Borussia Dortmund v Wolfsburg Saturday 30 March, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
It's tempting to think of next weekend's Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund as a title decider at the Allianz Arena, but although the result of that titanic tussle will be important, there'll be plenty of other twists and turns along the way. After all, only goal difference separates the two foes with just eight matches left, so any result in Munich next weekend can be mitigated.
The problem Borussia Dortmund have is that they have gone from being a side that were serenely and gracefully clearing the hurdles in the race for the Meisterschale to a team that is clumsily knocking some barriers, and barely clearing others. Dramatic wins over Stuttgart and Hertha Berlin showed impressive fighting spirit, but BVB haven't beaten a team convincingly since they thrashed Hannover 5-1 back in late January, and that's a big concern as they look to hold off the challenge of a Bayern side that has rediscovered an incredible level of consistency in the Bundesliga.
Although Wolfsburg recently succumbed to a 6-0 defeat against Bayern in Munich, that was a result and performance very much out of keeping with their campaign as a whole. Die Wolfe are still in the mix for a Europa League spot, they have one of the best away records in the German top flight (they have won seven of their 13 away matches) and they have just hammered Fortuna Dusseldorf 5-2. Although coach Bruno Labbadia has confirmed he won't sign a new contract and will leave in the summer, there doesn't seem to have been a drop-off in effort from the players.
Dortmund are trading at 1.54 to win this, and they have only won two of their last five home matches in all competitions. Opta tell us that Wolfsburg have an awful record against BVB (they have lost six of the last seven meetings) but this is currently a stronger VFL side that is dangerous at set pieces, and Dortmund have had a real problem defending that kind of situation of late.
I'll lay the hosts here.
Augsburg to take another step towards safety
Nurnberg v Augsburg Saturday 30 March, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
If Augsburg manage to survive the drop, it'll be another triumph of coaching by Manuel Baum. Sporting director Stefan Reuter has stood steadfastly by his coach, even when results suggested the Bavarians could tumble into the second tier.
In their last three matches, Augsburg have beaten Borussia Dortmund and Hannover, and ground out a goalless draw at RB Leipzig. Another victory this weekend at the bottom club Nurnberg would further ease the pressure.
Nurnberg have battled gamely in recent weeks, but the collection of 13 points from 26 matches tells a grim story, and they haven't won a Bundesliga game since late September. The Franconians have taken just four points from their last ten home matches.
Augsburg should be able to eke out another vital win here, so I'll back them Draw No Bet at 1.82.
Schalke to push Hannover deeper into trouble
Hannover v Schalke Sunday 31 March, 14:30 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
Domenico Tedesco's credit at the Schalke bank finally ran out, and the coach who had led the Royal Blues to second last season, and to the last 16 of the Champions League this term was dismissed. Like an old Hollywood army general tempted back for one more mission, grizzled veteran Huub Stevens has temporarily taken up the reins, with survival the only thing on the agenda.
There was an improved performance in Stevens' first game back at the helm, a 1-0 home defeat to RB Leipzig. S04 have taken just two points from their last eight Bundesliga outings, a run that has moved them into the "too good to go down, but might do anyway" category.
However, salvation could be at hand this weekend, because Schalke are visiting one of the worst teams in the division. Hannover are playing without heart and without a clear plan, they have been abysmal at defending set plays since coach Thomas Doll arrived earlier this year, and their best players are injured.
Hannover have lost nine of their last ten Bundesliga matches, and the other result in that sequence was a 2-0 home win against Nurnberg, the only side with a worse record than them. As bad as Schalke are, they should be able to overcome a Hannover side that seems to have little belief they can avoid the drop.