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Freiburg v Werder Bremen (Sat 2.30pm)
At the beginning of November, both Freiburg and Werder Bremen were sitting in the bottom four of the Bundesliga. Freiburg had scored just six goals in 10 games picking up eight points whilst Bremen had managed just three goals in the same timeframe accumulating just five points.
Wind forward to the present and both sides’ fortunes have improved markedly. Freiburg’s defeat at Hannover last weekend ended a nine-match unbeaten run whilst Werder Bremen climbed out of the bottom three for the first time since the opening weekend of the season after a convincing win over Wolfsburg last Sunday.
The threat of a relegation battle still looms over both sides ahead of their clash in the Black Forest this weekend. Freiburg coach Christian Streich has highlighted the quality of one opponent who he knows only too well.
“Max Kruse is the difference maker,” said Streich on Thursday, having coached Kruse at Freiburg some five years ago.
“Bremen’s game with him and without him is completely different. Through him other players around him improve.”
The five goals and six assists in the 11 games since Florian Kohfeldt took charge at the start of November back up Streich’s comments.
Freiburg though have only suffered one defeat in their last 17 home games in all competitions and in Nils Petersen, they have a potent front man of their own.
Bremen won 5-2 in the corresponding fixture last season with Kruse of course on target. Expect a tighter game this time around but both sides should still score.
- Freiburg 1, Werder 1 (24-5, Unibet)
- Kruse to score first (21-4, Unibet)
- Both teams to score (71-100, Unibet)
Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich (Sat 2.30pm)
Wolfsburg picked up an unlikely point at the Allianz Arena earlier this season, made even unlikelier by the fact they had been 2-0 down in that game.
A repeat performance back in Lower Saxony looks unlikely such has been the standard of their recent displays. They were played off the park by relegation rivals Werder Bremen despite having refreshed their attack in January.
After Paul-Georges Ntep and Mario Gomez departed, Swiss duo Admir Mehmedi and Renato Steffen arrived from Leverkusen and Basel respectively whilst Josip Brekalo returned from his loan in Stuttgart. Yet none of the trio have been able to make a telling contribution to the team when called upon so far.
Despite being on one of the biggest budgets in the division, Wolfsburg sit four points off the drop zone having survived in the relegation playoff last season. Such is the dismay amongst the Wolfsburg fans, they’re planning to stage an atmosphere boycott for the first 19 minutes and 45 seconds of the game against Bayern (with Wolfsburg founded by parent company VW in 1945).
Bayern roll into town off the back of yet another win against Schalke albeit Sven Ulreich had to be on form once again to keep the visitors at bay.
Jupp Heynckes will be back on the touchline having missed last weekend’s game due to flu. He’s confirmed that Thiago will be make his return from injury too, whilst Arturo Vidal will serve a yellow card suspension.
It’s difficult to see that being heralded with anything other than a comfortable victory given that since Heynckes’ return, Bayern have won 14 from 15 in the Bundesliga.
Munich-born Raphael Honigstein writes about football for Germany’s biggest broadsheet, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian, ESPNFC and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.