FC Cologne vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Cologne without a win in five games
Cologne are without a victory for five consecutive matches in the Bundesliga and they look to get back on track in their home game against Eintracht Frankfurt. In their most recent match against league leaders Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena, Cologne showed a good performance especially in the first 45 minutes. They were two goals down early in the game but Ujah scored to pull it back to 2-1 shortly before the half-time whistle blew. After the break, Cologne increased the pressure and had numerous opportunities but were unable to find an equaliser. Instead, Bayern’s winger Arjen Robben scored the 3-1 in the 67th minute and put his team on the road to victory. The last goal of the game was scored by striker Robert Lewandowski and the game ended with a 4-1 victory for Bayern over Cologne. The German Cup was on the agenda during the week and things didn’t go better for Cologne. They suffered a disappointing 2-1 away loss to SC Freiburg in their Round of 16 match, which eliminated them from the German Cup competition. Cologne hope to bounce back in their upcoming match against Frankfurt. Coach Peter Stoeger has been criticised for his defensive tactics and the style of play he has imposed on his players as his team showed a lack of goal threat. Cologne only scored three goals in the last six matches, which is a really poor goal-per-game ratio for a Bundesliga team. It remains to be seen if Stoeger will make any changes to the last team that played. He will miss midfielder Yannick Gerhardt due to injury.
Frankfurt look to keep up their momentum
In comparison to Cologne, who have not won for five games and fell back to 13th place, Frankfurt picked up an important three points against Hamburg in their last match. Goal-getter Alex Meier converted a penalty to give Frankfurt the lead. But Hamburg showed they are a really strong team, they never gave up and scored in the last minute of the first half. After the break, it was an open game with goal-scoring opportunities on both sides. A third goal arrived in the 54th minute, with Meier once again finding the scoresheet. With this 2-1 victory over Hamburg, Frankfurt have climbed to 8th place in the table and look to keep up their momentum against struggling Cologne. Frankfurt are only four points behind the international spots, which will boost the morale of the team. The first match Frankfurt won 3-2 against Cologne. In the return match on Sunday, Frankfurt’s coach Thomas Schaaf can field a full squad as all injured players have recovered.
Odds and tips
Cologne are not a strong side in home games but nevertheless they are slightly favoured with odds between 2.22 and 2.50. Frankfurt will face another tough test after their win against Hamburg, with odds varying from 2.66 to 3.12. A draw will pay out odds between 3.05 and 3,47. Our tip: I expect an away victory for Frankfurt as Peter Stoeger’s side have lost confidence and their attack presented itself over long distances without penetrating power.
SC Paderborn vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Paderborn looking for their form
Newly-promoted SC Paderborn have dropped to 16th place and found themselves in the midst of a relegation battle. They have won only one game in the last 13 Bundesliga matches and hope to recapture their form and freshness of the first half of the season. Last weekend, Paderborn showed a good performance but suffered an unfortunate 2-0 loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach after two goals from Johnson and Herrmann. Paderborn will now face another tough test against Leverkusen but they are not without chances and can spring a surprise in front of their own fans. In the first match, Paderborn grabbed an impressive 2-2 draw against the Champions League participants. In the return match on Sunday, the team of coach Andre Breitenreiter would be happy with a similar result. Paderborn’s coach can field a full squad and will only miss defender Rafa Lopez due to sustaining a torn thigh muscle.
Leverkusen remain on Champions League course
In comparison to Paderborn, who are caught in the relegation battle, Leverkusen have different ambitions. The team of coach Roger Schmidt are currently ranked 4th in the Bundesliga and remain on course for the Champions League spots. For Leverkusen it has been a very successful fortnight with three successive wins in the Champions League, Bundesliga, and the German Cup. Last match day Schmidt’s side celebrated a narrow 1-0 victory over Freiburg. In the midweek they played against Kaiserslautern in the German Cup Round of 16. The team from the German second division were really tough opponents and after 90 scoreless minutes, the game went undecided in overtime. It was Leverkusen’s playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu who put the home team on the road to victory when scoring a stunning free kick goal. Only a few minutes later Stefan Kießling scored another goal and Leverkusen managed to reach the quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over Kaiserslautern. Leverkusen with wins in all three club competitions are high on confidence and are likely to win comfortably against the newly-promoted side. However, coach Roger Schmidt will miss German international midfielder Sven Bender due to ankle injury. There are also question marks behind defender Tin Jedvaj and midfielder Robbie Kruse.
Odds and tips
Paderborn are considered the rank outsiders in their own stadium with odds between 4.30 and 5.70 and a 10.8% value in the maximum odds. Leverkusen as the better team with more individual quality have odds varying from 1.63 to 1.75. A draw will pay out odds between 3.55 and 4.10. Our tip: Leverkusen have recaptured their form and confidence and are a threat in all three competitions, so everything but a dominating win against Paderborn would be a surprise.