Bundesliga Predictions and Picks – April 20-21, 2021
The Bundesliga enjoys another ‘English week’ as there is a midweek set of fixtures for all, apart from Hertha and Freiburg. The Berlin club is currently isolating after a spate of positive COVID tests.
Bayern will be looking to extend its lead at the top of the league after being gifted the opportunity to do just that the weekend thanks to RB Leipzig’s draw with Hoffenheim on Friday.
As usual, I will be looking at all the games in the German top-flight this week and picking out three of the best bets to consider on matchday 30.
RB Leipzig to Beat Koln
This is a massively important game for both clubs, but Koln is probably in greater need of points on Tuesday. The Billy Goats played under new head coach Friedhelm Funkel at the weekend but lost 3-0 away at Bayer Leverkusen to go nine games without a win. That form has seen the club drop into the bottom two and now staring relegation in the face. A tough midweek game against Leipzig is the last thing that Funkel and his players need now.
Leipzig will be kicking itself for not piling more pressure on Bayern at the top of the table at the weekend. Julian Nagelsmann’s side could have cut the lead to just two points – albeit temporarily. But a disallowed goal in the very last minute against Hoffenheim made for a miserable Friday, and now Leipzig needs to start this matchday off positively to keep any kind of pressure on the current champions.
Arminia Bielefeld to Beat Schalke
Arminia Bielefeld has given itself an excellent chance of escaping the drop after appointing Frank Kramer as head coach seven games ago. It has only lost two of those and picked up another crucial point in the goalless draw with Augsburg on Saturday. That pulled the club out of the bottom three.
This is the game when Schalke could actually finally be officially relegated. The news that the Royal Blues will be turning out in the second tier next season will not surprise anyone, as it has failed time and time again this year. The win against Augsburg raised some faint hopes, but the weekend’s 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Freiburg was more a return to form. Schalke’s game with Hertha at the weekend has already been called off, but the Gelsenkirchen club’s fate should already be decided.
Bayern Munich to Beat Bayer Leverkusen
Bayern didn’t have everything its own way in its clash with Wolfsburg at the weekend and was made to sweat near the end. It allowed the home side to come back to 3-2 with most of the second half still to play. Hansi Flick’s side prevailed as usual and extended its lead at the top of the Bundesliga. He has finally announced that he will be moving on in the summer, so now his players will get the chance to send him off with another league title.
Bayer Leverkusen shouldn’t put a halt to that title drive on Tuesday, but the club has been much more impressive since Hannes Wolf took over from Peter Bosz. There have been three games unbeaten now, with the comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Koln’s latest success. The reinstated Leon Bailey scored two in that game and will be confident of running at the Bayern defense this week.
Eintracht Frankfurt to Beat Augsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt did its Champions League hopes no good at all at the weekend as it sensationally crashed 4-0 away at Borussia Monchengladbach. It was just the second defeat in 18 Bundesliga games, and head coach Adi Hutter will be hoping that his side can bounce back against inferior opposition on Wednesday. He is taking over at Gladbach next season but wants to leave Frankfurt as a Champions League club – and three more points here would help.
Augsburg is not completely safe yet but would have to go on a truly terrible run of results to relegate this season. Heiko Herrlich’s side drew at home to Arminia Bielefeld at the weekend in a far more valuable result for its opponent. There are several injury worries for Augsburg but, as it is facing Koln at the weekend, it may be the case that Herrlich looks to that game as a possible points-winner rather than this one.
Borussia Dortmund to Beat Union Berlin
It is still nowhere near clear whether Borussia Dortmund will be playing Champions League soccer next season.
For now, Dortmund has looked much better in the last few weeks and easily dispatched Werder Bremen at the weekend after going a goal behind. Three points here would do a lot to rekindle dreams of a top-four finish.
Union Berlin will be no pushover, though. Die Eisernen will always give anyone a good game and still harbor aspirations of European qualification – being currently just four points behind Leverkusen in sixth. The prospect of continental competition may be a long shot but the draw away to Bayern and last weekend’s win over Stuttgart shows that there is still some fight in this team. Defeat to Dortmund on Wednesday could be the end of the road, though.
Borussia Monchengladbach to Beat Hoffenheim
Hoffenheim’s defensive qualities have not been questioned in recent games, especially during the back-to-back goalless draws against Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig. Those two results are very impressive but the fact that Sebastian Hoeness’s side failed to record a single shot on target in both games shows why the club still finds itself with a job to do when it comes to avoiding relegation. Hoffenheim should be just about all right, but another loss here could make for worrying times.
On the other hand, Borussia Monchengladbach seems to have gotten over the shock of Marco Rose’s departure announcement and has returned to the form of earlier in the season. The 4-0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend feels like a statement of intent – and although the Foals remain outside of the European places at the moment, they are timing a late play for the Europa League berth to perfection.
Wolfsburg to Beat Stuttgart
Stuttgart lost again at the weekend and is obviously missing the game-changing brilliance of Silas. But in Sasa Kalajdzic, it has a striker that will give any defense some trouble. He could not find the net in the 2-1 defeat to Union Berlin and now faces one of the tightest defenses in the Bundesliga. There is still an outside chance of European qualification for Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side, but whatever happens in the next five games, it has been a successful first season back in the top-flight.
Wolfsburg still has it all to play for – even after the 3-2 home defeat to Bayern on Sunday. Wout Weghorst scored yet again to give the Wolves some hope, but his teammates could not contribute enough. Oliver Glasner’s team still enjoys a five-point lead over fifth place and looks set to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in six years. Another win this Wednesday would give it an excellent chance of achieving that.
Werder Bremen and Mainz to Draw
Milot Rashica actually gave his Werder Bremen side the lead against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday but ended up on the wrong end of a 4-1 thrashing. Head coach Florian Kohfeldt needs to work out how to get his players performing like the beginning of that game as the end of the season draws closer. Bremen is still in danger of the drop, so it will have to raise its game here. A draw might not seem like a good result, but that point could make a lot of difference in the next few weeks.
Mainz has enjoyed the much better recent form of these two clubs but comes into this game after missing out on the action at the weekend. Its game with Hertha was postponed after the outbreak of COVID at the Berlin club. That might play in the 05er’s favor, but it could also have an adverse effect that sees a desperate Werder Bremen dominate the play in its own stadium. A mixture of the two could be on the cards – and that could see this finishing all square.
My Top Bundesliga Picks for Matchday 30
It is a little difficult to pick out good-looking bets with attractive odds this week. With only eight fixtures, there are a lot of one-sided games. The best value is probably in the away win bets and Monchengladbach taking all three points from its trip to take on Hoffenheim falls into that category.
I also expect Wolfsburg to come away from Stuttgart with a valuable victory. That would keep the Wolves on course for a top-four finish and upset the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, who are waiting for Oliver Glasner’s side to slip up. With Wout Weghorst in the form he is showing at the moment, I don’t think that will happen.
My final pick is for Werder Bremen to halt a terrible run of defeats and snatch a point from its game against fellow strugglers Mainz. That would not be the greatest result for the home side but is achievable, in my opinion, if the attacking players click as they did for the opening goal of Bremen’s game with Dortmund at the weekend.