on their hands.
Rumour has it that Thomas Tuchel has fallen out with the board at Borussia Dortmund, which could see him leave at the end of the season, and after much unrest in the club there is probably no better time for Augsburg to play them right now, and Dortmund’s away performances have been slightly lacklustre this season, where they’ve dropped points in a lot of their away games they’ve played, which shows why they’re only finishing 3rd this season.
For this game I think that it will be a 1-1 draw as Dortmund don’t have anything to play for now whilst Augsburg are currently fighting to stay in the division.
Bayer Leverkusen v FC Köln
Leverkusen struggled once again when they went away to FC Ingolstadt last weekend, and had it not been for the creative talents of Kai Havertz then Leverkusen could have easily left Bavaria with nothing. Ingolstadt fans will feel very hard done by not to have taken more from the game as they battle for safety in the division, although their draw last time out means they can be relegated this weekend.
Anthony Modeste and Co. managed to halt the unstoppable Werder Bremen train to give them their first defeat in 11 matches in their 4-3 victory on Friday night last week. Simon Zoller probably had the pick of the bunch with his lofted effort to put it past Felix Wiedweld. Following other results around them, such as Hertha Berlin’s defeat and beating fellow European rivals Werder Bremen, this means that Köln are within touching distance of the Europa league spots as Freiburg are currently 2 points ahead of Köln in 5th and Hertha Berlin in 6th. If Borussia Dortmund were to beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFB Pokal later this month, this would allow 7th place in the table to qualify for the Europa League.
Leverkusen seem to be draw specialists at the BayArena this season but I think if Anthony Modeste is on form in this game then he will cause Leverkusen huge problems. I think Köln will take the 3 points in this game with a 2-1 victory.
Freiburg v Ingolstadt
An important fixture for both sides on both ends of the spectrum. Newly promoted Freiburg, who really haven’t received the credit that they deserve this season as they sit in 5th place in the Bundesliga table, are in prime position for a Europa league place despite being back in the big time for only one season.
Ingolstadt can be relegated with a defeat in this game so a result against Freiburg is absolutely paramount for them to stay in the division. Sonny Kittel came so close to giving Ingolstadt the 3 points last time out before they were halted by Bayer Leverkusen and Kai Havertz. They have definitely improved under Maik Walpurgis but the appointment seems to have come too late for him to carry them to safety.
I think that this will be a Freiburg win as they are very solid when playing against sides that are below them in the table, so this game should be the same old story with a 2-0 win with Florian Neiderlechner scoring in the game.
Wolfsburg v Borussia Mönchengladbach
Wolfsburg managed to snatch a vital victory away against Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend with goals from Daniel Didavi stabbing home the first and the ever reliable Mario Gomez finishing off the job to ensure that all 3 points were coming back to the Volkswagen Arena. Wolfsburg managed to ensure that they moved to 2 points clear of the relegation play off with their victory in Frankfurt still very much remaining a part of the relegation battle, so a victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach will all but seal their place in the Bundesliga next season.
Borussia Mönchengladbach were poor last time out against Augsburg and a lot more was expected of them when the two sides met. Nevertheless, Gladbach still remain in the running for a Europa League place but have a lot of work to do, and rely on other teams’ results if they’re going to make it there.
For this game, I believe that a 2-1 victory in favour of Borussia Mönchengladbach will be the end result as they push towards the European places in a race that will go right down to the wire.
Werder Bremen v Hoffenheim
Werder Bremen’s scintillating run of form came to an end in their last fixture against FC Köln where they lost 4-3 in the Friday night fixture, but despite this their performances have still been incredible, having moved from 16th and in a relegation dogfight to being within a shot at the Europa League.
Hoffenheim, on the other hand, were given at masterclass at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in a 2-1 defeat that very much should have been more, but the ever present Oliver Baumann had a very good game to make sure it wasn’t an embarrassing day for the now Champions League club.
For this game, I think that Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim will finish in a very hearty 1-1 as both sides look to bounce back from defeats on Matchday 32.
Darmstadt v Hertha Berlin
Darmstadt’s inevitable fate was sealed during their 1-0 defeat away at Champions Bayern Munich, and Darmstadt could have upset the odds if Hamit Altintop had managed to convert his late penalty past Sven Ulreich in the 86th minute.
For Hertha Berlin, their 4-1 home defeat to RB Leipzig has to be the worst home performance of the season, and a very torrid 45 minutes for Alexander Esswein. I’ve never seen a Hertha Berlin side be picked apart so much. Pal Dardai will be looking to reshape them back to their organised ways when they go in search of their first away points of 2017 when they play Darmstadt.
For this game, I believe that it will be a 2-1 win in favour of Darmstadt as they can play with a lot more relaxation, and this showed when they played against Bayern.
RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich
It’s 2nd vs 1st but it’s not quite the spectacle that some hoped for at the start of the season when it appeared that it would be a 2 horse race between Leipzig and Bayern Munich. Nevertheless, there is still pride on the line when these 2 sides meet at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday. Leipzig are on top form after their 4-1 in Berlin last week after tearing them apart through the likes of Timo Werner.
Bayern Munich, on the other hand, will have one eye looking towards next season as they have now had nothing to play for after being eliminated from every cup competition, with the title already wrapped up.
Don’t be surprised for RB Leipzig to win this game and that’s the result that I think will be the case on Saturday as Leipzig look to showcase their talent and what is to come for Bayern next season. 2-1 to Leipzig.
Mainz v Eintracht Frankfurt
Mainz are still in the relegation battle after their 0-0 draw against Hamburg last time out as they sit in 15th position, and I’m sure fans will have one eye on the Hamburg result when they play Schalke away from home. For Mainz, this is a very winnable game as Eintracht Frankfurt try to rest some players for their big cup final at the end of the month, and I’m sure they will be full of confidence coming into this.
Eintracht Frankfurt were on the receiving of an unfortunate 2-0 defeat at home to Wolfsburg, and they’ll definitely be looking to bounce back on this when they face Mainz. The likes of the team of the season nominee Marco Fabian will need to step up if they’re going to get anything out of this game.
For this game, I believe that a 1-1 draw will be the result as Frankfurt look to build some form to take to Berlin with them to play Dortmund.
Schalke 04 v Hamburg
Schalke fell short of the hurdle when they faced Freiburg away from home last time out as they failed to live up to their killer status they received when they beat Leverkusen 4-1 at the BayArena. Schalke look to get back to their winning ways against Hamburg this weekend, who currently sit in the relegation playoff fighting for their life.
Hamburg were part of a scoreless draw against Mainz last weekend in a game that they really should have won if they’re to stand any chance of staying up this season.
For this game, I think that it will be a solid 2-0 win for Schalke as they look to build for next season and put more pressure on Hamburg heading into the final Matchday.