Werder and Wolfsburg as bad as each other


Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg have been well below par this season, and Kevin Hatchard expects them to cancel each other out this weekend.

Werder Bremen vs Wolfsburg, Sat 17:30 BST, Live on ESPN

Match Odds: Werder 2.14, Wolfsburg 3.5, the draw 3.8


This is a battle between two of the Bundesliga's biggest underachievers, with neither team yet safe from relegation. Werder are 14th with a meagre tally of 32 points,  while the Wolves are only a place and two points better off. Neither defence is trustworthy, with Werder's Assani Lukimya battling with Wolfsburg's Simon Kjaer for the  Defensive Clown of the Year award (the trophy is a bronze statue of a defender slicing the ball into his own net).


Both teams had to show fighting spirit to salvage draws against relegation-threatened opponents last week. Werder twice came from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw at  Fortuna Dusseldorf, while Wolfsburg needed an 86th-minute equaliser from Naldo to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Hoffenheim. Since then Wolfsburg have suffered a  humiliating 6-1 defeat at Bayern Munich in the German Cup semi-finals, but then most of the Bundesliga has suffered a Bavarian spanking this season (stop sniggering at  the back).


What strikes me about this game is that the draw seems overpriced at 3.8. Werder have now drawn four of their last five games, while Wolfsburg have drawn their last four Bundesliga matches. It's also worth noting they drew 1-1 with each other at the Volkswagen Arena back in November. Both sides are low on confidence, so we could be set for an evenly-contested, scrappy affair. I certainly don't agree with Werder's strangely short price for the win - Thomas Schaaf's men haven't won a home game since February 1, and they've lost five of their last eight games in front of their own fans.


Recommended Bet

Back the draw at 3.8



Hamburg vs Fortuna Dusseldorf, Sat 14:30 BST

Match Odds: Hamburg 1.92, Fortuna 4.4, the draw 3.65


After a strong start to the campaign, Fortuna Dusseldorf have run out of steam, and Norbert Meier's men risk an instant return to the second tier of German football.  Fortuna are just three points above the bottom three, and six points clear of the automatic dropzone. Last week they twice surrendered the lead in a 2-2 draw with  Werder Bremen, and they haven't won any of their last seven matches, collecting just three points in that period. To make matters worse for potential backers of  Fortuna, F95 haven't won any of their last 11 away games, losing nine and drawing two.


The biggest problem for Fortuna has been a collapse in defensive standards. Incredibly, they kept clean sheets in their first five Bundesliga games, but since then  they have recorded just three shut-outs in 29 games. At the other end of the pitch Fortuna often struggle away from home, they have netted just 13 goals in 14 away  games.


Hamburg have been on a poor run themselves, but Thorsten Fink's men are still just five points adrift of the top four. South Korean star Heung-Min Son was the driving  force behind last week's eye-catching 2-1 win at Mainz, scoring both goals. Opta tell us Son has now scored three braces this season, and he has 11 league goals  overall. Hamburg insist he isn't for sale, but both Arsenal and Liverpool have been casting admiring glances his way for some time.


Hamburg have won just one of their last five home games, but I think the penny finally dropped last week, and the Redshorts produced a much more aggressive, committed  display than they have recently. With Son on form and his fellow top-scorer Artjoms Rudnevs potentially returning to the starting eleven, I just can't see Fortuna's  creaking defence containing the Hamburg attack. It tends to be famine or feast for Hamburg at the Imtech Arena (7 wins, 6 defeats and a draw) and I think the majority  of the sell-out crowd will be filling their faces with victory-flavoured pie.


Recommended Bet

Back Hamburg to win at 1.92



Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz, Sat 14:30 BST

Match Odds: Dortmund 1.54, Mainz 7.2, the draw 4.6


Borussia Dortmund have a gigantic Champions League clash with Real Madrid on the horizon, but they have already shown the depth of their squad. Coach Jurgen Klopp made  a raft of changes to his line-up in the recent home game against Augsburg, but a youthful side still won 4-2. BVB have won their last four Bundesliga games, and in all  competitions they have put together a run of eight wins in nine matches at Signal Iduna Park. Striker Robert Lewandowski has been in stupendous form - his late goal in  last week's 6-1 demolition of Greuther Furth extended his Bundesliga scoring run to 11 matches.


Opta tell us Klopp's former team Mainz have never won a Bundesliga game at Dortmund, and have never scored more than one goal in a game at the Westfalen. Overall  Thomas Tuchel's troops have lost four of their last five games against BVB, drawing the other game. Mainz's general form is pretty poor at present - they have won just  one of their ten matches, a run that has seen them slide out of contention for a Champions League place.


Recommended Bet

Back Borussia Dortmund -1.0 &-1.5 on the Asian Handicap at 2.16


(Source: Betfair)




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