Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz 05
Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
Wednesday, 17-06-2020 @9:30
Dortmund are currently trailing Bayern by 10 points, with just three matches remaining. And while their title hopes are over, sealing all three points this midweek could be crucial, especially for Lucien Favre, who is facing an uncertain future at the club.
Favre mastermind has faced a lot of criticism for his side’s inconsistencies and failure to keep up with the Bavarians. Hence, ending the campaign on a positive note could be essential in order to prevent the board from looking for a replacement.
Mainz, on the other hand, are still being tagged relegation candidates heading into this fixture. The 05-ers are currently standing 15th in the league title, leading Fortuna Dusseldorf (16th) and Werder Bremen (17th) by just three points.
Just like Mainz, both of these teams are also set to face a stiff challenge this midweek as they come up against RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich respectively. That means the visitors will be eyeing at least a point from this game as they look to get out of the relegation scrap.
Erling Haaland had missed Dortmund’s previous two matches through injury prior to scoring a late winner from the bench last time out. The Norway international should be fit enough to start Wednesday’s match, which could lead to Julian Brandt dropping back into attacking midfield. Thomas Delaney will play no part due to a muscle injury that will likely rule him out for the rest of the season, while Marco Reus is not expected to feature despite returning to training.
As for Mainz, Nigerian forward Taiwo Awoniyi was concussed against Augsburg and will therefore sit this one out. Ridle Baku is back from suspension, but his return coincides with Edimilson Fernandes’s ban for picking up five yellow cards. Elsewhere, Beierlorzer must choose between Adam Szalai and Jean-Philippe Mateta up front, with the latter favourite to get the nod.
No player has had a hand in more goals this term than Sancho, the young Englishman having laid on 16 alongside the 17 he has scored himself. Haaland has scored his 11 goals at a rate of one every 72 minutes since his winter transfer from Red Bull Salzburg. Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki did not have to make a single save when Die Schwarz-Gelben won December’s reverse fixture 4-0. Both teams covered 78.6 miles in the corresponding fixture last season, which Dortmund won 2-1. That remains a club record for each. Robin Quaison is Mainz’s top scorer with 12, just five fewer than Sancho, in spite of playing for a club at the other end of the table.
Bayer Leverkusen vs FC Koln
Wednesday, 17-06-2020 @9:30pm
Bayer Leverkusen have suffered heavy defeats in each of their last two home contests in the Bundesliga and, although they should see off Cologne at the BayArena, they could conceded a consolation goal.
Leverkusen’s Champions League aspirations have suffered a setback after only one win in their last four games.
They suffered 4-1 and 4-2 home defeats to Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich as part of that run but have nonetheless still won seven of their previous 11 matches. And they have looked comfortable against the division’s lesser lights, beating Union Berlin, Augsburg and Werder Bremen as part of that run so they should run out winners against Cologne, who are yet to win since the Bundesliga’s resumption.
The Billy Goats enjoyed a strong start to the Ruckrunde – the second half of the Bundesliga season – but are winless in their last seven matches, losing to Borussia Monchengladbach, Hoffenheim, Leipzig and, last time out, Union Berlin.
They did however win the shot count 10-5 against Berlin, amassing 59 per cent possession, and Jhon Cordoba’s goal in injury time extended their scoring run to 17 matches in the Bundesliga.
Both teams have scored in their last eight contests, reiterating that although they can count on Córdoba, Jonas Hector, Sebastian Bornauw, Florian Kainz and Mark Uth for goals, they have been permeable at the back.
They have kept only one clean sheet in their 15 matches on the road this season and only six in their 31 fixtures in total and Leverkusen can take full advantage on home soil.
They have netted 28 times in their 15 home league contests, of which they have lost only four, and midfield virtuoso Kai Havertz should once again feature in the starting lineup now he’s back to full fitness.
Bayer Leverkusen have won ten of their last 15 matches in the Bundesliga. Cologne’s matches have featured an average of 3.45 goals per game this season. Both teams have scored in Cologne’s last eight matches in the league.
RB Leipzig vs Fortuna Dusseldorf
Red Bull Arena, Leipzig
Wednesday, 17-06-2020 @9:30pm
The top four race, is still very much alive with just ten points separating Borussia Dortmund in second and Gladbach in fifth. RB Leipzig sit third, four points adrift of Dortmund and will welcome 16th placed Fortuna Dusseldorf at the Red Bull Arena on Matchday 31.
Julian Nagelsmann’s men travelled to Hoffenheim on the weekend and registered a 2-0 win with the help of two goals in two minutes from Dani Olmo. The scoreline was not indicative of their dominant performance, with Timo Werner, Olmo and Christopher Nkunku missing sitters in the duration of the 90 minutes.
Fortuna Dusseldorf were on course to register a historic draw against Borussia Dortmund last week with a very disciplined performance from their defence, only to be undone by Erling Haaland in the 95th minute. The game against Leipzig might be even tougher since Die Roten Bullen are on a 12-match unbeaten run in the league and have scored at least once in every home game this season.
The reverse fixture at Merkur Spiel-Arena ended in a 3-0 defeat for the hosts with a goal each from Werner, Patrik Schick and Nordi Mukiele.
Dayot Upamecano returns from suspension for Leipzig and will almost certainly slot straight into Nagelsmann’s backline. Yussuf Poulsen and Fabrice Hartmann are still on the treatment table for the Red Bulls, but Marcel Sabitzer returned last weekend to boost Nagelsmann’s squad at this crucial stage of the season. Christopher Nkunku started on the bench against Hoffenheim but the 22-year-old could return to the starting lineup on Wednesday.
Dusseldorf will have to make do without Niko Giesselmann after the defender picked up his fifth booking of the season against Dortmund, but Adam Bodzek will return from his one-match ban. Giesselmann’s absence leaves a spot for former Huddersfield Town defender Mathias Jorgensen to deputise at centre-back, and top scorer Rouwen Hennings is in line for a return fo the first XI. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen and midfielder Oliver Fink remain sidelined for Rosler’s side.
The last time these two sides met, RB Leipzig had 21 shots on goal to Fortuna Dusseldorf’s four, making the 3-0 win a fair reflection of that match. Only league leaders Bayern Munich (31) have conceded fewer goals than Leipzig (32) this term, despite coach Julian Nagelsmann testing 12 players in three-, four- and five-man backlines. Only Robert Lewandowski (30), Timo Werner and Jadon Sancho (17) have scored more goals than Fortuna Dusseldorf forward Rouwen Hennings (14) this season. Fortuna Dusseldorf have drawn seven of their 12 games since former Manchester City striker Uwe Rosler was appointed coach (W2, L3). The relegation-threatened side have not picked up a single point in their last nine games against the current top five, though, conceding 30 times across those fixtures.
The other Bundesliga match-day 31 fixtures
-Frankfurt vs Schalke 04 @7:30pm
-Augsburg vs Hoffenheim @9:30pm
Match-Day 32 Results so far
-Freiburg 2-1 Hertha Berlin
-Union Berlin 1-0 Paderbon
-Monchengladbach 3-0 Wolfsburg
-Bremen 0-1 Bayern Munich