Bundesliga Predictions and Best Bets – Matchday 13, December 18-20, 2020
Clubs in the Bundesliga play their final games of 2020 this weekend, and we could go into the new year with someone other than Bayern Munich at the top of the table.
Bayer Leverkusen became the last remaining club to be unbeaten this season when it won convincingly on Wednesday – and Peter Bosz’s side will be showing that it means business if it can see out the year at the summit.
That last game of the year is against Bayern Munich, though, so we should be in for a fiery final matchday. There are eight other fixtures this weekend – and I’m going to take a look at all of them and offer up some betting picks as well.
Union Berlin to Draw with Borussia Dortmund
After taking a point from Bayern at the weekend, Union was unlucky not to pick up all three against Stuttgart on Tuesday, allowing the home side to score two goals in the last five minutes to salvage a draw. That was without Max Kruse, though – and he will still be missing for this one. There are a few more absentees for Die Eisernen, but that does seem to be making a difference at the moment – and a draw with Dortmund would be a great way to finish off the year.
Dortmund’s 2020 was beginning to slip away from it. But with Lucien Favre shown the door, interim head coach Edin Terzic oversaw a battling 2-1 win over Werder Bremen in the week and will be hoping that his side can mount a comeback in the early weeks of 2021. Union away for the final game of this year is not the easiest fixture, though – and Terzic could be missing Mats Hummels, as well as the already injured Erling Haaland. There is still a lot of talent in the squad, but a draw in Berlin could be the outcome.
Borussia Monchengladbach to Beat Hoffenheim
Monchengladbach boss Marco Rose will be hoping that his side can halt a run of three draws to beat Hoffenheim on Saturday and get back into the top spots in the Bundesliga. Marcus Thuram scoring his first goal since the end of November would be a big help. It’s not as though the Foals haven’t been able to score – it managed another three in Frankfurt on Tuesday – but they always play better when the France international finds the net.
Hoffenheim is certainly the team that Thuram would want to be facing to end his goal drought. It is one of just four clubs that have conceded in every single game this season in the Bundesliga – and it did again on Wednesday when it lost to RB Leipzig. The fixture list has been particularly tough for Hoffenheim towards the end of the year, so it might be a case of getting one more game out of the way for Sebastian Hoeness’ side.
Schalke to Beat Arminia Bielefeld
I’m sticking my neck out here, but I think Schalke will leave it until the very last game of the year to win for the first time since January. That would mean that the Royal Blues would not break Tasmania Berlin’s Bundesliga record of 31 games without a victory. It is not as though Manuel Baum’s team has looked particularly good this season, but it is a club in urgent need of some good news – and three points for Christmas would be the best present it could ask for.
Arminia Bielefeld has probably looked better than Schalke in the first few months of the season. But it has had a real problem winning games away from home and has lost nine of the last ten. Anything barring an incredibly big win for Schalke would keep Bielefeld off of the bottom of the table going into the new year. But it is likely to be a very tough remainder of the season for both of these clubs.
Mainz and Werder Bremen to Draw
These two sides have won just once between them since the early days of October, and I think that they will both go into Christmas, still wondering where the next victory is going to come from. Mainz did manage a goalless draw with a resurgent Hertha on Tuesday, but it would not be a surprise if top scorer Jean-Philippe Mateta starts against Bremen after curiously remaining on the bench in Berlin.
Werder Bremen held out until 12 minutes before time against Dortmund in its midweek game but ended up losing 2-1 and extending its losing streak to four games. The five consecutive draws before that suddenly don’t seem too bad. That run of form has seen Bremen drop from seventh to just above the relegation places and in dire need of a win. I don’t think that will happen on Saturday, but a point will be a slight improvement, at least.
RB Leipzig to Beat Koln
A win for Leipzig on Saturday – and a draw between Leverkusen and Bayern later in the day – would see Julian Nagelsmann’s side top of the Bundesliga going into Christmas for the second year running. Recent form suggests that Leipzig will definitely come through with its part of the bargain. A win against Hoffenheim on Wednesday made it six games without a loss – and it would be a big surprise if this ended in anything but a home win.
Koln was thrashed at home by league leaders Bayer Leverkusen in the week and will be hoping that RB Leipzig doesn’t make it a double humiliation to see the year out. But head coach Markus Gisdol could have his influential captain, Danny Hector, back for this one, as well as playmaker Ondrej Duda who returns after suspension. They might not be able to stop another Leipzig victory, but they could make the scoreline a little more palatable.
