German Bundesliga

Bundesliga Tips: Champions Leverkusen to gain invincibles tag

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen could become the Bundesliga's first invincibles

After securing six winners from his last six selections, Sky Sports and world feed commentator Kevin Hatchard brings us his final Bundesliga preview of the season...

Bayer to complete unprecedented season in style

Bayer Leverkusen v Augsburg
Saturday 18 May, 14:30
Live on Sky Sports Arena

If you think of all the great Bundesliga teams since the league was formed in 1963, it seems extraordinary that none of them have ever gotten through an entire top-flight campaign without defeat, but it's true. Bayer Leverkusen stand on the cusp of something truly special - not only have they won their first ever Bundesliga title, but they have gone 50 competitive games without defeat from the start of the campaign, and they have also reached the finals of the DFB Pokal and the Europa League.

Time and time again, Die Werkself have had to dig deep and find stoppage-time equalisers to keep the precious flower that is their unbeaten record alive, but they have always found a way. There is talk of a special golden meisterschale being awarded, but that won't be done until the start of next season, if indeed it happens at all. Win, lose or draw on Saturday, Xabi Alonso's Bayer will be lifting the traditional league trophy.

Augsburg aren't exactly the perfect patsies, as they could in theory still sneak into a European place with a win, but they are in poor form after a run of four straight league defeats. It's still been an excellent campaign for Jess Thorup's side, but it still feels like an opportunity has been missed.

Leverkusen clinched the league title with a 5-0 win over Werder Bremen, and I can see something similar happening here, even though Xabi Alonso will heavily rotate his squad ahead of a week of finals. I'll back Bayer -1.5 & -2.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.9420/21. That bet would have at least partially paid out in 16 of Bayer's 33 Bundesliga matches.

Record-equalling Müller to make his mark

Hoffenheim v Bayern Munich
Saturday 18 May, 14:30
Live on the Sky Sports App

With Harry Kane still struggling with a back injury, and highly unlikely to score the five goals needed to equal Robert Lewandowski's single-season scoring record of 41, Saturday's focus may well be on Bayern Munich legend Thomas Müller. The veteran is set to draw level with legendary goalkeeper Sepp Maier as Bayern's all-time appearance maker in all competitions. With the 34-year-old also named in the Germany squad for EURO 2024, these are heady days indeed for the Bavarian, despite Bayern enduring their first trophyless season since 2012.

Müller was outstanding in last weekend's 2-0 win over Wolfsburg, cleverly letting the ball run to teenager Lovro Zvonarek for the opening goal, before teeing up the second for Leon Goretzka. A marginal offside call denied him a second assist, as Bryan's first goal for the Rekordmeister was chalked off. Müller now has five goals and eight assists in the Bundesliga this term, and it's worth remembering he has only started 19 games.

Bayern face a Hoffenheim side that is trying to rubber-stamp qualification for Europe, and TSG have one of the worst defensive records in the division, with 64 goals conceded. With Bayern carrying a host of injuries, Müller seems likely to start here, and he's in excellent form. I'll happily back him to either score or assist on his big day at 10/11 on the Sportsbook.

Struggling Union could crack under pressure

Union Berlin v Freiburg
Saturday 18 May, 14:30

This has been a bizarre season for Union Berlin. Having qualified for the Champions League against all odds last season, they entered a complete tailspin this term. Long-serving and popular coach Urs Fischer parted company with the capital club, and the hiring of his replacement Nenad Bjelica proved to be an unwise misstep.

Not for the first time, caretaker coaches Marco Grote and Marie-Louise Eta have picked up the reins, and they know defeat opens the door for Köln to catch them in the race to avoid automatic relegation. If Union win, they could potentially catch either Mainz or Bochum and push one of them into the relegation playoff spot.

Union blew a 2-0 lead at Köln last weekend, losing an extraordinary game 3-2 in the Domstadt. That was their 19th league defeat of the season, and they have lost five of their last six games. Their traditional strength under Fischer was their home form, but the Eisern have lost four of their last five on home soil.

Freiburg are playing their final game under iconic coach Christian Streich, and they could still qualify for Europe, so they don't lack motivation. Although they have limped to the finish line, the southern club have only lost three of their last 10 games in the league, so I can't fathom why they are such big outsiders here.

Freiburg have won three of their last four away games, all against bottom-half sides. We can back them on the Double Chance market at 1.845/6, which means we get a winner if Union fail to win.

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