Bundesliga, Week 17 preview: Borussia Mönchengladbach, Wolfsburg highlight final matchday of 2013

Oliver Hardt

The final matchday of 2013 is upon us, and the highlight is Borussia Mönchengladbach hosting Wolfsburg.

With Bayern Munich being away in Morocco at the Club World Cup, the Bundesliga will be one match short this weekend. Bayern and Stuttgart will face each other in their Matchday 17 game on January 29.

Friday, December 20

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Augsburg

Eintracht Frankfurt need a big win at home on Friday against Augsburg to push themselves further away from the relegation zone. However, it's going to be an extremely difficult match for Frankfurt to grab those points, as Augsburg has been on quite the roll lately. They've taken 10 out of their last 12 possible points and have jumped up the table into 8th.

Time & Location: 20:30 Local / 2:30 PM Eastern; Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt

Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 1 - 2 Augsburg

Saturday, December 21

Borussia Dortmund vs. Hertha Berlin

Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin is an interesting contest at this point in the season. There's no questioning that BVB have been struggling lately, but I think we'll see them more focused and ready to play without the midweek game to distract them. If the match was in Berlin, I think the chances of Hertha finding a way to pull out three points here. BVB will take the victory and march into the winter break with a little positivity.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 3 - 1 Hertha Berlin

Werder Bremen vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen can cut Bayern's lead atop the Bundesliga table to only four points with a win against Werder Bremen on Saturday. Leverkusen have been in outstanding form so far this season and should be able to cap it off with a fairly easy win in Bremen. Getting a new coach clearly wasn't enough to fix a Werder squad that isn't very talented. I kind of feel bad for Aaron Hunt.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Weserstadion, Bremen

Prediction: Werder Bremen 1 - 2 Bayer Leverkusen

Freiburg vs. Hannover

Freiburg are very close to getting away from the direct relegation zone, and they could find themselves four point from direct relegation and tied for 15th in points if results go their way this weekend. However, their opponents are another Bundesliga club that are struggling to grab this season and really get started. After a poor start to their season, Hannover still haven't figured out how to get their feet underneath them. Mirko Slomka needs the winter break to get Hannover back on the right track.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Mage Solar Stadion, Freiburg

Prediction: Freiburg 2 - 3 Hannover

Hamburg vs. Mainz

Neither side had a brilliant start to the campaign, but they've both managed to somewhat turn things around a little bit as we head into the winter break. They went different routes after their start. Mainz stuck with head coach Thomas Tuchel and are beginning to see positive results. Hamburg were unwilling to continue waiting for Thorsten Fink to figure things out and made a move to bring in former Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk, and it looks like a positive move. We could be in for a positive match before we head into the winter break.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Imtech Arena, Hamburg

Prediction: Hamburg 2 - 2 Mainz

Eintracht Braunschweig vs. Hoffenheim

Eintracht Braunschweig will find themselves on the losing end of this one. Hoffenheim may give up a goal, but they'll surely grab two to four goals against Braunschweig.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Eintracht Stadion, Braunschweig

Prediction: Eintracht Braunschweig 1 - 3

Nürnberg vs. Schalke

Schalke will try to add to Nürnberg's disappointing first half of the season by sending Der Club into the winter break without a single victory. It's looking more and more likely that Schalke will retain Jens Keller throughout the winter break despite all of the rumors linking them with a move for former Werder manager Thomas Schaaf.

Time & Location: 18:30 Local / 12:30 PM Eastern; Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund

Prediction: Nürnberg 1 - 2 Schalke

Sunday, December 22

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Wolfsburg

Borussia Mönchengladbach and Wolfsburg face each other in Sunday's lone match and what is easily the biggest match of the weekend. The battle for the fourth and final Champions League place in the Bundesliga this year looks like it will be intense and probably come down to the final couple of match days. This match won't be the for the faint at heart, and both sides will be

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Borussia Park, Mönchengladbach

Prediction: Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - 1 Wolfsburg

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