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Bayern look to cement the Bundesliga title as we hit game week 31

Friday 22nd April 2016
The Champions and the first team to be relegated could be decided this weekend. We preview Game Week 31 in the Bundesliga as Mark Dannell pulls out his predictions for the action.  

Hamburger SV vs SV Werder Bremen

Both teams would probably take a point if you offered it now. Hamburg are not yet safe, at least on paper. Werder had a tough trip to Bayern in mid-week for the Cup Semi Final and know that Stuttgart and Frankfurt both face tricky fixtures this week.

In terms of form the edge probably lies with Werder but that will count little in the heat of, what is on paper at least, an important derby.

Prediction–  Draw

VfB Stuttgart vs Borussia Dortmund

Stuttgart have taken over the mantle of “team in Freefall”.  Just 2 points from the last 5 games has dragged them right back into the relegation scrap at the worst possible time. A game against Dortmund who they have not beaten in the last 11 attempts is hardly the best tonic.

Dortmund strolled to a comfy win against Hertha in the Capital on Wednesday night and will now play Bayern in the cup final. They will, however, want to make Bayern “win” the title as opposed to handing it to them this or next weekend and even with a few changes should be too strong for Stuttgart..

Prediction–  Away Win

VfL Wolfsburg vs FC Augsburg

Mini-revival for Augsburg in the last few weeks and Markus Weinzerl has turned it around nicely. It remains to be seen whether he can keep that going. Strongly rumoured this week was that he has agreed a deal to take over as Schalke manager at the end of the season, see this excellent piece by Raphael Hönigstein . for info.

Wolfsburg are collapsing over the line at the end of the season and now have essentially nothing to play for. The most they can hope for is that one of BMG/Schalke or Mainz implode down the finishing stretch and they potentially steal 7th place. However, their recent form suggests that even if that did happen then they probably wouldn't be able to take advantage.

Prediction– Draw

Hertha BSC vs FC Bayern

The last three weeks have been an unmitigated disaster for Hertha. A spanking from BMG, a lucky point at home to rock bottom Hannover, limp defeat away to Hoffenheim and now dumped out of the DFB Cup with ease by Dortmund. And now? Well, a game against Bayern who could be crowned Champs with a win. Good Luck.

Bayern had no trouble disposing of Werder in their semi-final and rotated a few names as usual. Expect a regulation win. Next weekend they can celebrate the title in front of their own fans if they can dispose of BMG.

Prediction–  Away Win

FC Ingolstadt 04 vs Hannover 96

In a way, this game is quite intriguing despite the relatively “unsexy” names on display. Hannover will be all but relegated if they fail to win (Goal difference is 9 worse than Werder) and definitely relegated if they lose. They have been much better in the last 2 weeks since Daniel Stendel came in and playing with a bit of confidence after their first win in ages last weekend.

Ingolstadt  need a point to be sure of safety but a limp display last time at Darmstadt was quite disappointing. At home they are a different kettle of fish and that point should be gained in this fixture.

Prediction–  Draw

1.FC Köln vs SV Darmstadt 98

A point will suit both down to the ground and probably secure Bundesliga football next year for both. Last weekend both notched important wins against Mainz and Ingolstadt respectively. However, the comeback win for Köln and the fact Darmstadt have been far less impressive away from home leads me to lean towards Köln. Darmstadt will have to wait another week.

Prediction–  Home Win

Schalke 04 vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Lose here and Schalke will not be playing Champions League football next year. I have made a few bold predictions in the last weeks but I am very confident on this one. Schalke are a team in limbo, as mentioned earlier it looks like their trainer for next season is already sorted and there will be a change at management level too. Joel Matip is off and Leroy Sane is highly coveted.

Leverkusen are the complete opposite, with a settled 11, players like Brandt and Hernandez in-form and important players like Bender and Kampl returning from injury at just the right time.

Prediction–  Away Win

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Duel of the longest team names. BMG need a win like I need coffee in the mornings. 2 awful results on the road in the last 2 weeks just after I tipped them to crack that Champions League spot have left me looking a right idiot. However at home they are a completely different side and regardless of Hoffenheims recent excellent form BMG should pick up the points this week..

Prediction–  Home Win

Eintracht Frankfurt vs 1. FC Mainz 05

Mainz were shell-shocked last week after contriving to throw away a 2-0 home lead and lose 2-3 to neighbours Köln. That was a huge blow to their Champions League hopes and they will be desperate to get back on the wagon this week.

Frankfurt… 1 win in 12. Alex Meier still out injured.  DOOMED.

Prediction–  Away Win

  • Feel free to post your predictions below.

  • After last weeks disaster, I need to make up a few bob this week. A 4 way ticket on Hamburg/Werder Draw and Köln/Bayern/Dortmund to win has tasty looking odds of about 16/1 (Tipico). Also a 3/1 shot on in form Julian Brandt to score anytime/Leverkusen to win seems like good value.

Mark Dannell
Fan of most sports first and foremost, Tottenham fan born and raised. Currently living in Germany and married, avid follower of the Bundesliga and closet Dortmund fan since 1997 thanks to a very enthusiastic high school German teacher! Covering the Bundesliga in detail for itsroundanditswhite.co.uk, any questions, requests for features or general information required all welcome, either by mail or Twitter (@mdannell) preferable.

Total articles: 86

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