Round 33 action - the penultimate round
It’s beginning to look like Borussia Dortmund can be a major force again next year. A 3-2 victory over RB Leipzig last weekend saw them strengthen their grip on the top four, before a 4-1 thumping of the same team on Thursday night gave Edin Terzic the silverware as Dortmund won the DFB Pokal.
Ironically, just as Terzic begins to get things together, Borussia Monchengladbach - whose manager, Marco Rose takes over at Dortmund this summer - are collapsing. Their 6-0 defeat to Bayern Munich last weekend raises fresh questions over his suitability for the job, leaving pundits wondering why Dortmund chose to name a successor before the season had ended.
Elsewhere, it looks as though the relegation battle will go right to the wire after Werder Bremen kept themselves just above the dotted line by winning their first Bundesliga point since early March.
Here are three previews ahead of the penultimate weekend of the season.
RB Leipzig v Wolfsburg
The second- and third-placed teams go head-to-head at a bad time for Julian Nagelsmann’s side, who could yet end the season in fourth having come so close to challenging Bayern Munich for the title. Leipzig’s heavy defeat in the Cup final, which made it four losses in their last seven, spoke to a sense that the club is disintegrating now that they know their manager will soon be out the door.
Dayot Upamecano will be travelling with Nagelsmann to Bayern, and he seems more switched off than anyone, getting torn apart by Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho in the 4-1 defeat. That should give confidence to Wolfsburg’s quick, direct forwards, in particular Wout Weghorst. The visitors play a brand of vertical, explosive football that can hit this sleeping Leipzig team hard.
Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund might be on the up, but that is nothing compared to the surge in form seen from Mainz 05. They held just seven points at the halfway stage of the season but will end it safely in mid-table having lost just once in their last 13 games. Bo Svensson has mainly achieved this with a compact and resolute defence, keeping the score down thanks to a very deep formation and backs-to-the-wall approach.
The visitors generally require their opponent to come out a bit in order to make use of the pace of Haaland and Sancho, and so the most likely result this weekend is a low-scoring draw. Dortmund will likely be tired after their Thursday outing (and perhaps the celebrations afterwards), while Mainz would be happy to take a point.
Augsburg v Werder Bremen
Werder Bremen have finally halted their horrendous losing streak, and just in time. By bringing a seven-game losing streak to an end with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Bayer Leverkusen they stayed outside the relegation playoff place on goal difference. However, it is unlikely they will have built any confidence from a nervy and fortunate result last weekend.
Augsburg, who could fall into the bottom three with a defeat, are winless in five and, like the visitors, really don’t have much confidence in camp at the moment. Expect a stuttering, low-quality game of football, without any real rhythm that will most likely head towards a no-score bore draw… which both sides would actually be relieved to settle for.
Back the draw (3.32). The “No” side of the Both Teams to Score market is offered at 2.02, while the Under on 2.25 goals is at 2.08. All markets on this game are also being offered at zero margin, offering players the best possible odds on the game.
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