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Bayern Munich v Hamburg (Sat 2.30pm)
Neither Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben played in the league leaders’ 4-0 thumping of Freiburg last weekend but both are expected to start against Hamburg. Thomas Müller was Bayern’s star last weekend, with a goal and two assists continuing his recent good form, after impressing against Besiktas in the Champions League too.
The second leg is next week in Turkey but with Bayern boasting a 5-0 lead, it’s likely that Robert Lewandowski will get a run out on Saturday having remained on the bench against Freiburg.
That spells bad news for Hamburg who are already in quite a state. On the pitch, despite a plethora of chances against Mainz, they couldn’t find a way through. Off the pitch this week saw the club sack chairman Heribert Bruchhagen and sporting director Jens Todt – a consequence of Bernd Hoffmann being appointed as president for a second time just over a month ago and wanting a fresh start.
That will seemingly be in the second division for Hamburg, famously never relegated from the Bundesliga but with a seven-point gap to make up on Mainz with nine games to go, the drop looks ever more likely. Worst of all, they now travel to the Allianz Arena where they’ve conceded 44 goals in their last seven games. Things could be about to get worse
- Bayern 4, Hamburg 0 (15-2, Unibet)
- Lewandowski to score first (7-4, Unibet)
- Bayern -3 (43-20, Unibet)
Hoffenheim v Wolfsburg (Sat 2.30pm)
Former Leicester striker Andrej Kramaric was instrumental in Hoffenheim’s 2-0 win at Augsburg last Saturday. The Croatian forward scored their first, a sixth goal in his last five Bundesliga games, before setting up Serge Gnabry to clinch the victory in the second half.
“It impresses me a lot that he can assess what he does well and is modest,” said his coach Julian Nagelsmann this week. “He knows how he can push himself and that’s what makes a top player.”
The strength of the overall team performance at Augsburg wouldn’t have suggested that it was only Hoffenheim’s second Bundesliga win in nine games but it was enough to lift them up to seventh ahead of Wolfsburg’s visit.
The Wolves meanwhile find themselves in the midst of a scrap against relegation, though such is the seven point gap between themselves and the bottom two, it may just be a second successive relegation playoff they have to worry about.
Then again, in Bruno Labbadia’s first home game since taking over, Wolfsburg were abject, losing 2-1 to Leverkusen who could afford to leave key players on the bench and still be barely troubled by the hosts.
“The truth is,” wrote Kicker magazine, “if Wolfsburg continue to play like that, they won’t get many more points…It seemed as if someone had pulled the plug on the team.”
Wolfsburg’s full back William is out suspended after a red card last weekend but how much of a difference he would have made in Hoffenheim is questionable. They are low on confidence and whilst Hoffenheim haven’t been the most consistent side of late, the home team should have enough here.
- Hoffenheim 3, Wolfsburg 1 (12-1, Unibet)
- Kramaric to score first (37-10, Unibet)
- Hoffenheim -1 (9-5, 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.