After a multi-week layoff for the break interspersed with a few friendlies, the Bundesliga is back in action. What does that mean? I’m also back to give my two cents on each match and give you my predictions. If you know my history of predictions on this site, I am only going for one semi-correct prediction (i.e. a match was 2-1 at some point).
Let’s break them down, shall we?
TSG Hoffenheim vs. Bayern Munich
Hoffenheim come into the fixture boasting one of the best attacks in the Bundesliga, but have been in unspectaular form as they have not won a match in their last five. That mainly comes down to their less than stellar defense which regularly concedes goals and could give them problems against a Bayern side that also scores lots of goals. Hoffenheim have beaten Bayern in this exact fixture before, but that was in 2017. Bayern come in resembling the dominant team in Germany that many saw them as early in the season. They have not lost in the Bundesliga since their 3-2 humbling at Dortmund, and may have finally turned the corner that will allow them to pressure Dortmund at the top of the table. This match is likely to see plenty of goals, and should be entertaining for the neutral fan, but I can’t see past Bayern in this one.
Prediction: Bayern 3-1 Hoffenheim
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Monchengladbach
Leverkusen have been playing better as of late, but still find themselves way off the pace to finish in one of the Champions League places. One of the main reason for this has been a leaky defense that has shipped more goals to opponents than Leverkusen have scored which creates many problems for a side. However, Leverkusen did win the reverse fixture 5-0 very early in the season. Monchengladbach come into this fixture sitting third in the Bundesliga with one of the best goal differences in the league. Many things have changed for the side over the past year, but their recent spotty form could be a little concerning in this match. I see a gritty affair between these two sides, but I expect the quality of Monchengladbach to shine through.
Prediction: Monchengladbach 2-1 Leverkusen
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. SC Freiburg
Frankfurt’s most recent fixture saw them hammered 3-0 by Bayern Munich at home, and was not the best way to enter the winter break. Leading into that fixture, their form had been mostly up-and-down, but they still sit in a good place in the league table where they are challenging for European football next term. Freiburg find themselves slightly above the relegation places, but they are not quite safe as far as the relegation battle is concerned. They do pose a serious threat because this is a team that is quite content to pick up points against top of the table opposition as their goal difference is only at a -4 which is very solid for a lower half team. This one is a draw for me as Frankfurt hasn’t convinced me lately, and Freiburg seem poised to settle for a draw away from home.
Prediction: Frankfurt 1-1 Freiburg
FC Augsburg vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf
Augsburg come into this match having scuffled lately in the Bundesliga having only taken two points from their last five matches. For a relegation battle team, they are also one of the best goalscoring teams which may indicate that their position in the league table could change. Düsselfdorf may be the team that has compiled some of the most shocking results of the season as they beat league leaders, Dortmund, 2-1, and drew with second-place Bayern 3-3. However, they boast one of the leakiest defenses in the Bundesliga and rightfully find themselves near the bottom of the table. A win here helps both sides immensely, but I believe Augsburg begin to turn things around with this match against a team right next to them in the table.
Prediction: Augsburg 1-0 Düsseldorf
Hannover 96 vs. Werder Bremen
Hannover are in a very precarious position as they sit three points outside the spot for the relegation playoff and five points from safety based on goal difference. They have conceded the second-most goals in the entire Bundesliga while registering one of the lowest number of goals scored. Bremen haven’t been convincing recently, but they still sit mid-table and have been a consistent side all year. Their recent form may ring some alarm bells, but they are the better side in this match. I really can’t see past a scrappy victory for Bremen in this match.
Prediction: Bremen 2-1 Hannover
VfB Stuttgart vs. Mainz 05
Stuttgart enter this match currently occupying the relegation playoff place, and only three points above the relegation places. They did get an important win their last time out, but their season has been far than ideal as being locked in a relegation scrap does not suit their defense which has conceded throughout the season. Mainz find themselves in the lower half of the table which is a far cry from their challenging for European football a year ago. They have shown signs of being better lately as they have managed a few results to make sure that they don’t edge towards the relegation places. This one should be fairly straightforward for Mainz.
Prediction: Mainz 3-0 Stuttgart
RB Leipzig vs. Borussia Dortmund
Leipzig enter this match on form that has been inconsistent, and perhaps alarming for the Champions League hopefuls. Their position is not for a lack of quality in the side as they have one of the most dynamic, youthful teams in Europe, but their squad depth has been a problem for the side that has only been in the Bundesliga for three years. Dortmund have been a dominant force in Germany this season, and rightfully have a cushion at the top of the table. They will hope that the loss to Düsseldorf is not the beginning of the end, and that they will lift the Bundesliga trophy at the end of the season. This will be the most entertaining match of the weekend, and is a toss-up for me, although I’ll pick Dortmund.
Prediction: Dortmund 3-2 Leipzig
Nürnberg vs. Hertha Berlin
Not much has gone right for newly-promoted Nürnberg as they find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table boasting the worst defense and the second-worst goal tally in the league. Their recent form doesn’t suggest that a turnaround is in sight as they have lost in four of their last five. Hertha come into this match not boasting the best form, but they currently sit in the middle of the table where they usually reside. They will come into this match relishing the opportunity to pick up points as their quest for European football is still alive. I see a thorough victory for Hertha in this one with Nürnberg not being able to match the quality.
Prediction: Hertha Berlin 2-0 Nürnberg
Schalke 04 vs. VfL Wolfsburg
Schalke enter this match looking to continue the turnaround in their form that has found them a shadow of themselves last season when they finished second. Much of that can be attributed to a transition of the club following key departures at the end of last season which left massive holes in their squad. Wolfsburg appear to have made the turnaround themselves after appearing in the relegation playoff the previous two years. They currently sit fifth in the table and boast one of the most well-rounded teams in the Bundesliga. I see a close contest with Wolfsburg being able to secure a result.
Prediction: Wolfsburg 2-1 Schalke