Alan McInally's Bundesliga Verdict: Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig to lift off
Christian Gunter may not be at Freiburg for much longer if his performances continue
By Billy Lumsden
Last Updated: 15/05/20 7:32pm
Alan McInally weighs in on which teams and players to look out for this weekend as the Budesliga makes its eagerly-awaited return.
Super 6 is now available to play, and you can win £50,000 for simply predicting the six correct scorelines from the German action. Alan McInally lends his expertise and lays out his predictions for this coming Saturday.
Augsburg 1-2 Wolfsburg (8/1 with Sky Bet)
This will be the first time that Heiko Herrlich takes charge, after their manager Martin Schmidt was sacked after the game against Bayern Munich. They have lost four of their last five and have not scored goals. Florian Niederlechner has not scored in his last five, so that is working against them. Will they hit the ground running? I don't think so.
Wolfsburg score goals, with 10 in their last five. Wout Weghorst has done brilliantly for Wolfsburg, but he is suspended. Admir Mehmedi and Josip Brekalo will lead the line, and I do think Wolfsburg will simply have too much. It will be tight, and with no crowd it will be strange. The away side's striking prowess will be too much for Augsburg to handle.
Super 6: Road to Europe
A win for Wolfsburg would keep the pressure on Schalke for the European spot, who are away to Dortmund. A hefty 74 per cent of Super 6 players think they will do just that. Play for free here.
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-0 Paderborn (10/1 with Sky Bet)
This is an absolutely massive football match. It is a huge relegation battle. Paderborn are up near Dortmund in the north of Germany. Dusseldorf were a well-established team when I played. Uwe Rosler has come in for Fortuna and I heard him talking about this game a while back. It is difficult to hit the ground running, but Paderborn have been dreadful and were on a four-game losing streak.
Luca Kilian and Streli Mamba are expected to miss out for Paderborn, while Zack Steffen is injured for Dusseldorf, who is on loan from Manchester City. Kenan Karaman should start up top, yet Rouwen Hennings has not scored in eight matches despite being Dusseldorf's top goalscorer with 11 goals. The home side should be doing better than they are and Uwe will expect better from them. They will have too much for Paderborn.
Super 6: Battle at the Bottom
Despite just two places and six points separating them at the foot of the table, 81 per cent of Super 6 entrants are backing Fortuna Dusseldorf for victory. What score will take your fancy, with £50,000 up for grabs?
Hoffenheim 2-0 Hertha Berlin (10/1 with Sky Bet)
This is a good game. On a side note, I was hoping Hertha Berlin might have a decent end to the season. Bruno Labbadia was my old colleague at Bayern. Hertha are unbeaten in five away games, and that is big in Germany. The only reason why Jurgen Klinsmann lost his job was because they only registered three wins in 10. Scoring goals is the problem. Even at home to struggling Werder Bremen, they had to score to make it 2-2. Matheus Cunha got the goal and has done OK since signing from RB Leipzig. Hertha have relied far too much on Krzysztof Piatek for goals. They are giving goals away too easily as well. A -16 goal difference, when you compare to Frankfurt who are a point above them on -3, is shocking. That is 13 more goals shifted between them.
Hoffenheim will look and think they can turn Hertha Berlin over. They aren't brilliant either. Alfred Schreuder does not have Andrej Kramaric at his disposal but Ihlas Bebou has come in and done OK. Home advantage will make a difference. Bruno Labbadia will try to look at his defence more to make sure they do not shift the goals that they were doing before the break. Hoffenheim are ninth and only two points behind Schalke in sixth, so suddenly, they could be on the brink of European football. A win here will help them.
Super 6: Safe Travels
Can Bruno Labbadia stretch Hertha Berlin's away unbeaten record of five games? Only 27 per cent of Super 6 players are hoping for a draw, with 12 per cent expecting Hertha Berlin to steal all three points. Play for free here.
RB Leipzig 2-1 SC Freiburg (8/1 with Sky Bet)
Julian Nagelsmann has done brilliant. They turned Tottenham over in the Champions League and we have seen them perform in Europe for the past three years or so, meaning we know even more about them. Patrick Schick came from Roma and he has done superb, while Timo Werner needs little introduction up top. The back three for RB Leipzig are fantastic, and I expect them to be too strong.
Freiburg are not as bad as what everyone thinks. I said Hoffenheim had done well, but Freiburg are ahead of them and if they win, they could jump over Schalke who face Dortmund. You do not know how they will be after the break so it is very hard to call. Christian Gunter is a really good player at left-back, but they need Luca Waldschmidt to start scoring goals. It would help them a lot.
They look pretty strong in eighth place but RB Leipzig are a different proposition as we have seen in Europe. Julian Nagelsmann will have a team he is happy with and it will give them an advantage being at home. RB Leipzig are better than what they have been given credit for, but do not rule Freiburg out. Seven of the last eight games between these two have seen the hosts prevail.
Super 6: Red Bull Gives you Wings
RB Leipzig will certainly be flying with a victory, which an emphatic 94 per cent of players have backed. Will the most popular team in this week's Super 6 cruise to the win? Have your say to land £50k.
Dortmund 3-1 Schalke (11/1 with Sky Bet)
This is a brilliant game. Borussia Dortmund are only four points behind Bayern, so they can do the business here. I say a problem, but normally you have 80,000 people breathing down your neck when you visit. David Wagner's team will be delighted for not having that.
Schalke took apart Borussia Monchengladbach in the middle of January. The positive is that Jonjoe Kenny is in the team and Weston McKennie has done really well at Schalke - a lot of teams have been looking at him.
For Dortmund, to sign Erling Haaland, who they did very well to get ahead of everyone else, while having the likes of Axel Witsel, Emre Can, Jadon Sancho and Thorgan Hazard is just breathtaking - they all offer something different to the team. It is a brilliant sight to go to one of these matches, and I promise you would love it.
Schalke need their more advanced players to score more if they are to stay in that European position. Wolfsburg, Freiburg and Hoffenheim are all after them, but this is a tough one for Schalke to come back to.
Super 6: No Yellow Wall, No Problem?
Seemingly not, with 90% of players expecting Dortmund to beat Schalke and go within one point of Bayern Munich at the top of the table. Play for free. Entries by 2:30pm.
Frankfurt 1-1 Borussia Monchengladbach (11/2 with Sky Bet)
Borussia Monchengladbach were one of my favourite teams last year, never mind this year. Their team is class and they are only two points behind Dortmund, so they too could put themselves in a brilliant position. They are also not shifting goals, with the third-best defence in the league.
Although Frankfurt are in 12th, they are not out of relegation and do need results. They started brilliantly, but then had a series of poor results following the winter break. Frankfurt will be hoping Andre Silva has his shooting boots on. Frankfurt have done well against the top six teams and they are semi-finalists in DFB-Pokal, but they are welcoming a Gladbach side who are sitting in fourth.
Matthias Ginter at centre-back for Gladbach is one of the main reasons behind their success and sturdy defensive record, but I cannot split the two. Gladbach have enough to score, but Frankfurt score goals too. I am going to sit on the fence here, which I do not like doing, so I would tread carefully with this one. Frankfurt would take a point, considering they are in 12th and looking for points.
Super 6: Goals Galore?
Will the goals be in full flow on Saturday? One in three Super 6 players are hoping for a draw in this clash, with 53 per cent selecting the away side? Which side will you select, with £50,000 there for the taking? Play for free.