We preview round 29 of the 2016/17 German Bundesliga season.Not all that much has changed at the top of the table despite a set of midweek fixtures followed by a weekend in which Bayern Munich underlined their dominance in the German top flight.
The top four has taken a definitive shape and with only six Bundesliga gameweeks left, it would take a catastrophic collapse to unseat Leipzig, Hoffenheim or Dortmund. The battle between the latter two for automatic qualification - and of course a monumental relegation tussle - will add plenty of flavour to proceedings.
Saturday 15 April
Dortmund 4/10 | Draw 37/10 | Eintracht Frankfurt 13/2
Dortmund breezed past Hamburg 3-0 in midweek but were brought swiftly back to earth at the weekend, losing 4-1 to an utterly dominant Bayern Munich. The weekend’s result, coupled with fourth place in the league, shows there is still plenty of work to be done with the young squad.
Selling three key figures last summer has taken its toll, although a Champions League semi-final appearance may constitute a job well done should Dortmund still qualify for next year’s competition. Frankfurt are winless in nine on the bounce and in free fall. The home win at 4/10 is the tip.
Mainz 5/4 | Draw 43/20 | Hertha Berlin 9/4
Speaking of free fall, Mainz has lost five in a row and are now at severe risk of relegation. They were beaten 3-2 at home by Leipzig in midweek before losing 1-0 on the road at Freiburg. Currently level on points with Augsburg in the promotion/relegation playoff place, Mainz simply must win this home fixture if they hope to ease any pressure in their bid for survival.
Hertha Berlin are fifth but will be looking over their shoulder after recently losing three consecutive league matches. They turned their fortune around with a 2-0 victory at home over Augsburg last weekend and have several clubs to worry about taking their spot in the Europa League. Back Berlin to get a result on the Double Chance at 6/10.
Wolfsburg 19/20 | Draw 47/20 | Ingolstadt 28/10
Wolfsburg are another team at serious risk of the drop - a catastrophic proposition for a club of their stature. They lost 1-0 in midweek to Freiburg before being drubbed 4-1 by Schalke at the weekend. Only a point above the drop zone, the next six matches will define the future of the club.
Ingolstadt have won three in a row and are making a real push to avoid relegation from what seemed an almost impossible position. They fought back to beat Darmstadt 3-2 last weekend following their win by the same scoreline against Augsburg in midweek. Despite contrasting form, I’m tipping the home win at 19/20.
Augsburg 37/20 | Draw 21/10 | Cologne 15/10
Augsburg haven’t won a match in their last six times of asking and have been beaten in four of their last five. Augsburg have slipped into the promotion/relegation playoff place in an almighty Bundesliga relegation battle possibly involving six clubs. They lost 3-2 to Ingolstadt before losing 2-0 to Hertha Berlin at the weekend and simply must target a victory here considering a tricky run-in.
Cologne have only won twice in their last 10 and have seen their European hopes fizzling. They managed a 1-0 win over Frankfurt in midweek but fell to a 3-2 defeat to Monchengladbach at the weekend. Both Teams to Score is the bet here at 9/10.
Hoffenheim 1/1 | Draw 5/2 | Monchengladbach 51/20
Third-placed Hoffenheim lost only their third match of the season last weekend, going down 2-1 to relegation-threatened Hamburg. This was after an amazing 1-0 victory over to-be champions Bayern Munich in midweek, a match that saw Andrej Kramaric score his 11th of 12 goals this season.
Monchengladbach haven’t lost in their last three fixtures, winning two on the bounce. They’re eighth and largely safe but will know that a late season surge could take them into the European places. This is another match for Both Teams to Score at 6/10.
Leipzig 4/10 | Draw 34/10 | Freiburg 6/1
Leipzig remain on course for a place in next season’s Champions League in their first ever Bundesliga season. Of course, a slew of players will be at risk of the clutches of big clubs in the summer, but at least Leipzig will be able to offer football at the highest level and high wages. They’re seven points clear in second place and need only keep to the same quality and intensity to carry on picking up points.
Freiburg have surged into sixth place, consistently finding important points. A 1-0 victory away at Wolfsburg was followed by a victory of the same scoreline against Mainz at the weekend. Nevertheless, back Leipzig for the home win at 4/10.
Leverkusen 39/10 | Draw 31/10 | Bayern Munich 6/10
Leverkusen’s awful form continued with a 1-0 loss to Leipzig at the weekend and despite claiming three points against Darmstadt in midweek, have picked up only six points from their last nine matches.
In 12th place, they’re only six points clear of the relegation zone and although one would back the club not to sink to that level, it’s a sobering thought with Bayern Munich visiting BayArena this weekend. Bayern Munich thumped rivals Dortmund 4-1 on the weekend in a true show of might. Their 1-0 loss to Hoffenheim in midweek was quickly forgotten and, truthfully, meaningless. Back the away win at 6/10.
Sunday 16 April
Werder Bremen 5/4 | Draw 24/10 | Hamburg 2/1
Werder Bremen have been in simply sensational form and are unbeaten in their last eight league matches. A 3-0 win in midweek underlined the upturn in performance over the past month or so, now occupying 11th on the table and seven points clear of a relegation zone that looked almost certain to contain the club.
A 2-2 draw away in Frankfurt at the weekend would have only pleased manager Alexander Nouri. Hamburg have also managed to extricate themselves from the relegation zone for the time being, losing only one of their last six. However, the home win at 5/4 is too good to pass up.
Darmstadt 17/4 | Draw 28/10 | Schalke 6/10
Darmstadt still have a mathematical chance of beating the drop this season but few can hold any hope for the club, who have picked up a measly 15 points and will basically need to win every match from here on in - a feat that would see them victorious in two more matches than the entirety of the season.
Schalke have lost only one of their last five matches, winning three. The Royal Blues came back from a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Werder Bremen in midweek to thump Wolfsburg 4-1 at the weekend. Schalke should pick up all three points at 6/10 in spite of a valiant Darmstadt effort.
DOUBLE @ 3/1
Wolfsburg Win 19/20
Werder Bremen Win 5/4
Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets