IT’S BACK! The Bundesliga returns this weekend with a host of great games across Germany.
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich (Friday)
We kick off with a gargantuan clash at the top of the Bundesliga.
While league leaders Bayern have the ability to make most of their opponents look helpless, Leverkusen are certainly not one of them.
In fact Bayern haven’t won at the BayArena in four of their last visits. What’s worse for Jupp Heyncke’s side is the fact that Bayern haven’t scored in Leverkusen in three consecutive games.
This looks all well and good for Heiko Herrlich’s team however, they do seem to struggle against the top teams, picking up just three points against the current top 5 this season. What’s more Munich have won 9 of their last 10 league games.
Prediction: Very tough to call so… Draw
RB Leipzig vs. Schalke 04 (Saturday)
How are you planning to spend your Saturday night? Whatever it is, cancel it!
This is because the only thing that you could possibly do is follow this huge game between second-placed Schalke and fifth-placed Leipzig.
The hosts are in poor form ahead of this game having failed to pick up a win in four straight league games.
Schalke, on the other hand, are unbeaten in 11 Bundesliga matches. Plus, they seem to like opening games of the calendar year, winning five of their last six.
FC Koln vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Sunday)
This will certainly be an interesting fixture.
Koln have only beaten their local rivals twice from their last 14 league meetings. The bottom of the table strugglers have only accumulated six points so far and look destined for relegation.
But remember, they are on a one-game winning run after their 1-0 demolition of Wolfsburg!
Gladbach are enjoying a very good campaign under Dieter Hecking. They have currently racked up 28 points, which is 11 more than at this stage last season.
Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach
Borussia Dortmund vs. VfL Wolfsburg (Sunday)
Peter Stoger seems to have given BVB a bit of stability following a woeful run of form in the final few months of 2017.
They begin the New Year with a home game against Wolfsburg who they only lost to once from the previous 10 competitive meetings.
Here’s a stat for all you facts and figures fans, BVB could make it 500 home Bundesliga wins should they pick up the three points against Wolfsburg on Sunday.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund
Werder Bremen vs. TSG Hoffenheim (Saturday)
While Hoffenheim have lost each of their previous three away games, they are still considered the favourites in this match.
Perhaps one reason for that is the fact that Bremen are currently 16th with 15 points on their tally; their worst ever ranking at this stage of a season.
What’s worse for Werder fans is that a defeat against Hoffenheim will mark their 600th Bundesliga loss. Ouch.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. SC Freiburg (Saturday)
Thanks to a good run in December, Freiburg have managed to escape the relegation zone and have built a nice four point gap between themselves and the drop zone.
Moreover, Freiburg have only recorded one defeat to Eintracht in eight previous meetings.
Eintracht might be a lot higher up the table than their opponents however, their home record this season has been dire; third worst in the Bundesliga. Could that be the deciding factor?
FC Augsburg vs. Hamburger SV (Saturday)
Hamburg have won three from four previous clashes with Augsburg however, they were thrashed 4-0 in the latest one back in April.
Augsburg currently have 24 points and are sitting in 8th which is their best ever position at this stage of a season.
HSV, meanwhile, are playing with fire after they slipped to second from bottom over December.
VfB Stuttgart vs. Hertha Berlin (Saturday)
Two consecutive wins, no defeats in three and all is good at Hertha Berlin.
The same cannot be said for Stuttgart who have lost four straight games; conceding five goals in the process and scoring none.
Berlin are unbeaten in five away games and look on course to pick up the three points here.
Prediction: Hertha Berlin
Hannover 96 vs FSV Mainz (Saturday)
This is an important game for Mainz who are currently two points above the relegation zone. A win would ease the pressure while a defeat could send them into the bottom three.
Both teams have been hard to separate in the past with Hannover winning 7 top-flight meetings, Mainz winning 6 and also 8 draws.
But with Mainz winless in 14 top-flight away games, it’s hard to see them picking up a positive result here.
Prediction: Hannover 96