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Bundesliga: Round 22 - More life at the top

With Leipzig sitting in second, the match between in-form, on a roll, third-placed Frankfurt and stuttering, yet still top, Bayern Munich has breathed a bit more life back into the top of the table action this weekend.

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Round 22 action

There were seven draws across the nine matches last weekend, meaning almost nothing changed in the league table. The only victors were RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt, but their respective wins over Augsburg and FC Koln proved to be significant.

Bayern Munich’s surprise 3-3 draw with Arminia Bielefeld allowed second-placed Leipzig to close the gap to a still-daunting five points, giving supporters the faintest hope of a title challenge, while Frankfurt’s fourth win in a row catapulted them into third.

Here are three previews of some of this week's action.

Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern Munich

This is a bad time to be facing Frankfurt. Their resolute defence, fiercely compressed shape and efficient counter-attacking football have made Frankfurt the surprise story of the season. Four consecutive Bundesliga wins puts them in a very strong position ahead of a crucial game for Bayern, who look vulnerable after a disappointing 3-3 draw.

If Hans Dieter Flick’s side show any defensive sloppiness, which is likely after what happened last weekend, then the hosts could capitalise - giving Leipzig a chance to seriously reopen the title race. Frankfurt’s unbeaten home record (they have won five and drawn five so far) points to dropped points of some kind for the league leaders.

Of course, Robert Lewandowski is still in brilliant form and Leroy Sane is making big steps, too. The most likely outcome is Frankfurt showing great resolve but ultimately failing to keep the clean sheet required for a famous win.

Back the draw.

Borussia Monchengladbach v Mainz 05

Monchengladbach are still in the hunt for a Champions League spot, but are on a three-game winless run - and if that wasn’t enough to lower morale, their manager Marco Rose has just agreed to take charge at Borussia Dortmund this summer. It may be difficult for the players to find motivation for the rest of the season, handing a rare chance of away points to struggling Mainz.

Mainz are still mired in the relegation zone, but improved form puts them within touching distance of safety. However, their recent wins have all come at home; Mainz are without an away win since November. That is enough to assume Monchengladbach can salvage some form here.

Back Monchengladbach to win and over 2.5 goals.

Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund continue to look oddly inconsistent, regularly losing games under their temporary manager thanks to his use of a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Marco Reus overly relied upon. This young team lacks direction and feels a little tired, hence their three consecutive away league defeats. The midweek Champions League win at Sevilla is a confidence boost - but a tiring one.

Fortunately, they face the bottom club in Schalke, who have failed to win any of their last six and have only recorded one league win all season; even a confused and tired Dortmund team ought to be able to overcome Shalke’s shoddy defence. With Erlind Haaland leading the line, Dortmund should win comfortably.

Back Dortmund to win with a -1 handicap.


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