The action comes thick and fast with another full midweek set of fixtures as the season draws to a close in Germany. Plenty more crucial fixtures for us to preview.
Monchengladbach to win
Borussia Monchengladbach v Wolfsburg
Gladbach were unfortunate not to share the points with Bayern on Saturday when their performance warranted just that. They fell to a late goal after a promising effort but, with Leverkusen dropping points at Schalke, still remain in the hunt for a top-four finish. They trail their closest rivals by just a single point and now face Wolfsburg.
The visitors are well placed to take the remaining European spot in sixth, holding a three-point advantage. That was despite throwing away a two-goal lead at home to Freiburg, once again highlighting their frustrating unpredictability.
Borussia will know realistically they must finish with three wins and have the attacking threats to achieve that. They have been very impressive at home this season and will need to maintain that form to beat an opponent who prefer to be on the road.
Union Berlin to win to nil
Union Berlin v Paderborn
It was a pivotal weekend for both clubs with Berlin recording a vital 2-1 win at Koln which moved them seven points clear of safety and should now ensure top-flight football again next year in the capital.
Paderborn have been fighting relegation all season and a 5-1 home thumping last week consigned them to the drop and last place now. Ironically, they have been more effective away, recording three draws in an unbeaten run since play resumed but a lack of goals was critical and they couldn’t find enough of those.
Union had been poor prior to their away success last weekend so may feel more relaxed with such a cushion and in all honesty, it’s quite difficult to predict how both will view this. In the hope that mathematically, Union will be looking for the one win to absolutely guarantee their survival, there can only be one logical choice but taking them at odds on doesn’t really appeal.
With Paderborn so shy in front of goal, backing the hosts to not concede makes sense.
Match to end in a draw
Freiburg v Hertha Berlin
Freiburg battled back well to take a 2-2 draw in Wolfsburg after trailing 2-0 at half time and it just about keeps them in with a chance of top six, albeit a slim one in reality. Like many clubs in Germany, they have struggled for any consistency but have been fairly difficult to beat with two losses in their last seven, and holding Leipzig and beating Monchengladbach.
Hertha are closing the season out in mid-table safety but were hammered 4-1 at home against Frankfurt last time out. Whether that was a reaction to sacking their manager is debatable but they will be looking to next season now and challenging for Europe.
Berlin have a difficult fixture list and play teams all involved at the top end of the table so they can certainly influence many outcomes. With neither looking a confident choice, it may well be honours even.
Werder Bremen +2 handicap
Werder Bremen v Bayern Munich
Bremen did their goal difference a huge favour putting five past Paderborn and with Dusseldorf losing, that pair are now locked together trying to avoid automatic relegation. It’s been very exciting at the foot and now it appears any two from three will be involved.
Werder face a tough task Tuesday against the leaders and may have one eye on the weekend’s massive clash at fellow relegation-threatened rival Mainz. They will take heart that Munich didn’t look over impressive against Gladbach but it would still be the shock of the resumption if they were to celebrate three points.
The hosts will be conscious of avoiding a big defeat and protecting that goal differential could yet prove important. They will still want to be within touching distance of Mainz and can make life difficult for the champions-elect.
Schalke +1 handicap
Eintracht Frankfurt v Schalke
A midtable clash with little at stake for two clubs who have been in different form lately. Frankfurt have picked up three victories from their six matches and will be pleased to have avoided being drawn into the battle at the bottom.
However, for Schalke, they are still looking for that elusive win which now stretches a staggering thirteen Bundesliga games. They have steadied the ship with consecutive draws and are arguably getting close to finally collecting a maximum. They competed well on Sunday, holding high-flying Leverkusen and that could be the lift they need to break that duck.
Hoffenheim to win
Augsburg v Hoffenheim
Augsburg celebrated their 1-0 victory at Mainz like they had won the title but knew that success almost certainly had saved them from relegation as they move seven points clear of the drop zone. Star forward Florian Niederlechner struck after 42 seconds and despite the hosts having 17 shots and the majority of the play, neither goalkeeper was troubled thereafter.
Hoffenheim were caught out twice early on as they lost 2-0 at home to Leipzig and they saw Wolfsburg move three points clear in sixth. Therefore, it’s all or nothing now for the visitors and in fairness, their form had been encouraging previously, giving them strong grounds for optimism here.
Augsburg do struggle against better teams in the section and may be vulnerable once more.
Leverkusen to win and both teams to score
Bayer Leverkusen v Koln
Bayer were frustrated not to convert a host of chances and plenty of possession as they were held in Schalke. They have a narrow one-point advantage over Gladbach with three games to play in the race to finish in the top four.
Koln have not won in seven but should have done enough before to avert the drop. They have actually scored in each of those matches but have just three points for their efforts.
Leverkusen have conceded in five of their last six league games so this looks popular for both teams to score punters. No surprise that eventuality is a short price and with the hosts surely not contemplating anything but victory, it should ensure a lively encounter.
Dortmund to win to nil
Borussia Dortmund v Mainz
This looks a home banker with Dortmund closing in on runners up whilst Mainz battle for survival. Borussia scored with virtually the last attack of the game as they broke Fortuna hearts in Dusseldorf last week and that keeps them four points clear of Leipzig. Erling Haland came off the bench and his classy bullet-like header proved the difference.
Mainz have left themselves in trouble after losing 1-0 at home against Augsburg and they may feel Saturday’s home match with Werder Bremen holds the key to their survival hopes.
Dortmund have recorded consecutive clean sheets and despite failing to net many, they should be too organised for their opponents this Wednesday evening.
Leipzig to win and both teams to score
RB Leipzig v Fortuna Dusseldorf
Another short price team that will be in many midweek accumulators are Leipzig as they host lowly Dusseldorf. The hosts look booked for third place now and Champions League football next year. They will reflect on too many dropped points however which would have given them an excellent chance to finish second and with only three league losses, that is the best return in the division.
Dusseldorf were so unlucky to concede at the death, especially after hitting the post twice in the second half of their narrow 1-0 loss to Dortmund, and only goal difference keeps them above Bremen in the relegation zone. They will be targeting two winnable fixtures after this and still have a good opportunity to escape.