Bundesliga preview: Bayern face Leverkusen test as Dortmund host resurgent Hertha Berlin
Our in-depth look at the weekend’s Bundesliga action
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both scored emphatic wins last weekend, but they’ll be facing teams who’ve found their form since the league’s return when they play on Saturday.
At the other end of the table, Werder Bremen’s survival hopes took a huge hit as they fell to a 3-0 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday. Can they bounce back against Wolfsburg on Sunday?
Ahead of the action, we’ve picked out three key battles from the weekend’s games.
Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich (Saturday, 14:30)
Perhaps the toughest game remaining for Bayern, fifth-placed Leverkusen are battling for the final Champions League spot and are no pushovers. Bayern will be fully aware of that, having fallen to a 2-1 defeat when Leverkusen visited the Allianz Arena back in November.
Bayern have been in imperious form since the league’s return, winning all four matches and scoring 13 goals in the process. Leverkusen will have been hurt by a 4-1 defeat to Wolfsburg back in May, but have won their other three games, with a tight 1-0 victory over Freiburg last time out.
As ever when Leverkusen play, all eyes will be on youngster Kai Havertz, who is reportedly a transfer target for elite clubs across Europe, including Bayern themselves. Havertz is 13/2 to open the scoring, or 15/8 to score anytime. Bayern’s talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski is 23/10 to score first, or 4/9 anytime.
Borussia Dortmund v Hertha Berlin (Saturday, 17:30)
While Borussia Dortmund’s title hopes may have faded after their 1-0 defeat to Bayern, they were able to bounce back last weekend, thrashing bottom side Paderborn 6-1 away from home.
But Hertha Berlin are a different proposition, with an unbeaten record since the restart, recording three wins to nil and drawing 2-2 against third-placed Red Bull Leipzig.
Hertha remain an outside shot at Europa League qualification in 9th, just four points behind 6th-placed Wolfsburg. When the teams last met in November, Dortmund ran out 2-1 winners, despite playing half the match with 10 men, after Mats Hummel’s 45th-minute dismissal.
Jadon Sancho took the plaudits last time out, scoring a second-half hat-trick – he’s 4/5 to score anytime, or 7/2 to score two or more goals. Hertha dangerman Krzysztof Piatek has found the net in his last two outings, and can be backed at 17/2 to score first, or 5/2 anytime.
Werder Bremen v Wolfsburg (Sunday, 12:30)
The oft-reported stat on Werder Bremen is that they’re the longest standing team in the Bundesliga, with 39 consecutive seasons in the top-flight. That record is in real danger.
Until last week, their results since the league’s return sat at one loss, one draw and two wins. But they collapsed on Wednesday evening, when Eintracht Frankfurt put three second-half goals past them with no reply. They’re still just two points from safety, but time is running out for Die Werderaner and sixth-placed Wolfsburg won’t be looking to do them any favours.
Wolfsburg’s own form has been patchy, with two wins and two losses in their last four. And just like their opponents, they lost to Eintracht Frankfurt last time out.
When the two sides last met in January, Werder recorded a 3-2 victory at Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Arena, a repeat performance would be just what the doctor ordered as far as their survival hopes are concerned.
In their last meeting, Bremen’s Milor Rashica scored a match-winning brace and he can be backed at 7/1 to open the scoring, or 13/5 to score anytime. Wolfsburg top-scorer Wout Weghorst is 10/3 to open the scoring, with a goal anytime at 13/10.
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.