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Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund (Sat 2.30pm)
The standout fixture of the final day is third placed Dortmund travelling to Hoffenheim in fourth with neither having secured Champions League qualification just yet. Three points separate them in the table with the only certainty being that Dortmund need just a draw to be in the top four.
A two-goal win for Hoffenheim would definitely see them over the line as they’d overtake Dortmund on goal difference. Victory by a one goal margin should do the trick for Julian Nagelsmann’s side too – unless Leverkusen, level on points with Hoffenheim in 5th and a goal difference three worse than them, thrash Hannover by a margin of five.
Nagelsmann, highly touted for the Dortmund job when his release clause comes into effect next summer, has not beaten them yet in his coaching career despite strong performances in each game against them.
They weren’t bad either at Stuttgart last weekend but still ended up falling to a 2-0 defeat. Ex-Arsenal forward Serge Gnabry was ruled out for the rest of the season before that and his absence certainly didn’t help their cause. Lukas Rupp also tore cruciate ligaments in last weekend’s defeat meaning he’s out for the foreseeable future.
Dortmund though put in ‘a performance to be ashamed of’ in the words of sporting director Michael Zorc as they lost 2-1 at home to Mainz. They’ll be without first choice centre half pairing of Sokratis (suspended) and Ömer Toprak (calf injury), so Manuel Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou will deputise.
It’s all but confirmed that this will be Stöger’s last game as Dortmund coach but it may not be a fairtyale ending
Hoffenheim’s strength at home, having lost just two of their last 33 Bundesliga home games, combined with Dortmund’s pitiful displays in big away games under Stöger, makes a home win look the likeliest outcome.
- Hoffenheim 2, Dortmund 1 (17-2, Unibet)
- Kramaric to score first (5-1, Unibet)
- Hoffenheim win (59-50, Unibet)
Leverkusen v Hannover (Sat 2.30pm)
A goalless draw away at Werder Bremen last weekend at least ended a three-game losing streak for Leverkusen, but they start the final matchday of the season with their Champions League destiny out of their hands – or just about.
Only a five-goal victory over Hannover would guarantee Leverkusen a top four berth. That’s difficult to envisage given that Leverkusen have failed to score in their last three games along with the fact that top scorer Kevin Volland is out suspended.
It’s difficult to know exactly what to expect from Hannover. In the words of coach André Breitenreiter, they produced ‘their best first half of the season’ last weekend, as they secured their Bundesliga survival with a 3-1 home win against Hertha.
That goal conceded though made it 19 games on the bounce without a clean sheet – something which should offer Leverkusen some hope ahead of Saturday.
The home side could do with Leon Bailey rediscovering his form from earlier this season. The last of his nine league goals this season was in February, with just a solitary assist in the Bundesliga also representative of a dip in form for the Jamaican.
Hannover are in the luxurious position of being able to play without pressure, so André Breitenreiter is likely to make a few changes, including giving second choice goalkeeper Michael Esser a run out.
You’d expect Leverkusen to come through and win this but for their Champions League fate to remain out of their hands.
- Leverkusen 3, Hannover 1 (9-1, Unibet)
- Havertz to score first (13-2, Unibet)
- Both teams to score (31-50, Unibet)
Hamburg v Borussia Monchengladbach (Sat 2.30pm)
The relegation knell may finally toll for Hamburg this Saturday. They start the day in 17th, an automatic relegation place. Their last hope is that they win and Wolfsburg, in the relegation playoff, lose at home to rock bottom Cologne.
The chances of the latter may seem slim but Wolfsburg haven’t covered themselves in glory since third coach of the season and ex-Hamburg boss Bruno Labbadia arrived, with just one win in ten games.
Hamburg captain Gotoku Sakai has talked this week of how they still believe in survival, which the 2,000 fans who turned up to training on Thursday also wanted to put across.
A win at Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend would have put them in a good position but the 3-0 defeat brought the progress made under coach Christian Titz to a shuddering halt.
There’s a certain amount of pressure on their opponents on Saturday too with Gladbach still in the running for a Europa League spot. They’re currently in ninth, need to win against Hamburg and hope the likes of Eintracht Frankfurt, Leipzig and Stuttgart slip up.
A solitary victory in their last 10 away games says they might find it difficult at Hamburg on Saturday, though they didn’t seem to miss their injured captain Lars Stindl too much in their 3-1 home victory against Freiburg last weekend.
Despite Hamburg’s difficult circumstances, they have made a real effort to play out from the back under Titz. Their position in the table means they’ll have to go for it too but expect Gladbach to contribute to an entertaining game but ultimately for Hamburg, an unfulfilling one.
- Hamburg 2, Gladbach 2 (21-2, Unibet)
- Hazard to score first (15-2, Unibet)
- Over 3.5 goals (29-20, Unibet)
Hertha Berlin v Leipzig (Sat 2.30pm)
Leipzig in sixth currently occupy a Europa League place but there’s still an outside chance of them sneaking into the Champions League. For that to happen, they’d need Hoffenheim and Leverkusen above them to lose and then in turn, win away at the Olympiastadion.
Saturday’s game will be the final competitive outing in a Leipzig shirt for Naby Keita before heading off to Liverpool this summer. Keita’s campaign has been much like the club’s – good but not nearly as spectacular as last season’s second place finish.
Being sent off on three occasions this season hasn’t helped but he will return to Ralph Hasenhüttl’s starting lineup this weekend as Leipzig look to build on the 4-1 win over Wolfsburg last weekend where Everton loanee Ademola Lookman scored twice.
Hertha meanwhile saw their slim hopes of playing European football again next season go down the drain at Hannover last weekend. “The points were thrown away in the first half,” as coach Pal Dardai put it with Hertha being 3-0 down come half time.
Midfielder Per Skjelbred admitted their plans were somewhat disrupted by Niklas Stark pulling out through injury just five minutes before kick off but Stark will be fit enough to face Leipzig on Saturday. Leipzig meanwhile will be without the suspended Emil Forsberg.
Even if Hertha only have pride to play for, they’ll want to complete an unlikely double over Leipzig having won 3-2 in the away fixture.
Davie Selke scored twice in that win and has five goals in his last four games, so he’ll be wanting to prove a point again on Saturday. Hertha should provide sterner opposition than Wolfsburg did for Leipzig last week meaning this might well end with a point for both sides.
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.