|Our Bundesliga scribe takes a look at the final set of Bundesliga fixtures for the season.|
Bayern Munich secured their fourth consecutive Bundesliga title with a routine 2-1 victory over Ingolstadt in a match that the Bavarians didn’t really need to win. Dortmund’s shock defeat away to Frankfurt gifted the title to the men from Munich by default. Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen are guaranteed to join Bayern in the Champions League while Monchengladbach are all but mathematically secure in competing for a spot among Europe’s elite early next season. With Hannover already relegated, it’s between Frankfurt, Werder Bremen and Stuttgart as to who will play in 2. Bundesliga, who will land up in a playoff and who will beat the drop.
SATURDAY 14 MAY
Bayern Munich 1/10 | Draw 17/2 | Hannover 21/1
Bayern Munich clinched their fourth straight league title with a game to spare, yet their exit from the Champions League at the semi-final stage for a third consecutive season has seen a significant amount of criticism levelled at Pep Guardiola. Next season he’ll take over at Manchester City without having brought the European trophy to Munich. With the league and cup double still a possibility if they beat Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final, a clean sweep of domestic honours can surely not be considered a failure overall. Hannover were resigned to relegation a few weeks back and have little to offer in this clash. The home win should be an addition to any weekend multiples.
Dortmund 3/10 | Draw 5/1 | Cologne 15/2
Thomas Tuchel bemoaned Dortmund’s slow start in their 1-0 loss to Frankfurt last weekend. Almost as soon as the home side took the lead they looked to park the proverbial bus and Dortmund couldn’t find a way through. Dortmund’s hopes of an unlikely title ended with the final whistle but they do have an opportunity to upset Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal and end the season off with some silverware. Timo Horn had an excellent game between the sticks for Cologne in their goalless draw with Werder Bremen. Already safe in mid-table, Cologne’s objective this season has been reached. Both sides will likely go through the motions in this fixture and Under 2.5 Goals could be a worthwhile bet at 21/10.
Bayer Leverkusen 9/20 | Draw 37/10 | Ingolstadt 52/10
Despite taking the lead against local rivals Monchengladbach, Leverkusen conceded twice to lose for the first time in eight matches. Leverkusen have already sealed third-place in the Bundesliga and booked their spot in the Champions League and will simply be looking to complete the season without any major injuries. Ingolstadt kept themselves in the game against Bayern Munich by getting a goal and finding a way back into the match, yet succumbed to the expected result. With Bundesliga football a certainty for the club next season, this is another match between two sides with little ambition at this stage. The home win at 9/20 looks the bet to take.
Wolfsburg 7/4 | Draw 28/10 | Stuttgart 13/10
Wolfsburg ended a woeful run of form with a 1-0 win away in Hamburg. Luis Gustavo scored the only goal in what was otherwise a lacklustre derby at Volksparkstadion. The win ensured that Wolfsburg could not be dragged into any unlikely, but possible, relegation danger. Stuttgart’s fans stormed the pitch and angrily jostled their players after the club’s 3-1 home defeat to Mainz left them mired in relegation and facing the drop for the first time in 40 years. Kevin Grosskreutz visibly fought back tears to apologise after Stuttgart had thrown away an early lead and the club now requires this win away, coupled with Frankfurt beating Werder Bremen, just to go into the relegation play-off. I’m happy to take a punt on Stuttgart at 13/10 considering the urgency of the task at hand.
Augsburg 21/20 | Draw 51/20 | Hamburg 24/10
Augsburg left it late to cement their top flight status with a 1-1 draw at Schalke last weekend. Augsburg went on a run of five straight matches unbeaten over the past month which has seen them home and dry. Although they could not replicate their European qualification of last season, all in all Augsburg will be pleased with the way that this term has panned out. Hamburg are also safe from relegation despite losing to Wolfsburg last time out. This match is unlikely to provide too much in the way of entertainment and backing Under 2.5 Goals looks a smart call at 23/20.
Werder Bremen 11/10 | Draw 26/10 | Eintracht Frankfurt 43/20
Werder Bremen now require a victory on the final day of the season to avoid a relegation playoff, or possibly worse should Stuttgart win away from home. Werder Bremen came away from Cologne with only a point to show from a goalless draw and they simply must find a way to secure at least that here. Frankfurt are in the same boat despite beating Dortmund last weekend. One must assume given the goal difference that Frankfurt have at least ensured that they will compete in the relegation playoff should this fixture go awry. This is a tough one to call but given the importance of the win for both sides, taking the pair to score looks to be the best bet at 4/10.
Hoffenheim 2/1 | Draw 11/4 | Schalke 12/10
Hoffenheim looked a side with nothing left to play for this season as they lost 1-0 to already relegated Hannover last weekend. Due to the final day clash between Werder Bremen and Frankfurt, Hoffenheim are safely assured of top flight football next season. Schalke conceded late last weekend to share the spoils with Augsburg and dent their hopes of European qualification. Level on points with Hertha Berlin and Mainz but slightly inferior on goal difference leaves the club all to do on the road this weekend. I feel the Schalke win is worth the bet at 12/10 as nothing less than victory will do.
Mainz 11/10 | Draw 5/2 | Hertha Berlin 23/10
Mainz came from behind to stun fans at Mercedes-Benz-Arena and romp to a 3-1 victory away at Stuttgart. The victory put Mainz into fifth-place and in the driving seat to qualify for the Europa League with a match at home this weekend and a +4 goal difference compared to Hertha Berlin. The Old Lady lie level on points with Mainz but have been in woeful form of late, losing their grip on what would have been considered an almost certain place in the Champions League a month ago. Berlin have lost six of the past seven matches, drawing once. Take the home win here as hearts break in the capital.
Darmstadt 11/4 | Draw 28/10 | Monchengladbach 9/10
Darmstadt secured their top-flight status with a 2-1 win at Hertha Berlin, ensuring that both promoted sides will remain in the Bundesliga. It has been a tough second half of the season for a Darmstadt side that were largely punching above their weight, yet a strategy of rigid organisation often saw the club collect points from matches thought lost. Monchengladbach will spend another season in the Champions League barring a heavy loss here and Mainz making up an eleven-goal deficit. With both sides able to relax somewhat, this is another match where Under 2.5 Goals could prove a good value bet 27/20.