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RB Leipzig v Eintracht Frankfurt (Saturday 2.30pm)
Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl was furious after his side’s defeat to Augsburg on Tuesday night. Granted, the biggest reason for his anger was Daniel Baier, after the Augsburg captain threw a rather obscene gesture in his direction.
His mood won’t have been helped though by the frustrating result which preceded that as Leipzig lost 1-0 to a side they were expected to beat. Perhaps the nine changes that Hasenhüttl made didn’t help as Leipzig struggled to impose themselves.
One of those changes was forced with Naby Keita suspended for three games after being sent off against Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend. The second game he’ll miss will be this weekend’s visit of Eintracht Frankfurt.
Leipzig enjoyed a comfortable win against them last season as Eintracht goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky was sent off just three minutes in. Yet Niko Kovac’s side won away at Cologne on Wednesday night, meaning all of the seven points they've collected so far this season have come away from home.
In Kovac’s opinion, the game wasn't of the highest quality and his side were lucky to win. Cologne did end up spurning quite a few chances to equalise but such is their current predicament, it wasn't all that surprising that they didn't score.
Leipzig's attack may have failed to score on Tuesday but they’re much sharper going forward than Cologne. Four goals in five games this season tells you for instance how dangerous Timo Werner has looked so far this season.
A return to the starting line-up for Emil Forsberg is only likely to increase Leipzig’s potency. Frankfurt look most comfortable when sitting deeper and hitting their opponents on the break but it may be a question of how much they can endure against Leipzig.
- Score prediction: Leipzig 2, Eintracht Frankfurt 0 (15-2, Unibet)
- First goal prediction: Timo Werner (3-1, Unibet)
- Safe bet: Leipzig to win (7-10, Unibet)
Hoffenheim v Schalke (Saturday 2.30pm)
“The duel of the coaching super brains” is how national newspaper BILD has billed Hoffenheim against Schalke, with it being Julian Nagelsmann against Domenico Tedesco, who at 30 and 31 respectively are the two youngest coaches in the division. They know each other quite well too having completed their final coaching badge together.
Hoffenheim have made the better start to the season. They did go two nil down at Mainz on Wednesday night but they completed a fantastic comeback in second half injury time to win 3-2. Mark Uth scored the winner to take his tally to seven goals in all competitions this season.
Causing their opponents problems going forward hasn’t been a problem but Hoffenheim do look a lot more defensively vulnerable. The game against Mainz brought back memories of the defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League qualifiers in terms of how open they looked at times. The absence of Niklas Süle who moved to Bayern in the summer is still noticeable.
Yet Hoffenheim remain the only team to beat Bayern Munich this season and Schalke certainly had the chances to follow in their footsteps on Tuesday night. Instead, at key moments in the game, you could say that Manuel Neuer's deputy Sven Ulreich held firm or that Schalke were wasteful.
They should create chances against Hoffenheim. Once again, it's just a question of taking them but the likes of Guido Burgstaller and Yevhen Konoplyanka are more than capable.
Either way, Saturday afternoon’s offering in Sinsheim should make for good viewing.
- Score prediction: Hoffenheim 2, Schalke 1 (8-1, Unibet)
- First goal prediction: Sandro Wagner (4-1, Unibet)
- Safe bet: Over 2.5 goals (8-11, Unibet)
Borussia Dortmund v Borussia Monchengladbach (Saturday 5.30pm)
Four wins from five games and no goals conceded makes for pretty good reading from a Borussia Dortmund point of view. They remain top of the Bundesliga after a 3-0 win against Hamburg on Wednesday night.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulisic were both on target, while there was another good performance from summer signing Andrey Yarmolenko. He's still waiting for his first Bundesliga goal but such is the way both he and Dortmund are playing, it's only a matter of time before it arrives.
Saturday will be Dortmund's sternest domestic test so far this season. You'd expect to see four of Dortmund's first five opponents in the bottom half come the end of the season but the same can't be said of Gladbach. The expectation is that Dieter Hecking’s side return to European football this season and the squad boasts the quality to do that.
Two goals from Raffael saw off Stuttgart on Tuesday but he is one of many attacking threats that Gladbach have in the squad. Captain Lars Stindl for instance, impressive in Germany's Confederations Cup win in Russia during the summer, is another to watch.
Goalkeeper Yann Sommer is still going to be out with a twisted knee, so Tobias Sippel will continue to deputise. He’s kept clean sheets in each of his last four games for Gladbach but you suspect this might be the game where that run comes to an end.
As for Dortmund, Mario Götze is likely to return to the starting line-up, while Maximilian Philipp could come in for Christian Pulisic too. Dortmund’s run of clean sheets will probably end here too but you’d still back a home win.
- Score prediction: Dortmund 3, Gladbach 1 (10-1, Unibet)
- First goal prediction: Andrey Yarmolenko (11-2, Unibet)
- Safe bet: Both teams to score (1-2, 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.