With six Bundesliga games on Saturday and two games on Sunday, we take a look at the league’s current standings and choose our three best bets.
Weekend Bundesliga Preview
It’s Matchday 31 – just four more Matchdays to go until the fate of all 18 Bundesliga teams is sealed.
League leaders Bayern Munich won their DFB-Pokal (German Cup) semi-final on Wednesday against Eintracht Frankfurt are now very close to an eighth successive league title and a league/cup double. Only Borussia Dortmund stand in their way in the league, but have an uphill battle on their hands to catch Bayern who are seven points clear at the top.
Those all-important top four spots, and consequent tickets into next season’s Champions League, are still very much up for grabs with Leipzig, Monchengladbach and Leverkusen sitting uncomfortably close to one another in the table. Leipzig play on Friday, so have the chance to record three points before the others play.
While some are certainly more likely to be relegated than others at the bottom of the league table, there are realistically six teams in danger of playing their soccer in German’s second division next season.
On Saturday at 12:30EST, Bayern host Borussia Monchengladbach at the Allianz Arena. With Borussia Monchengladbach in fourth place and in search of a top four finish, Saturday is huge for shaping the rest of their season. Leverkusen are hot on Monchengladbach’s heels so there’s minimal room for slip ups. But a Bayern team as strong as ever will be tough to overcome for Monchengladbach on Saturday.
Speaking of Leverkusen, they’ve also got a tricky game on their hands this weekend. They travel to Gelsenkirchen to take on 10th place Schalke on Sunday at 12:00EST. Just like Monchengladbach, there’s little room for error as Leverkusen approach the business end of the season.
Elsewhere on Saturday, 6th place Wolfsburg host Freiburg who are just four points behind them in 8th place. Germany’s 5th and 6th placed teams also earn European places in the Europa League, so Wolfsburg’s clash against Freiburg is massive as both teams continue their quest for a place in the top six.
There are two huge games at the bottom of the Bundesliga table too. On Saturday (9:30EST), bottom of the table Paderborn host second-bottom Werder Bremen. This is what they call a ‘six-pointer’, as the win for either team is absolutely essential if they are to have a chance of survival this season. If Paderborn lose, they can effectively kiss their hopes of staying in the Bundesliga goodbye. If Bremen win, they could potentially catch Fortuna Dusseldorf in 16th, who have a tricky tie against Borussia Dortmund.
Mainz vs. Augsburg on Sunday is the other huge game at the bottom (Sunday 9:30EST). With Mainz currently in 15th and Augsburg just one point ahead in 13th, a win for either team would significantly help their survival chances this season.
Our Weekend Bundesliga Picks
From the Saturday and Sunday Bundesliga matches, we’ve carefully selected our three best bets for you to consider when making your own bets.
Pick 1: Tie in Wolfsburg vs. Freiburg (+295 at DraftKings)
In the battle for a top-six place and a European spot for next season, we predict a tie between Wolfsburg and Freiburg. The odds are relatively high here, but lots does point to a very close encounter.
Wolfsburg will be hoping to build on a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen in the previous matchday, but are yet to impress at their home stadium. Since the return to action, Wolfsburg have won all three of their games on the road but are still to record their first points at home after a 2-0 loss to Dortmund and a 2-1 loss to Frankfurt.
Freiburg have shown very mixed form since returning from the break. An impressive draw to Leipzig and then a 1-0 victory against 4th place Monchengladbach last weekend proves that Freiburg have what it takes to defeat Wolfsburg on Saturday. But, their other three results since the return have been uninspiring and have lacked consistency.
On paper, Wolfsburg are possibly the stronger team and on their day, should beat Freiburg. But their terrible home form gives Freiburg a chance on Saturday. The game is definitely going to be close and neither team wants to lose this one. A tie is the best bet.
Pick 2: Werder Bremen to win vs. Paderborn (+120 at FOXbet)
Werder Bremen won’t have a better chance to escape the relegation zone when they face bottom-of-the-league Paderborn. Bremen’s form has been mixed since the return, picking up a couple of wins in the five games. As an established Bundesliga club with years of experience in the German top-flight, Bremen can make a statement on Saturday and ruin Paderborn’s day.
Paderborn need a win here really – anything less and it’s not looking good. After a 6-1 thrashing against Borussia Dortmund at the end of May, Paderborn reacted with an impressive 1-1 draw against Leipzig. In fact, Paderborn have recorded four draws from their five league games since the restart.
Werder Bremen’s Bundesliga experience should be enough to overcome league newbies Paderborn. The prospect of safety should be enough to motivate the players to get all three points.
Pick 3: Leverkusen to win vs. Schalke (-190 at FanDuel)
Almost everything points to a win for Leverkusen on Sunday. Schalke are on a twelve-game winless run in the Bundesliga, one of the worst records in the league. In 10th place and seven points from the top-six, a European place is a lot to ask for Schalke this season and they may lack that determination need to win on Sunday.
Schalke’s last four games have been against teams below them in the league, yet they have managed to earn just a single point. It’s really not looking good for Schalke this weekend.
On the other hand, Leverkusen are in a rich vein of form and have picked up nine points in their five games since the Bundesliga’s return. A 4-2 loss against Bayern Munich in Matchday 30 brought the players back down to earth, but they were missing star man Kai Havertz that day.
Havertz has scored 5 goals in his last 4 games for Leverkusen and has been instrumental in the team’s bid for a top-four finish. He should recover in time to face Schalke on Sunday and will hope to add to his goal tally. The last time Schalke and Leverkusen met, Leverkusen won 2-1. We are expecting a repeat here.