MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) is back in the Bundesliga hot-seat to bring us the best bets from Germany’s top-flight this weekend.
Freiburg v Paderborn | Saturday 14.30
A second-half fight back from Freiburg at Stuttgart has kept the Black Forest club hovering just above the Bundesliga drop-zone but left coach Christian Streich breathing a huge sigh of relief. Trailing 2-0 at the interval, Freiburg could have dropped into the bottom three but far two second-half goals from Nils Petersen.
This weekend Streich’s charges are back on familiar territory with a very winnable three points up for grabs. The Schwarzwald-Stadion has been far from a fortress for Freiburg this season (W4-D6-L5) but back-to-back wins before an excellent display in defeat against Mainz in front of their home supporters suggests they’re finally finding their feet.
Plummeting Paderborn are the visitors on Saturday with the Bundesliga minnows now entrenched in the bottom-two after letting their own two-goal lead against Werder Bremen drop. And away from home, things are looking increasingly bleak for André Breitenreiter’s strugglers.
The basement battlers have W2-D4-L9 on the road this term but eight of those nine defeats have come in their last 12 on their travels with seven coming by two goals or more. The visitors have failed to even net in seven of their previous eight road fixtures and in 10 of their previous 12 away.
Paderborn have won just twice home or away since Christmas and must also make-do without the suspended Michael Heinloth and Mario Vrancic on Saturday. With three of Freiburg’s final four games seeing them play clubs below them in the standings, the first of which should result in three points.
You can back the hosts at even-money with BetVictor.
Werder Bremen v Eintracht Frankfurt | Saturday 14.30
It’s almost two years since legendary Bremen man Thomas Schaaf left his post as Werder, the club where he served as player and coach for 35 years. On Saturday Schaaf returns to the Weserstadion for the first time. It’s fair to say, it’s going to be an emotional occasion.
But don’t expect Die Werderaner to hand out any homecoming gifts. The home side still have their sights set on a potential Europa League qualifying place as they continue their revival under Viktor Skripnik’s tutelage. Sure, last week’s fight back from two goals to draw 2-2 at Paderborn wasn’t their most eye-catching performance and yes, they’ve taken the foot off the pedal a little of late but there’s plenty of reason to suggest we should get behind the hosts at 6/5 with Coral.
Because Bremen are most comfortable at their Weserstadion base. Since Skripnik took the reigns, their home record reads a very impressive W7-D2-L2 and that run includes five clean sheets. Not bad for the joint-worst Bundesliga defence, eh? Jannik Vestergaard, Alejandro Gálvez and Fin Bartels injuries will no doubt hurt the hosts but Frankfurt’s current selection problems are far worse.
The visitors have failed to even score in the three games since the league’s top goalscorer Alex Meier was ruled out for the season with Eintracht failing to win in five now.
It gets worse, though. The Eagles’ second top goal getter Stefan Aigner is missing on Saturday and Eintracht have won just three of the 20 matches he’s missed since the start of last season. Frankfurt have scored just eight goals in the 10 away fixtures he’s been absent from. Ouch.
But it’s Frankfurt’s travel sickness that could be their biggest enemy this weekend. Streich’s charges have lost six of their previous seven road games, leaking at least twice in each. And looking a little further back we can see Eintracht have suffered defeats in nine of their last 12 away games. Home win, please.
Wolfsburg v Hannover | Saturday 14.30
Wolfsburg booked their place in the DFB Pokal final in midweek with a thumping 4-0 victory over third-tier Arminia Bielefeld to quieten the murmuring critics that followed their comprehensive Europa League exit and stuttering Bundesliga form.
Coming into Saturday’s Niedersachsen Derby against Lower Saxony rivals Hannover, Dieter Hecking's men have won just twice in five league outings. Last weekend’s loss at Gladbach extinguished their faint title hopes but returning to the Volkswagen Arena, business should resume in emphatic fashion.
The Wolves remain unbeaten on home soil this season in the Bundesliga and have won 12 of their most recent 14 in front of their home supporters. Since the start of 2013/14, Wolfsburg’s home record is even more daunting – W23-D6-L3 with 15/32 (47%) of matches ending in a win by two goals or more.
Hecking wants qualification secured for next season’s Champions League group stages as soon as possible and so I just can’t see anything other than another comfortable home victory against nose-diving Hannover. 888 Sport are giving us the chance to take the Wolves -1.5 at 22/19 and that’s just too good to pass up.
Hannover finally ditched Tayfun Korkut as coach but his replacement Michael Frontzeck has left many in the German media scratching their heads. Frontzeck’s been out of work for 18 months and oversaw a pretty dismal 2-1 home defeat to Hoffenheim in his first match in the hot-seat. Hardly a new manager bounce!
The 96ers have picked up three points just once since the 7 November (W1-D7-L11) and so it’s no surprise to see them drop into perilous relegation territory. With a difficult schedule ahead, it’s fair to say Die Rotten are in serious trouble.
Skipper Lars Stindl is missing for the visitors on Saturday and they look highly unlikely to arrest an away record that reads W6-D6-L20 since the start of last season. With 13/32 (41%) of those games ending in defeat by two goals or more and 18 losses in 19 trips to top-six teams, I’d need to give the men in the white coats a call if anyone reckons they stand a chance on Saturday.
Freiburg v Paderborn – Freiburg to win (1/1 BetVictor)
Werder Bremen v Eintracht Frankfurt – Werder Bremen to win (6/5 Coral)
Wolfsburg v Hannover – Wolfsburg -1.5 Asian Handicap (22/19 888 Sport)
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