With one round of fixtures in the books, Bundesliga returns for the second week of matches following its return from lockdown. As was the case seven days ago, all matches will be played behind closed doors with safety measures in place to protect the players, coaching staff, officials, and the television crew. That will be the case for the remainder of this season and the thinking at present is the early part of next season will also be played behind closed doors.
This is far from ideal for players who spoke of eerie silence and strange atmosphere upon their return. Teams must remain professional, however, as not only are they in a rush to complete the 2019/20 campaign, they do so with the world watching, judging their return, and taking notes. The English Premier League will be paying particularly close attention as they gear for their own return.
Two teams low on confidence, showing poor recent form, clash on Saturday afternoon in Freiburg and Werder Bremen. One side is pushing for a spot in the Europa League next season, the other fighting against relegation. This won’t be the most glamourous fixture played this weekend, but it will be gripping from the first whistle.
Freiburg must arrest a worrying dip in form
SC Freiburg enter game 27 of the Bundesliga season sitting seventh in the table and with every chance of forcing their way into next season’s Europa League. To have any chance of achieving that, however, they must arrest a slump in form that has everyone connected to the club on edge. Their season stats read 10 wins and 7 draws against 9 defeats, scoring 35 goals, and conceding 36. That is the kind of form you’d expect from a midtable side, but they are just two points behind Wolfsburg in sixth, although their rivals boast much the better form of the two involved in that race.
The home team have managed just one win in their last five league games, that patchy spell made up of two defeats and a couple of draws. Despite being involved in a battle for the prize places, Freiburg are also just four points better off than FC Koln down in the 10th. At present, five teams have a realistic chance of finishing in sixth place and qualifying for Europe in the summer. To remain in the hunt, the locals must take maximum points from this match and use that to get their season back on track heading into the home straight.
Freiburg returned to action with a draw last weekend, ending all-square with RB Leipzig on the road on Saturday. A match they were expected to lose, given their opponents’ spending power and the fact they are pushing for a Champions League finish. The underdogs took a surprise lead on 34 minutes thanks to an opening goal from Gulde and they went close to holding onto that advantage too. It took until the 77th minute for Leipzig to fire back, Poulsen equalising to take the pressure off his teammates and set up an interesting finish.
Bremen in danger of being relegated
Freiburg’s recent form has been nothing more than poor, but their season has been far better than the one endured by their opponents. Werder Bremen are a team respected at this level and are more used to pushing for a top-half finish than battling against relegation, but they are in real danger of losing their Bundesliga membership. A dreadful run of form has Bremen stuck at the wrong end of the charts with time running out to pull themselves clear. With every defeat, they move a step closer to relegation. The clock is against them, that’s for sure.
Werder Bremen’s season stats show they have won only four of their previous 25 games – the same number as Paderborn who are bottom. Four wins, six draws and 15 defeats have Bremen in 17th, occupying one of the two relegation slots. 18 points on the board means they are five off Fortuna Dusseldorf and safety, although the visitors do have a game in hand and that gives them hope of saving their season. Every point is now vitally important as Dusseldorf are on a four-game unbeaten run, winning one and drawing each of their last three.
Bremen, on the other hand, have banked just one of the last 15 points available to them, heaping pressure on the side. They lost three on the bounce before rescuing a draw going into lockdown. We saw Werder pick up their 15th defeat of the season on Monday when hammered 4-1 by Bayer Leverkusen at home. No real surprise in that result.
Freiburg v Werder Bremen prediction
Neither side bring form that fills us with confidence, but Freiburg are much higher in the league and for good reason – they have so far been the better team. Werder Bremen have lost four of the last five and that’s difficult to ignore. They were hammered on Monday and looked off the pace from the opening whistle. More of the same is might be expected here.
This rates as a great chance for Freiburg to get back to winning ways and inject some much-needed confidence back into the ranks. They are up against what is considered to be one of the poorest sides in the division. If they can get an early goal, they are likely to settle into a rhythm and win this with a bit to spare.
No surprise to see Freiburg are betting favourites at 6/5 against the 215/100 of Werder Bremen causing an upset. Alternatively, you can choose the draw at 255/100.
For those seeking a different angle, there is no shortage of specials available on the 22BET sportsbook. You can back Freiburg -1.5 goals on the handicap at 53/20. The locals half time/full time has been chalked up at 245/100 and that might appeal to supporters of the home team looking for a better price.