RB Leipzig v Ingolstadt
Saturday April 29, 14:30

To some people, RB Leipzig will always be an object of scorn, an entity to be feared as a harbinger of doom when it comes to German football tradition. Die Roten Bullen will never escape the fact that their wealthy owners Red Bull simply bought a licence from an existing fifth-tier club, and are using the club primarily to sell energy drinks.

However, there is a hell of a lot to like about the Bundesliga's newest club. The youngest squad in the league has manfully dealt with the pressure of an inaugural season in the top flight, and if they win this weekend, then the title race will be pushed into May. RBL have played some of the most exciting football in Germany this season, and coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has cemented his reputation as a rising star. Above him, sporting director Ralf Rangnick has helped to knit together a talented group of youngsters.

There is talent throughout the team. Centre-back Willi Orban, the youngest captain in the league this season, has developed into a excellent defender and leader. Naby Keita has been a midfield powerhouse, attracting admiring glances from Champions League clubs. Swedish string-puller Emil Forsberg has more assists than anyone in the Bundesliga, while Timo Werner has been transformed from promising talent to Bundesliga goal machine.

A 1-0 defeat at Hasenhuttl's old club Ingolstadt just before Christmas seemed to be the beginning of the end for Leipzig's title hopes, and it sparked a run of three defeats in seven games. However, whereas the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen have failed to keep Bayern honest in the race for the meisterschale, it's RBL who have stayed in the Bavarians' rear-view mirror. They have taken 13 points from the last 15 available, and although an eight-point gap is surely too much to make up, it's been an outstanding effort. A top-four spot is already in the bag, and another win this weekend would go a long way towards securing automatic entry to the Champions League group stage.

Ingolstadt are merely focusing on trying to survive, and last weekend's late collapse at home to Werder Bremen was a total disaster. Leading 2-1 with nine minutes left, FCI allowed Max Kruse to score his second, third and fourth goals of the afternoon at the Audi Sportpark, leaving Maik Walpurgis' men four points from escaping the bottom two, and five points from complete safety.

FCI have lost five of their last seven away games, while Leipzig have won their last three matches at the Red Bull Arena, scoring nine goals and conceding none. He won't enjoy doing it, but Hasenhuttl might just be about to push his old club off the relegation precipice.

Recommended Bet
Back RB Leipzig -1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.80

Borussia Dortmund v FC Koln
Saturday April 29, 14:30

Wednesday's German Cup semi-final win at Bayern Munich was Borussia Dortmund's most important win since Thomas Tuchel took charge at the start of last season. An elusive trophy is now within touching distance, and although they sailed close to the wind (Sven Bender's goal-line clearance from Arjen Robben at 2-1 down was one of the season's best pieces of defending), they have proven to themselves that they can beat Bayern in Munich. Winger Ousmane Dembele turned the match with an assist and a superb winner - for my money the 19-year-old is a future Ballon d'Or winner.

With tickets to Berlin booked, BVB now turn their attention to securing a top-three finish in the league. They have won their last two league games against Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach, and at Signal Iduna Park they have won their last six Bundesliga home games.

FC Koln have been in the mix for a European place all season, but they are seriously wobbling. They have lost six of their last 11 games, and blew a lead right at the end of last Friday's draw with Hoffenheim. Coach Peter Stoger says his side are punching above their weight, and that now seems to be the case. Star striker Anthony Modeste is having a dry spell, and poor service has been the root cause.

Koln have lost four of their last five on the road, conceding 11 goals in the process. They could be in for another demoralising defeat. BVB have led at half-time in their last six home wins in the league, and that's the way I'm heading again.

Recommended Bet
Back Dortmund/Dortmund in the HT/FT market at 1.80

Hoffenheim v Eintracht Frankfurt
Sunday April 30, 16:30
Live on BT Sport

For the first time in the club's history, Hoffenheim will play in European competition next season. Having hauled TSG out of relegation trouble last term, coach Julian Nagelsmann has now achieved the damn-near impossible. A win this weekend will secure a Champions League spot, and there is still a possibility of nailing down a top-three finish ahead of Dortmund.

Hoffe are unbeaten at home this season, and they have won their last six league games at the Rhein-Neckar Arena. Four of those victories have been by a margin of two goals or more.

Eintracht Frankfurt are on a high after reaching the German Cup final, but they played 120 gruelling minutes at Borussia Monchengladbach, and that could have consequences. 
Defender Jesus Vallejo and key midfielder Omar Mascarell are out, as is top scorer Alex Meier. The Eagles have lost seven of their last eight games on the road in the league, and I suspect they'll lose here.

Recommended Bet
Back Hoffenheim -1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.95

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