Bundesliga Tips: Relegation battle the focus as bottom four face off

Bochum coach Thomas Letsch
Thomas Letsch's Bochum are on the slide

We're heading towards the end of the Bundesliga season, and this weekend world feed TV commentator Kevin Hatchard is largely concentrating on the scrap for survival.

  • Koln tough to beat under Schultz

  • Burkardt can inspire Mainz

  • Goals in Heidenheim and Sinsheim

  • Köln to avoid defeat in crunch clash

    Köln v Bochum
    Saturday 06 April, 14:30

    This weekend the bottom four all play each other, and a win for Köln this Saturday would drag Bochum into the mire. Since beating mighty Bayern Munich a few weeks ago, Bochum have dropped like a stone, claiming a single point from their last five games. Last weekend the Ruhr side somehow managed to blow a 2-0 lead at home to the bottom side Darmstadt, and they had to settle for a 2-2 draw.

    Köln were smashed 5-1 by RB Leipzig in their last home game, and last weekend they rode their luck somewhat in a 1-1 draw at Augsburg. The hosts missed numerous fine chances to win the game, but Köln held on for a precious point. Davie Selke scored on his first start since January - he is their top scorer in the league with six goals and could play an important role between now and the end of the season.

    Since Timo Schultz took charge in the winter break, Köln have been tougher to beat, and I'll back them to at least avoid defeat here. Bochum have only won once away from home this season, and that was at the bottom side Darmstadt, and they are in terrible form. Considering Köln have the worst attacking record in the division (21 goals), I'll back Under 3.5 Goals in the Bet Builder too, which with Köln Double Chance gives us a combined price of 1.84/5.

    Seven of Köln's last nine league games have featured fewer than three goals, and this combination gives us a few likely scorelines. We'll have the 0-0 and the 1-1 in our stable, as well as the 1-0, the 2-0 and the 2-1.

    Back Koln/Draw Double Chance and Under 3.5 Goals at 1.84/5

    Bet here

    In-form Mainz star can hit the net

    Mainz v Darmstadt
    Saturday 06 April, 14:30

    The other half of Saturday's relegation puzzle sees the bottom side Darmstadt go to Mainz. A win is the only thing that would really get the Lilies back into the survival picture, as they are six points behind Mainz, who are currently in the relegation playoff spot. A defeat realistically condemns Darmstadt to relegation.

    That need for an attacking approach could play into Mainz's hands, as they have speed and threat on the counter, although they haven't been able to bring that to bear for much of the season. The return from long-term injury of striker Jonathan Burkardt has made a massive difference - the German U21 international has scored four goals across Mainz's last three home matches, and against the worst defence in the division it makes perfect sense to back him to score at a generous 17/10 on the Betfair Sportsbook.

    Mainz have been lifted by the arrival of Danish coach Bo Henriksen, and their only defeats since he took charge were away to the top two Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. I expect the home side to dominate, so Burkardt should get lots of chances to score.

    Back Jonathan Burkardt to score at 17/102.70

    Bet here

    Goals at Heidenheim and Hoffenheim

    Elsewhere I'll use the ability to combine different bets from different games on the Sportsbook to combine Over 2.5 Goals bets from both Heidenheim v Bayern and Hoffenheim v Augsburg.

    Last weekend, Heidenheim put three goals past high-flying Stuttgart in an incredible 3-3 draw, and 15 of their 27 games have seen an Over 2.5 Goals bet land. In the reverse fixture against Bayern, they fully played their part in a thrilling 4-2 win for the record champions.

    On the other side, Bayern have the best attacking record in the division, having rattled in 78 goals in the top flight. They suffered a rare shut-out in last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker, with Harry Kane producing a surprisingly wasteful display. However, it's worth noting that 23 of their 27 league games have featured at least three goals, so we should be on safe ground here.

    I'll also back Over 2.5 Goals in Hoffenheim v Augsburg. Both teams are in the battle for European spots, and both are at the stage where settling for a point is inadequate. Augsburg are in great form, with four wins and a draw from their last five games, and the return from suspension of 14-goal top scorer Ermedin Demirovic will do their chances no harm.

    Hoffenheim gave Bayer Leverkusen a scare last weekend, but crumbled to a 2-1 defeat, but they have seen 21 of their 27 league games feature three goals or more.

    At a combined price of 1.910/11, it's a double worth pursuing.

    Back Over 2.5 Goals in Heidenheim v Bayern and Hoffenheim v Augsburg at 1.910/11

    Bet here

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