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07 Apr 2023 / admin

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Dortmund vs Union Berlin - Match Preview

⚽ 8 April 2023 - 13:30 GMT +0

Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga title chances took a hit when they lost 4-2 to Bayern Munich, leaving them two points behind their biggest rivals in second place with eight games to go. If they are to revive their bid for a first title since 2011/12, then bounce back from that defeat, and their 2-0 midweek cup loss to RB Leipzig, against a Union Berlin side just two points behind them in third place is essential.

A perfect home H2H record (W5), including wins by at least two goals in all three Bundesliga meetings here, should serve to boost Dortmund confidence despite their 2-0 H2H loss in Berlin back in October. A game at Signal Iduna Park represents a different proposition altogether as Dortmund haven’t lost a competitive home game since late August (W11, D3), with Bayern, Chelsea and Manchester City notable recent visitors.

Following their midweek 2-0 cup defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, Union Berlin can focus all their energies on an unlikely title tilt, or more realistically Champions League qualification for the first time. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as two straight league wins ‘to nil’ as part of a four-match unbeaten Bundesliga run (W2, D2) should boost their self-belief in their attempt to do a maiden league double over Dortmund.

Given they’ve only kept one clean sheet across their last eight away league games (W3, D1, L4), it looks like a tricky task, especially given their poor record at this venue. In fact, their season could unfold dramatically unless they improve their away form as they’ve scored just one goal across their last five competitive games outside of Berlin (D2, L3).

📋 Players to watch: Marco Reus has scored four times across Dortmund’s last three home outings and nobody has scored more often in this H2H (five goals). Kevin Behrens has scored the second goal of the game in each of Union Berlin’s last two league fixtures, with both strikes coming after half-time.

Hot stat: Union Berlin have scored between the 65th and 75th minute in three of their last four Bundesliga away fixtures (W2, D1, L1).

Freiburg vs Bayern Munich - Match Preview

⚽ 8 April 2023 - 13:30 GMT +0

With a seven-match unbeaten league run behind them (W3, D4), fourth-placed Freiburg take on potentially the toughest task the Bundesliga has to offer as they host table-topping Bayern Munich. Football cynics may point to the fact that their run isn’t as impressive as it looks given Freiburg has actually drawn four of their last five league outings, and those critics would perhaps be right considering Freiburg actually led in three of those four draws.

Interestingly, those six points dropped look even more disappointing when you consider that if Freiburg hadn’t thrown them away, they would be coming into this game with a chance to leapfrog Bayern. Even with those wins in tow, it would still have been a far-fetched possibility, largely due to the fact Freiburg haven’t beaten Bayern in Bundesliga action since May 2015 (D3, L10), though they perhaps do hold a psychological advantage here after beating Bayern 2-1 in the DFB Pokal in midweek!

While ten-time consecutive Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have long seemed imperious on the domestic stage, they find themselves in somewhat unfamiliar territory this season. Holding just a two-point lead at the top of the table with eight games to go, the pressure is on for Thomas Tuchel’s side, though the former Chelsea boss did make a positive start to his reign with a 4-2 victory over the nearest title rivals Borussia Dortmund on his Bayern managerial bow.

The next challenge for Tuchel is to stop Bayern’s slide on the road, with the Bavarian outfit losing two of their last three away league games. Travelling certainly hasn’t been Bayern’s strong point this season, and perhaps explains why they don’t hold the unattainable lead they’re so accustomed to, and they’ve actually won just two away league games this season against sides starting this round 12th or higher (D3, L3).

📋 Players to watch: The winning scorer in midweek, Lucas Höler has netted a joint-career high four goals against Bayern, despite winning just a sole H2H (D3, L7). He faced off against Thomas Müller in most of those games, and the German has been influential to Bayern’s league H2H success of late, racking up four assists across the last four Bundesliga meetings.

