WE'RE delighted to welcome German Football expert Raphael Honigstein to the site for the season thanks to our partner Unibet.
You may know Raph from his excellent work on BT Sport where he shares his knowledge of the European game and we're hoping he can make some of that know-how pay for us on MrFixitsTips. Best of luck Raphael!
Schalke v Dortmund (Sun 2.30pm)
It took Dortmund a while to get going against Stuttgart but after a fortuitous opener from Christian Pulisic, they gave a good second half performance as they bounced back from their mauling in Munich.
In just his ninth Bundesliga game, Michy Batshuayi was on target for the seventh time – a tally equalled only by club legend Manfred Burgsmüller back in 1977 in his first nine games for the club.
If Batshuayi wants to really put himself into the club folklore, then performing on Sunday afternoon in the Ruhr derby away at arch-rivals Schalke would do the trick, particularly after their incredible game against them in the first half of the season.
Schalke were 4-0 down after 25 minutes before producing one of the most remarkable comebacks in Bundesliga history, drawing 4-4 with Naldo equalising in second half injury time.
Last weekend though, Domenico Tedesco’s side lost 3-2 at Hamburg who had been on a 15-game winless run. The result was ‘highly deserved’ for the hosts according to Tedesco but his side remain in second, albeit with Dortmund now just a point behind them in third.
“I have a lot of respect for how Schalke have played this season,” said Dortmund coach Peter Stöger on Friday. “They are a cohesive unit, show a lot of team spirit and are well organized. They transition well and are dangerous at set pieces.”
Don’t expect as many goals on Sunday as there were in the reverse fixture but a draw might be on the cards again.
Werder Bremen v Leipzig (Sun 5pm)
Werder Bremen are unbeaten at home since Florian Kohfeldt took charge in October, a run stretching to nine games.
That’s helped bring them to safety but they still lost 2-1 at Hannover last week – something of a surprise given both sides’ contrasting form. Finnish centre back Niklas Moisander was out suspended for that encounter with his replacement Sebastian Langkamp not covering himself in glory. You can therefore expect that Moisander will return in his place on Sunday afternoon.
Leipzig on the other hand travel to Bremen after being dumped out of the Europa League by Marseille on Thursday night. They led 1-0 from the first leg and even took the lead in France in the return leg, only to end up being beaten 5-2 as Leipzig showed their defensive fragility once again.
On Monday night, they were thrashed 4-1 at home by Leverkusen, having taken the lead in that game too. That result meant Leipzig have given up 16 points after leading in the second half of the season alone after taking the lead.
From set pieces, Leipzig continue to be vulnerable as both Leverkusen and Marseille showed. Only three teams in the Bundesliga have conceded more than the 17 that Leipzig have shipped from set pieces this season.
Perhaps Timo Werner, surprisingly an unused substitute in Marseille on Thursday evening, can help give them a bit more bite up the other end.
Bremen and Leipzig are two of the strongest counter attacking units in the division. There’s no pressure on Bremen coming into this whilst Leipzig need to win for the sake of their Champions League ambitions. Expect a few goals as a result.
- Bremen 2, Leipzig 2 (21-2, Unibet)
- Werner to score first (15-2, Unibet)
- Over 3.5 goals (7-4, 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.