Hooray! The Bundesliga is back, and with over a quarter of the season to go, there’s still plenty to play for. Here we take a look at some of the key clashes from the nine matches taking place this weekend.
The Revierderby is undoubtedly the headline attraction this weekend and while the odds predict a 61% chance of a Dortmund win, this fixture has thrown up the odd upset in recent years.
And we could be set for another on Saturday given that the hosts are missing some of their key players, including captain Marco Reus. Schalke haven't won in seven but given the unique circumstances and the extended break, may just be able to grind out a draw - a 22% chance at 17/5.
A relegation ‘six-pointer’ if ever there was one, Paderborn are two points adrift at the bottom of the table with Dusseldorf sitting precariously in 16th, six points better off. While they may be propping up the table, Paderborn are still an entertaining side with goals almost guaranteed - they’ve netted in every game since the beginning of December.
In addition, Dusseldorf, while in much better form than their relegation rivals, have kept a clean sheet on only two occasions this season. It’s tough to envisage a Paderborn win on Saturday, but given the home side’s defensive woes, it may be safer to focus on the goals markets and Over 2.5 makes plenty of appeal at 5/6.
There were goals galore when these two sides met earlier in the season with Monchengladbach running out 4-2 winners. They’ll be looking to pick up where they left off in their bid to claim a Champions League spot, while Frankfurt will be thankful for the enforced break having lost their last three domestic matches.
The home side will be eager to get their season back on track and so this likely won’t be easy pickings for Monchengladbach. With a lot at stake for both teams, the goals markets again look to hold some value with Under 2.5 currently 6/5 in a game that looks set to be much tighter than the reverse fixture.
Leverkusen lie just two points off a Champions League place and have won seven of their last nine, including a 4-3 win over Dortmund. Bremen, meanwhile, have been plagued with injuries for most of the season and are fighting to escape the relegation zone. They’ve mustered just five points at home so far this campaign and will need to reap any benefits of the time off if they are to upset the odds on Monday evening.
With top scorer Kevin Volland likely to be back from injury, it’s tough to see anything other than a win for the away side and the 4/5 on offer looks worth siding with.
*All odds correct at time of publication