Hot streak: Freiburg haven’t tasted defeat in their last 12 Bundesliga home outings, an ongoing club record (W8, D4).

Mainz vs Werder Bremen - Match Preview

⚽ 8 April 2023 - 13:30 GMT +0

Bo Svensson’s Mainz did their European qualification prospects a world of good last time out as they put Leipzig to the sword with a thumping 3-0 success. That extended Mainz’s unbeaten run to seven Bundesliga games (W5, D2), which is the longest run amongst all current top-flight sides, potentially leaving them just one win away from breaking into the top six.

To boost confidence further, only Bayern Munich have picked up more points than the 05ers across their last five home league games (W4, D1). The fact that Mainz haven’t kept a clean sheet in seven straight home meetings with Werder Bremen (W2, L5) may not deter them either, as they’ve scored 3+ goals in four of their seven home league games against sides beginning the round below them (W5, D1, L1).

Whilst nine points currently separate Bremen from the bottom three, they need a big push if they’re to grab an unlikely top-half finish. Ole Werner’s men fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against relegation-threatened Hoffenheim in the last round, leaving them on a rather disappointing run of one win across the last seven rounds (W1, D1, L5).

Only Bochum have conceded more goals than Bremen’s tally of 50 so far, meaning their ability to score (G40) has carried the side in many respects. That shaky backline has failed to keep clean sheets in nine of their last ten competitive away games, and with only one win and no shutouts in away league games against sides sitting above them (W1, D3, L3), their prospects here appear bleak.

📋 Players to watch: Marcus Ingvartsen’s goal for Mainz last weekend set them on their way to a historic first victory at Leipzig. He’s now scored in three of his last six appearances and also scored first in the reverse fixture. As for Bremen, Niclas Füllkrug remains on course for the Bundesliga golden boot (G15) and will have happy memories of this fixture, as he scored his first professional hat-trick against Mainz.

Hot streak: Only Bayern Munich (19) are on a long run of scoring games in the Bundesliga than Mainz (12).

Hertha Berlin vs RB Leipzig - Match Preview

⚽ 8 April 2023 - 16:30 GMT +0

Hertha Berlin has shown some signs of life lately with just two defeats across their last five league games (W1, D2, L2), yet they remain firmly entrenched in the battle for Bundesliga survival. Improving on the Bundesliga’s joint-worst defensive record in the second half of the season (19 conceded) will be key to cutting the three-point gap to safety ahead of the round, particularly as they haven’t scored more than once in each of their last four games.

It’s Hertha’s home form that’s just about keeping them afloat at this stage, with the capital club picking up 17 of their paltry 22-point haul here at the Olympiastadion. That statistic was largely strengthened by their three-game unbeaten run of league games here (W2, D1) as they now seek to earn more than seven points within a four-game period of home games for the first time since 2021.

Trying to end that home unbeaten run is Marco Rose’s RB Leipzig, with the manager last weekend calling an emergency meeting of all players and staff after they failed to score in over three hours of Bundesliga play. Should they fire another blank here, they’ll eclipse the club record wait for a Bundesliga goal of 229 minutes set back in 2017, though the worst may be behind them after their 2-0 midweek DFB Pokal quarter-final win over second-placed Dortmund.

If that’s not enough to spur the Red Bulls on, then perhaps their 100% win rate in Bundesliga away H2Hs will be (W6), particularly if they draw upon their stunning 26-goal haul across those encounters for inspiration. Another victory would set an all-time Bundesliga record as no side has ever won each of their first seven away games against a specific opponent.

📋 Players to watch: Hertha’s Jessic Ngankam secured his best Bundesliga scoring season with his penalty strike in their last home game, in what was his third team opening goal of the season. As for Leipzig, Emil Forsberg has contributed to six goals across his perfect eight-game winning H2H record against Hertha (G3, A3).

Hot stat: Leipzig have lost five of their last seven Bundesliga games when playing in the primetime Saturday evening fixture (W2, L5).

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