Hannover v Freiburg (Saturday 14.30)
Freiburg are without Florian Niederlechner and Janik Haberer for their trip to Hannover on Saturday, but they should have more then enough to get something at the HDI Arena. We may see Christian Streich switch from a 3-4-3 to a 4-4-2 formation which gives them more of an attacking threat going forward against a Hannover side who have just one clean sheet in their last 15 Bundesliga fixtures.
Hannover has seen over 2.5 goals in seven of their last eight home games against Freiburg in all competitions and so BTTS is a probable outcome, given they’ve conceded seven goals in their previous three home games while their front three of Ihlas Bebou, Felix Klaus and Niclas Fullkrug have the capability of giving most defences a nightmare with their direct style of play.
On the road, Freiburg have conceded 20 league goals in just seven games which leads me to believe that this could be another high-scoring fixture, albeit a tense affair. I expect BTTS although it’s difficult to say who the favourites are and so 2-1, 1-2, 1-1, 2-0 seems a good pick here.
Bayern Munich v Schalke (Saturday 17.30)
Runaway leaders Bayern Munich are unbeaten at the Allianz Arena in their last 32 home Bundesliga fixtures. Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern have dropped just two points at home this season while it’s going to be incredibly difficult for Schalke to get anything from this fixture.
Although Thomas Muller and Thiago remain doubtful, Bayern are too strong for Schalke whom they’re unbeaten against in their previous 16 matches in all competitions. For that reason, a dominant home victory seems likely with over 2.5 goals and perhaps Schalke getting a consolation at best. Expect: 3-1, 3-0, 2-1, 2-0, given that Schalke have just two away wins since early November while they seem to have stalled of late in comparison to their early season form.
Stuttgart v Borussia Monchengladbach (Sunday 14.30)
Both teams enjoyed a positive start to the 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign however, they now need a win for different reasons. Sitting just one point above the relegation play-off, Stuttgart recently appointed Tayfun Korkut following the dismissal of Hannes Wolf with avoiding relegation now their main priority. Dieter Hecking meanwhile needs three points to keep tabs on a European place with just four points separating Bayer Leverkusen in second and Gladbach in eighth.
Stuttgart have taken just three points from a possible 12 at home while they’ve failed to score in three of those. They have failed to capitalise on chances created which is the reason they’re sitting one point above the relegation play-off, although they do have a relatively organised defence. Meanwhile, Gladbach need to create more going forward, having lost their previous four fixtures on the road. With an attacking trio of Raffael, Lars Stindl and Thorgan Hazard, Gladbach can cause any side problems.
For that reason, Gladbach come into this fixture the favourites while it’s difficult to see Stuttgart scoring more than one. Expect this to be a relatively low-scoring fixture with the away team edging it: 1-2, 0-2 with a 1-1 safety in there.
Werder Bremen v Wolfsburg (Sunday 17.00)
Considering their poor start to the campaign, Werder Bremen are finding their form under Florian Kohfeldt. His 4-4-1-1 formation gets the best out of Max Kruse who faces his former club in Wolfsburg while Bremen remain unbeaten at home in five Bundesliga games.
With 12 draws in the league this season, Martin Schmidt needs to work on turning those into three points. Do that and they could find themselves further up the table. However, swapping Mario Gomez for Admir Mehmedi when searching for goals probably wasn’t the smartest of ideas. It’s safe to say that Liverpool loanee David Origi hasn’t been a hit so far.
This fixture is likely to be a close and hard-fought game from the outset with Bremen perhaps edging it. And so: 1-0, 1-1, 2-0 would put us in a good position for a cash out.