Eintracht Frankfurt to Beat Augsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt is the Bundesliga draw specialist, with eight already this season. The Eagles have also failed to win a game since the start of October, but a misfiring Augsburg might offer up the best opportunity for that sorry run to come to an end. Andre Silva was back in the team for the midweek game with Borussia Monchengladbach and scored twice in two minutes to put Frankfurt into a 3-1 lead. But his teammates couldn’t hang on and conceded two in the last minute.
Augsburg has been scoring nowhere near as freely, and that is the main reason Frankfurt could come away with all three points on Saturday. The narrow win away at Arminia Bielefeld was the first victory since Halloween, and all of Augsburg’s attacking players are either injured or have been unable to find the net on a regular basis. The club is the lowest scorer in the top half of the table, and Frankfurt should make that pay on Saturday.
Bayern Munich to Beat Bayer Leverkusen
The game of the weekend is reserved for Saturday evening in Germany as Bayern travels to the Bay Arena to take on the league leaders. The champions beat Wolfsburg on Wednesday with Robert Lewandowski’s two goals making him only the third player ever to break the 250-goal barrier in the Bundesliga. But Hansi Flick has a wealth of options when it comes to creating goal-scoring chances, and Leverkusen will need to be alert if it is to remain at the top of the league.
Peter Bosz’s side warmed up for this hotly anticipated clash by thrashing Koln in midweek, making it 11 goals in the last three games. Only Bayern has scored more this season, but Leverkusen does have a much better defensive record, even if it will be tested on Saturday. It has been an excellent start to the season for Leverkusen, and even a defeat here would not change much at the top. But the head coach and players know that it would serve as a huge psychological advantage for Bayern if this doesn’t end in a home win.
Hertha Berlin to Beat Freiburg
Freiburg has not enjoyed the greatest few months but has been able to exploit a favorable fixture list to beat Bielefeld and the woeful Schalke in the last week. Hertha Berlin comes up next on Sunday, and manager Christian Streich will be hoping that his team can keep that run going for one more game before the Christmas break. The main goal threat will probably be Nils Peterson, even though the striker has not found the net at all during the recent four-game unbeaten run.
Bruno Labbadia will be hoping that Matheus Cunha will be able to play a major part in this game, as Hertha always looks much better when the Brazilian is on the pitch – either scoring goals himself or providing opportunities for others. He has a slight injury but should be all right for this one. If Cunha plays, Hertha should win. It may be too early for the return of Jhon Cordoba, though. He has been back in training, but a place in the matchday squad is about as much as the Colombian can expect.
Wolfsburg to Beat Stuttgart
The final Bundesliga game of 2020 comes from the Volkswagen Arena as Wolfsburg entertains Stuttgart in what could be a very good game. The home side has looked very impressive this season and has Wout Weghorst to thank for many of the goals that have seen it remain in the top five for the last month and lose just one game all season. That was against Bayern on Wednesday, so manager Oliver Glasner should not be worrying too much about the rest of the season.
Stuttgart is enjoying an excellent return to the German top flight and fought back to score two goals in the last five minutes to salvage a draw with Union Berlin in the week. That result made it just one defeat in the last 11 games for Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side, and he will be hoping that he can finish 2020 on a high. Wolfsburg is unbeaten at home, though – and a loss here would be nothing to be embarrassed about ahead of the new year.
My Top Bundesliga Picks for December 18-20, 2020
Here are my three picks in the Bundesliga for the last fixtures of 2020. Odds are courtesy of Betway.
- Union Berlin and Borussia Dortmund to draw – 3.75
- Mainz and Werder Bremen to draw – 3.30
- Schalke to beat Arminia Bielefeld – 2.25
The bookmakers are still looking at Dortmund to come back into the race for the title, but I think that while Haaland is out, it will still struggle. A draw against a very impressive Union Berlin seems more likely.
Mainz and Werder Bremen would both rather the win to see out a disappointing year in the best possible way. But another draw is all they can hope for, in my opinion. Schalke has an excellent opportunity to round out a terrible 2020 with a very rare victory, though. The Royal Blues have been shocking all year but might be able to finally celebrate a win on Saturday.