German Bundesliga: Week 31 Preview

German-Bundesliga-Round-31

We preview round 31 of the 2016/17 German Bundesliga season.

In the tradition of recent years past, Bayern Munich have slowed with little of the season left, giving hope to the one club mathematically close enough to catch them. Last week’s draw with lowly Mainz means Leipzig are only six points behind the table-toppers.

However, Bayern’s controversial exit from the Champions League has now allowed Carlo Ancelotti to focus on securing their fifth consecutive title. Classic Bayern.



Friday 28 April

21/20 Leverkusen | Draw 49/20 | Schalke 24/10 
Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller can’t be the only of the Leverkusen camp sweating on their top flight status following their 2-1 loss to Freiburg. The Leverkusen top brass has warned that the club better secure a victory soon or seriously risk getting drawn into what is already a vicious relegation battle.

Schalke overcame an early setback to draw 1-1 at home with Leipzig, a pleasing result given their proximity from the relegation zone. This looks like it will be a cracking encounter and Both Team to Score is the tip at 13/20.

Saturday 29 April

1/4 Dortmund | Draw 47/10 | Cologne 8/1
Dortmund secured a late 3-2 win at Monchengladbach courtesy of an 87th minute goal from Raphael Guerreiro. The victory lifted Dortmund to third on the table as Hoffenheim dropped points, giving BVB a clear path to automatic Champions League qualification. It was a gutsy, come-from-behind win after a very difficult couple of weeks for the club.

Cologne, chasing European football for the first time since 1992/93, conceded late to share the spoils with Hoffenheim 1-1 last weekend. They’re still a point behind Werder Bremen in seventh and are level on points with both Frankfurt and Freiburg. I have to tip the home win at 1/4 - a good bet to beef up those weekend multiples.

12/10 Mainz | Draw 47/20 | Monchengladbach 43/20
Mainz kept their hopes of Bundesliga survival alive with a morale-boosting 1-1 draw with to-be champions Bayern Munich. Bojan opened the scoring as early as the third minute and Mainz were to take the lead again after they converted a penalty before half-time. Despite another equaliser, the 2-2 draw should galvanise the club ahead of another tough fixture.

Gladbach were beaten 3-2 at home by Dortmund at the weekend, denting their hopes of a push for Europa League qualification. It’s not impossible, but they have conceded ten goals in three games and look vulnerable amid a difficult run-in. I’m tipping a valuable home win at 27/20.

21/20 Werder Bremen | Draw 49/20 | Hertha Berlin 49/20
Werder Bremen extended their unbeaten streak to 10 Bundesliga matches with a shocking comeback against Ingolstadt last weekend. Werder Bremen were 2-1 down before Max Kruse scored a hat-trick in the final 10 minutes of the match to add to his penalty equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

Werder Bremen have climbed into sixth place with every chance of narrowing the four-point gap between themselves and Hertha Berlin in fifth. The men from the capital secured a 1-0 win over struggling Wolfsburg at the weekend with a goal from Vedad Ibisevic but haven’t been at their best recently. The home win is tipped at 21/20.

22/10 Darmstadt | Draw 47/20 | Freiburg 23/20
Darmstadt dealt a blow to the survival hopes of fellow relegation strugglers Hamburg with a 2-1 victory away from home. It was the first time this season that Darmstadt have won two league matches in a row.

It is only mathematics keeping Darmstadt in the top flight at this stage and any missed points will see the club relegated. Freiburg once again delivered at home, beating Bundesliga big boys Leverkusen 2-1. I’m going ahead and tipping the home win here as Darmstadt wonder what could have been.

5/10 Leipzig | Draw 33/10 | Ingolstadt 52/10
Leipzig shared the spoils with Schalke 1-1 on their trip to the Royal Blues and simply underlined their status as the second-best side in the Bundesliga. Leipzig opened the scoring through Timo Werner and for the most part, did not look troubled. Champions League football looks a certainty.

Despite leading 2-1 with only nine minutes left, Ingolstadt conspired to lose 4-2 against Werder Bremen and an unstoppable Max Kruse. Ingolstadt are now five points from safety and it is looking increasingly unlikely that the Bavarians will survive in the top flight. Back Leipzig for the home win at 5/10.

7/1 Wolfsburg | Draw 39/10 | Bayern Munich 7/20
Wolfsburg are only a point above the relegation zone after losing 1-0 in disappointing fashion to Hertha Berlin. It seems almost inconceivable that a club of Wolfsburg’s stature faces the very real prospect of playing in 2. Bundesliga next season. They’ve got a very difficult run-in, starting with Bayern Munich, and Andries Jonker will be a very nervous man.

Bayern Munich drew 2-2 with Mainz at the weekend after being unceremoniously knocked out of the Champions League in midweek. They’ve got a DFB-Pokal semi-final with Dortmund in midweek but I still expect Bayern to claim the away win at 7/20.



Sunday 30 April

29/20 Augsburg | Draw 22/10 | Hamburg 37/20 
Despite taking a ninth-minute lead through Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, Augsburg remain in the relegation zone after losing 3-1 to Frankfurt at the weekend. It was their fourth loss in five matches and this will be the easiest of the contests set for the run-in.

Augsburg are only a point off safety - a point behind Hamburg - and a victory here could go a long way to securing Bundesliga football. Hamburg slumped to a disappointing 2-1 loss to Darmstadt last weekend and their form away from home is simply abysmal. I’m tipping another home win here at 29/20.

11/20 Hoffenheim | Draw 31/10 | Eintracht Frankfurt 9/2
Kerem Demirbay struck in stoppage time to secure Hoffenheim some form of European football next season as they drew 1-1 with Cologne away from home. Although Hoffenheim have their sights set on Champions League football and the draw allowed Dortmund into third, Hoffenheim are a full nine points clear of Hertha Berlin in fifth.

Eintracht Frankfurt turned a run of 10 Bundesliga matches without a win around with a 3-1 victory over Augsburg, their first victory since the beginning of February. However, I can’t see Frankfurt being strong enough to trouble an excellent Hoffenheim at home. Back the home win at 11/20.

TREBLE @ 38/10
Werder Bremen Win 21/20
Leipzig Win 5/10
Hoffenheim Win 11/20

Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets

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