Saturday 17th December
14.30 GMT Schalke (10th) vs Freiburg (9th)
Schalke have hit a bit of a stumbling block recently, having suffered back-to-back defeats (to RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen) after a good run of form.had seen them move up the table. Their injury problems currently show no sign of relenting either, which means they still can’t field their strongest defence.
Freiburg got a win last time out against Darmstadt to put an end to their 4 game winless run, but have only managed to win 4 points on the road this season – albeit those points have come in their last 3 away games.
Prediction: With not long to go until the winter break, Schalke need to get their momentum going again if they want to push for European football next season. That should start with a good home win over Freiburg. Schalke 3-1 Freiburg
14.3o GMT – Mainz (11th) vs Hamburg (16th)
Mainz have lost their last 3 games and have just started to slide down the table after a decent first 10 games. They won’t feel they are in any real threat of a relegation battle, but will want a win sooner rather than later.
Their opponents Hamburg are now unbeaten in 4 matches and have risen to the verge of being out of the relegation places. Their 2 wins this season have come in their most recent 2 games – both against rivals in the bottom 6.
Prediction: Mainz will want to bounce back before the winter break, but I can see Hamburg continuing their good form with a result here. Mainz 2-2 Hamburg
14.30 GMT – Augsburg (13th) vs Borussia Mönchengladbach (12th)
Augsburg are currently winless in 4 games, and have recently parted company with Dirk Schuster. They will see this as a good opportunity to impress any potential new managers, as Gladbach are a good side despite their struggles this season.
Borussia Mönchengladbach come in to their last away game of 2016 still looking for their first away win this season – but this is probably their easiest away fixture so far. Their recent record against Augsburg is poor though, with only 1 win in their last 6 meetings.
Prediction: Schuster wasn’t sacked for poor results, so the Augsburg players might be a bit uncertain in this game – and I can see Gladbach taking advantage and getting their first away win this season. Augsburg 0-1 Gladbach
14.30 GMT – Werder Bremen (14th) vs FC Köln (7th)
Werder Bremen picked up a great win last time out in Berlin, against a Hertha side who had a 100% record at home until that game. They’ve also been boosted by the returns of Kruse and Pizarro – giving them much more of a threat up front. With two games left until the winter break, Bremen will want to start moving up the table before then.
Köln are beginning to struggle from the effects of having several key players out and could do with the winter break being a bit sooner. As it is, it looks like this injury crisis will severely hinder their chances of European football next season.
Prediction: Bremen will want to push on following their great win last time. Werder Bremen 2-0 Köln
14.30 GMT – RB Leipzig (2nd) vs Hertha Berlin (4th)
RB Leipzig lost their unbeaten record (and 1st place) last weekend to then bottom of the table Ingolstadt, which was the sort of game that you could see them losing. However, they have no time to dwell on it as they still have their home unbeaten record to keep – and they won’t want to lose any ground on Bayern ahead of their showdown in midweek.
Hertha will be frustrated after losing their 100% home record last time out to struggling Werder Bremen, but will face a tough task here – especially with their first choice centre back pairing unavailable due to injury.
Prediction: This could be a great game, but Leipzig need a win. Leipzig 3-0 Hertha
17.30 GMT – Wolfsburg (15th) vs Frankfurt (6th)
Wolfsburg are in complete chaos, and will be glad to see the January transfer window – with the chance to get rid of the bad influence of Draxler and Gustavo. For now though, they need to try and get some points – but their home form is terrible, and they have lost their last 4 at home.
Frankfurt are now unbeaten in 8 games, and are making good progress up the table as a result. They will feel that they can get a good result here against such a disorganised side.
Prediction: It could be a long season for Wolfsburg, it’s all going wrong. Wolfsburg 1-2 Frankfurt
Sunday 18th December
14.30 GMT – Darmstadt (18th) vs Bayern Munich (1st)
Darmstadt fell to the bottom of the league last time out following Ingolstadt’s surprise win against RB Leipzig. They have struggled recently following a decent start, and have lost each of their last 6 games.
For Bayern, it has been a case of patience paying off as they finally overtook RB Leipzig when they slipped up last weekend. Now, they just need to make sure they’re still ahead of the newly promoted side when they meet in midweek.
Prediction: This is almost like a repeat of last weekend, as the bottom team host the top side. However, this time the top team will win – and I think it will be a thrashing. Darmstadt 0-6 Bayern
16.30 GMT – Bayer Leverkusen (8th) vs Ingolstadt (17th)
Leverkusen got the win last time against Schalke, but were pretty poor considering they had a man advantage for most of the game. If Leverkusen want European football again next season, they had better start making up the ground on their rivals.
Ingolstadt come into this off the back of that surprisng win over RB Leipzig, and their subsquent move up to 17th in the table. They will feel they could repeat the trick against a slightly underperforming Leverkusen – but they have only won 1 of their last 21 Bundesliga away games.
Prediction: Last week’s win over RB Leipzig wasn’t as surprising as a win here would be, so I think Leverkusen will just about win. Leverkusen 2-1 Ingolstadt