As we enter the business end of the season, it’s time for another electric round of fixtures including the huge Der Klassiker, Rheinderby and relegation face-offs!
Eintracht Frankfurt v Werder Bremen
Two sides at complete opposite ends of the spectrum at the moment. Frankfurt are currently on their worst run so far this season by failing to win in their last eight Bundesliga matches. However, Werder Bremen come into this game with absolutely blistering form and find themselves now only a place off the European spots after battling relegation a month ago.
Frankfurt come into this game off the back off a 0-0 draw with Mönchengladbach at home, and definitely should have won the game after Marco Fabian missed a penalty after a fine save from Yann Sommer, his first ever Bundesliga penalty stop. This poor run of form completely puts Eintracht Frankfurt out of the running now for the Champions League places, and they need to start picking up wins again if they want to be able to stay in at least the Europa league spots following fresh competition from the likes of Werder Bremen which puts a huge emphasis on this game.
However, Werder Bremen look on fire at the minute after a 5-2 victory away at Freiburg, and a Thomas Delaney hat trick in the 3-0 smashing of Schalke at home in midweek means that Bremen will be full of confidence coming into this one as they know that they can get goals.
Overall this game should be completely one-sided down to form, however I think there’s a lot more than meets the eye with this one, so expect to see some goals in this game and it won’t be a one-sided affair for Frankfurt. I predict a 2-1 Bremen win.
Freiburg v Mainz
Two defeats in their last two games for Freiburg has put a real downer on what has been a very successful season, although last week I predicted Nils Petersen and Vincenzo Grifo to get on the score sheet, but what nobody saw coming was the five goals that Bremen scored. But Freiburg need to kick on and forget that and have a strong end to the season.
Mainz on the other hand, whether they like it or not, are in a relegation battle. I’ve always called them the steady eddies of the Bundesliga saying relegation won’t be a threat, but after surges in form from teams like Bremen and Hamburg, they have been dragged into it and find themselves in 16th position as Ingolstadt look to gain on them.
For this game, I believe there will be more misery for Mainz and there will be a few worried faces in the Mainz camp. I believe a 2-0 win for Freiburg will be the result of this game.
Hamburg v Hoffenheim
Both sides are in unbelievable form at the minute and with big results for them, both are full of confidence heading into this game.
Hamburg lost their first game in four against Dortmund on Tuesday but this defeat won’t be taken to heart considering how Dortmund haven’t lost at home for two years. Despite that, they do boast some good home form at the moment and will be looking to improve on this in order to cement their Bundesliga status next year.
Hoffenheim recorded an incredible win over Bayern in midweek which saw Bayern Munich pick up just their second league loss of the season and that isn’t something to be taken likely. Julian Nagelsmann really doesn’t get enough credit for the job he has done at Hoffenheim as they currently sit 3rd in the table and have only lost two games all season.
For this g, me I can’t see Hoffenheim losing but due to Hamburg’s good home form I think a draw is probably a fair result for both sides. I’ll say a 1-1 draw in this game.
RB Leipzig v Bayer Leverkusen
Leipzig come into this game having closed the gap from an almighty 13 points to still an almighty 10 points following their win away at Mainz in the week. Also quick shoutout to that assist from Emil Forsberg to Marcel Sabitzer, that man easily deserves a place in the Bundesliga team of the season for sure! But Leipzig have a formidable home record and have won the majority of their games there.
Leverkusen on the other hand won their first game under the helm of Tayfun Korkut which saw them beat Darmstadt 2-0 and ease the pressure on Korkut, although it probably wasn’t the most glamorous win of the season. No disrespect to Darmstadt, but this game will be interesting to see what happens when Leverkusen come up against a good side as they somehow managed to blow a two-goal lead and nearly lose 3-2 to Wolfsburg in the final 10 minutes but managed to draw 3-3 thanks to boy wonder Kai Havertz.
For this game, I have to choose a Leipzig win as Leverkusen have failed to impress me under Korkut as they sit in 10th position. I say a 3-1 Leipzig win as there is no doubt that Leipzig can score goals.
Schalke v Wolfsburg
Both sides are without wins in their last two games and Wolfsburg will be feeling sick in the stomach after coming so close yet so far after an unbelievable comeback against Leverkusen. But a midweek defeat at home to Freiburg will serve a real sucker punch to the system as Wolfsburg still sit in 13th and sit five points clear of the relegation places, and will be without European football next season which players like Bazoer and Ntep who signed in January will be disappointed with.
Köln v Mönchengladbach
It’s time for the Rheinderby again after Marcel Risse’s thunderous free kick from 40 yards won the game 2-1 for Köln away at Mönchengladbach.
Köln have definitely had the better season so far although Mönchengladbach are in the DFB Pokal semi-final and have definitely evolved this season under Peter Stöger, having only lost one home game all season and that was to Bayern Munich. So Köln should definitely be full of confidence heading into this game.
Mönchengladbach, on the other hand, got a solid win against Hertha Berlin which puts them in a great position to achieve European football next season. They currently sit four points off Hertha Berlin in 9th so this could be a huge deciding fixture on who takes a Europa league spot.
For this game, I can see plenty of action for the Rheinderby and a 2-2 draw is a fair result as both teams push on to cement their place in European competition next season.
Bayern v Dortmund
It’s time for another huge Der Klassiker, this time the game isn’t exactly a title decider as Bayern sit ten points clear of their closest rivals RB Leipzig. Last time this fixture was played out the result was 5-1 and was quite humiliating for Dortmund, but will it be the same this time around?
Dortmund have been pretty poor in some of their away performances which have seen them drop points against both Ingolstadt and Darmstadt, who are both poised for relegation, and Dortmund can’t afford to be getting results like that against those sides if they want to be back challenging for the title next season.
For this game, I feel that it will be plain sailing for Bayern Munich and will be a 3-1 win in their favour as Dortmund look towards their Champions League tie next week against high-flying Monaco.
Hertha Berlin v Augsburg
Hertha Berlin suffered just their second home defeat against Hoffenheim and this was due to ill discipline from left back Maximilian Mittelstadt, who picked up a red card whilst the score was 1-1 and once that happened, Hoffenheim took advantage and went on to win 3-1. So Hertha fans will be hoping that this will be the last defeat they will see at home this season and I don’t see why not.
Augsburg look like they’re in a dogfight with Ingolstadt as they both battle to stay in the division. But their hopes will have taken a huge scare as they suffered a heavy 3-2 defeat at home to relegation rivals Ingolstadt, a game they have to be winning if they want to stay in this league.
It will be interesting to see what happens on Sunday and a win for Hertha will give Ingolstadt the key to mount huge pressure on both Augsburg and Mainz in the relegation battle, and I’d be very surprised to see anything but a Hertha win. A 2-0 win is what I predict for this game to keep Hertha in the run for the Europa league and Augsburg close to the bottom of the pack.
Ingolstadt v Darmstadt
Ingolstadt are in inspired form at the minute and with two wins in their last two games against big relegation rivals, there seems to be a glimmer of hope and should Ingolstadt win on Sunday then I genuinely believe they will stay up or at least stay up through the play off. A win for them and an Augsburg defeat will mean they’re just one point away from Augsburg, and with Darmstadt coming to town and defeats in all their away games this season you have to assume Ingolstadt will win this.
Darmstadt on the other hand just can’t seem to kick their unwanted away record this season. Following their defeat at home to Leverkusen it seems like there is nothing that Torsten Frings and his men can do to stay up this season.
I think a 2-0 win for Ingolstadt will be the result to intensify the relegation scrap.