The Bundesliga action comes thick and fast over the weekend and there is an intriguing clash taking place at the RheinEnergieStadion on Saturday afternoon, as Cologne play host to table-toppers Bayern Munich.
Reigning champions Bayern returned from the winter break in disappointing fashion, going down 2-1 at home to Borussia Monchengladbach, and that result reduced their lead at the summit to six points. This could be cut to three if Borussia Dortmund win at home to Freiburg on Friday.
As for Cologne, they picked up from where they left off before the break, chalking up a 3-1 victory at Hertha Berlin to extend their winning run to three matches to keep themselves in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Steffen Baumgart’s men have proven a tough team to beat this season, losing just four times in the league, and they have suffered just one loss from their last nine competitive home fixtures.
Bayern have won their last three away game across all competitions, but they have lost twice on the road this term and there could be some value in backing Cologne in the double chance market at 12/5.
European Hopefuls Do Battle
Hoffenheim, sitting third in the standings, will be aiming to boost their Champions League hopes on Saturday when they make the trip to the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei to take on seventh-place Union Berlin.
Just three points is the gap between these two sides, so there is a lot riding on this clash, but Hoffenheim may just have the edge over their opponents as they look to extend their unbeaten streak to eight matches.
Die Kraichgauer have lost just one of their last 10 across all competitions and they will be confident of getting the better of Union, who have only managed to win one of their last five fixtures.
At 7/5, Hoffenheim look a generous price to come away with all three points.
Bayer’s Slump to Continue
Bayer Leverkusen returned from the winter break to draw 2-2 against Union Berlin, a fifth straight game across all competitions without a win for Die Werkself, and they have slipped out of the top four.
A tricky trip to Borussia Monchengladbach is next up on Saturday and there is every chance the hosts could make it a second straight victory to keep their revival going.
In previous seasons, Monchengladbach getting the better of Bayern would not have been such a big shock, but Die Fohlen are down in 12th position and getting three points against the reigning champions was a surprise.
However, that performance showed exactly what Adi Hutter’s men are capable of and they look worth the 6/4 to claim the spoils at Borussia-Park this weekend.
Stuttgart Stuttering at the Wrong Time
Another of Saturday’s matches will see relegation-threatened Stuttgart play host to RB Leipzig, who have won two of their first four matches under new manager Domenico Tedesco.
Stuttgart are only one place above the relegation play-off position and they are winless in their last three, conceding six goals and failing to find the back of the net in that run.
Leipzig are showings signs of revival under Tedesco, who also formerly coached youth teams at Stuttgart, and they head into this contest fresh from a 4-1 thrashing of Mainz.
At 5/9, it’s no surprise to Leipzig the favourites to claim the spoils, but the value could be in backing the visitors to win to nil at 19/10.
Plenty More to Take In
In Saturday’s other matches, Mainz face Bochum and Wolfsburg take on Hertha Berlin, while there are a further two games taking place on Sunday.
Augsburg are first up as they play host to Eintracht Frankfurt, while 17th-place Arminia Bielefeld face rock-bottom Greuther Furth in a big relegation clash.
*All odds correct at time of writing