Bundesliga 2013, Week 26 preview and fixtures: Leverkusen host Bayern

Lennart Preiss

Bayern Munich will be looking to avenge their only loss so far in the league when they travel to the Bay Arena to take on Bayer Leverkusen.

It was a rough week in Europe for the Bundesliga with three losses in both competitions. Bayern lost to Arsenal, but they still advanced on away goals. In other action, Schalke were bounced from the Champions League, and Stuttgart were knocked out of the Europa League by Lazio. The big match of the weekend will see Bayern Munich traveling to the Bay Arena in an attempt to avenge their only loss of the season against Bayer Leverkusen.

Friday, March 15

Wolfsburg vs Fortuna Düsseldorf - 20:30 CET / 3:30 PM ET
The Friday match-up features Düsseldorf traveling to Wolfsburg to try and move themselves away from the relegation zone. They currently have a seven point lead over the 16th place team but surely won't feel safe until they have mathematically secured Bundesliga survival. Wolfsburg are coming off of a big win in Freiburg in a match where Ivica Olic was fantastic.
Prediction: Wolfsburg 1 - 1 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Saturday, March 16

Nürnberg vs Schalke - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM ET
After a dismal stretch that saw Schalke drop out of the European places, Die Königsblauen have put together a nice run to pull them back into the Champions League place. They lost Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for many weeks after the Revierderby and were knocked out of the Champions League by Galatasaray. Their opponents this weekend grabbed a huge three points in the Bavarian Derby against Augsburg to move farther away from the relegation zone and are actually able to see the European places ahead of them.
Prediction: Nürnberg 1 - 2 Schalke

Borussia Dortmund vs Freiburg - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM ET
Last week was an interesting one for BVB. They produced a dominating victory over Shakhtar Donetsk to advance in the Champions League before losing at the weekend in the Revierderby against Schalke. This weekend they'll host a Freiburg side coming off of a devastating 2-5 loss to Bremen. There are some big injury concerns for BVB heading into the match with Mats Hummels and Sebastian Kehl definitely out while Sven Bender, Marcel Schmelzer, and Jakub Blaszczykowski are all doubtful. Freiburg's offense hasn't been clicking well in recent weeks, so it'll be interesting to see if they can put things together on Saturday.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2 - 2 Freiburg

Hoffenheim vs Mainz - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM ET
Mainz are in an unbeaten run that stretches back five matches and are coming off a big win against Bayer Leverkusen. They're just outside the European places in the table and have a big opportunity to retake one of those spots this week. Hoffenheim will be hoping to take points and find themselves out of the relegation zone at the end of the weekend.
Prediction: Hoffenheim 1 - 2 Mainz

Hamburg vs Augsburg - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM ET
Hamburg will continue their push for the Champions League this weekend when they host relegation-bound Augsburg. This would be a huge three points for them to declare their intent on challenge for the Champions League place over the remainder of the season. Failing to take three points here by Augsburg could see them drop back into the automatic drop zone.
Prediction: Hamburg 3 - 1 Augsburg

Werder Bremen vs Greuther Fürth - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM ET
Bremen haven't been very good lately, but Fürth haven't been good all season long.
Prediction: Werder Bremen 1 - 1 Greuther Fürth

Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich - 18:30 CET / 1:30 PM ET
Leverkusen handed Bayern their only loss this season in the league in the reverse fixture, and the Bavarians will be looking to exact their revenge on the return trip to the BayArena. After their midweek slip-up in Champions League, Bayern will be looking to redeem themselves in the eyes of the world before the international break. Leverkusen's performance at the Allianz Arena earlier this year wasn't great, but it was enough to get the job done. Barring a catastrophe of epic proportions, the league crown will be heading back to Bavaria at the end of this season, and this match won't have much of an impact in the grand scheme of things. A point or three for Leverkusen here can see them move closer to securing a Champions League place next season.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 1 - 2 Bayern Munich

Sunday, March 17

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Stuttgart - 15:30 CET / 10:30 AM ET
Frankfurt are winless in their last five, but on the brightside three of those are draws. Luckily, their opponents this weekend have only won once in their last nine matches. Stuttgart have lost two in a row now and, if you include the Europa League, that number is now four. It'll be a tough match for both sides to really get their offense going in this one. Frankfurt have gone five straight matches now without scoring a goal, so why should I pick them to score any in this match?
Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 0 - 1 Stuttgart

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Hannover - 17:30 CET / 12:30 PM ET
Both clubs are floating in the middle of the table and are threatening the clubs in the Europa League places again this season. Gladbach and Hannover have been consistently inconsistent this season, and the match will be a flip of the coin in deciding who's going to win it.
Prediction: Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 - 2 Hannover

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