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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!
Leipzig v Hoffenheim (Sat 2.30pm)
Fifth-placed Leipzig have had their first seven days without midweek action in months. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side believe they will benefit from the extra levels of freshness as well as the additional training sessions, even if Naby Keita (back) and Dayot Upamecano (thigh) are struggling to get fit in time for Hoffenheim’s visit.
After conceding nine goals in two games (v Marseille and Leverkusen), Hasenhüttl tried out a more defensive 3-5-2 system in the first half at Werder last week, with mixed results.
Leipzig were more solid at the back but couldn’t quite play their regular transition game before the Austrian reverted to a 4-4-2 after the break. Against in-form Hoffenheim, who are also still outside contenders for fourth place, Leipzig will have to be at their very best to get all the three points they so desperately need.
Meanwhile, Julian Nagelsmann’s men have only lost once (2-1 at Schalke) in their last ten games; confidence couldn’t be much higher in Sinsheim. Indications are that TSG will really go for it, trying to force the issue with a very attacking line-up. Expect plenty of goals – and man of the moment Serge Gnabry (six in six) to be on target again.
- Leipzig 2, Hoffenheim 2 (10-1, Unibet)
- Gnabry to score first (8-1, Unibet)
- Over 3.5 goals (19-2, Unibet)
Hannover v Bayern Munich (Sat 2.30pm)
After demolishing Leverkusen 6-2 in the DFB Pokal on Tuesday, the German champions are likely to revert to their “B team” again in light of the all-important semi-final against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
But as their 5-1 destruction of Borussia Mönchengladbach last Saturday showed, that might not be good thing for the opposition at all. Jupp Heynckes has demanded four wins in the four last remaining league matches and every single player, regular or not, will be keen to stake a claim on a starting place in the Champions League by virtue of a good performance against the Lower Saxons on Saturday.
Striker Sandro Wagner, in particular, has been hugely impressive in his part-time role as Robert Lewandowski’s back-up and is a good shout as first goalscorer at the HDI Arena.
Despite winning only one game of their last eight, André Breitenreiter’s team have all but escaped the relegation battle and can concentrate on enjoying the occasion.
“We are all looking forward to the game,” the 96 manager said. Breitenreiter can once again field centre-backs Josip Elez and Florian Hübner but whether that’s enough to hold a Bayern team at bay that have scored fifteen goals in their last three league games is somewhat doubtful.
- Hannover 1, Bayern 4 (18-1, Unibet)
- Wagner to score first (9-2, Unibet)
- Over 2.5 goals (10-21, Unibet)
Dortmund v Leverkusen (Sat 5.30pm)
Bild announced that Peter Stöger was definitely not continuing in the job beyond this season in the wake of Dortmund’s woeful 2-0 defeat in the Revierderby. The club has denied that a decision has been made, however.
Whether that’s the honest truth or just a little white lie designed to keep the players on board is hard to tell but Borussia could well continue to struggle against Leverkusen, an explosive counter-attacking side that played much better against Bayern in the DFB Pokal than the 6-2 scoreline suggested.
A home defeat by Heiko Herrlich’s side, who are level on points but ahead on goal-difference, would endanger Dortmund’s fourth and hasten the complicated transition process towards a new team and sporting leadership.
Leverkusen will have looked at the defensive wobbles of their opponents and quietly fancy their chances. Leon Bailey and Julian Brandt are destined to find some joy against BVB’s struggling full-backs. An away win is not beyond the Werkself.
- Dortmund 1, Leverkusen 2 (19-2, Unibet)
- Volland to score first (7-1, Unibet)
- Leverkusen win (39-20, 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.