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Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt (Sat 2.30pm)
Niklas Süle said it should have been 5-2, Joshua Kimmich said 7-2 but in the end, Bayern lost 2-1 to Real Madrid on Tuesday in the Champions League semi-finals.
They weren’t helped by first half injuries to Arjen Robben and Jerome Boateng, the latter of whom is likely to miss the rest of the season with doubts even being cast over his World Cup involvement.
Their profligacy in front of goal was the bigger problem and something of a surprise given how ruthless they’ve been in front of goal domestically whilst Madrid took the few chances that came their way.
“They're sitting in the dressing room, not knowing how they won this game,” as Thomas Müller put it.
In between their visit to Madrid on Tuesday, they have a rehearsal for the DFB Cup final in May with Bayern welcoming Niko Kovac and Eintracht Frankfurt to the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
Kovac will of course be Bayern’s new coach next season, so home fans might take that little bit more of an interest in the away side’s performance than they usually would.
“We have to defend well, run more than our opponent and be clinical with the few chances we have,” said Kovac.
Frankfurt’s season in the league could see them miss out on European football after a 3-0 defeat at home to Hertha last weekend. Makoto Hasebe was sent off in that, so he’ll miss the Bayern game too.
Jupp Heynckes will rotate heavily ahead of the return leg in Madrid and should still have too much for Frankfurt on Saturday.
- Bayern 3, Frankfurt 1 (11-1, Unibet)
- Wagner to score first (23-5, Unibet)
- Bayern win (63-100, Unibet)
Wolfsburg v Hamburg (Sat 2.30pm)
“To those who are above us, all I can say is I wouldn’t want to be in your position,” said Hamburg midfielder Lewis Holtby in the build up to their game on Saturday.
Wolfsburg midfielder Daniel Didavi responded: “With a victory we could shoot Hamburg into the second division. It’s not about anything else.”
You get the picture – there’s a lot riding on this game this weekend. That Wolfsburg should play Hamburg in a relegation six pointer is nothing new.
On the final day of last season, Hamburg beat Wolfsburg late on to free themselves from the dreaded relegation playoff, forcing their opponents to take their place.
Once again this season, Hamburg are coming from behind. They trail Wolfsburg by five points with three games to play but Holtby’s winner against Freiburg last weekend has given Hamburg hope of what would perhaps be their most miraculous escape yet.
Wolfsburg coach Bruno Labbadia knows what it’s like to do that with Hamburg, having been their coach twice, most recently when they escaped relegation via the playoff in 2016.
He was meant to be Wolfsburg’s saviour but a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Gladbach last Friday made it just six points from his eight games in charge so far. Labbadia can welcome back Josuha Gulavogui in defensive midfield for this one but how much of a difference that will make remains to be seen.
The momentum is with Hamburg, particularly with Wolfsburg not having won a home game since the turn of the year. Back Hamburg to make things very interesting at the bottom.
- Wolfsburg 1, Hamburg 2 (11-1, Unibet)
- Hunt to score first (10-1, Unibet)
- Hamburg win (49-20, Unibet)
Leverkusen v Stuttgart (Sat 5.30pm)
“The analysis was not difficult,” said Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich after their 4-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund last weekend.
“I showed [the squad] the key moments of the game again and said: ‘I know you can be better than that’.”
That result was the second heavy defeat in the space five days, after they were walloped 6-2 by Bayern in the semi-finals of the DFB Cup.
As sporting director Rudi Völler put it: “If we don’t have the same drive to win our tackles alongside playing good football, then our next three games are going to be difficult.”
Yet ahead of facing Stuttgart, Völler also pointed out that Leverkusen’s fate of finishing in the top four is still in their own hands, as they sit fourth with three games to play.
The pressure on the other hand is off Stuttgart after a 2-0 win against Werder Bremen made survival a mathematical certainty, even if they had been out of the relegation battle for a while.
That’s primarily down to two people who used to be at Leverkusen. Firstly, there’s coach Tayfun Korkut who since arriving at Stuttgart in January has been a revelation taking 22 points in 11 games. Secondly, there’s sporting director Michael Reschke, who appointed Korkut despite a disappointing track record, which included scraping his way to survival with Leverkusen just last season.
Korkut has vowed not to rotate heavily this weekend: “You can perhaps do that in the youth team but we’re in the Bundesliga.”
It’ll be intriguing to see how Leverkusen react having conceded 10 goals in their last two games. They are Mario Gomez’s favourite Bundesliga opponent having scored 12 in 15 games against them. Expect both sides to score here but Leverkusen might just have the edge.
- Leverkusen 2, Stuttgart 1 (7-1, Unibet)
- Volland to score first (43-10, Unibet)
- Both teams to score (71-100, Unibet)
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.