Stuttgart have to fight to stay in the German top flight after finishing third from bottom. The positive is that they didn’t suffer automatic relegation at least. They only picked up the seven wins across the course of the league campaign, but six of those were on home soil. So their best chance in this tie is going to be in this first leg at home. Their overall home record for the Bundesliga season was W6 D4 L1. Stuttgart averaged 1.29 goals per home game which is nothing to get excited about. The bigger problem is that they had the joint second-worst defensive record in the top flight.
Bochum is unbeaten in their last three home matches and won two of them as well. Their only h2h tie against this opponent saw them avoiding a loss, and avoiding conceding as well. Magdeburg, meanwhile, was winless in seven of their last nine fixtures, and in three of their last four on the road.
Bochum has the home advantage this time around, and they remained unbeaten against two teams from the top-five in the last three match-days. As such their confidence is high and will show against the lower-tier team. In addition, Magdeburg, who has no option but to go all-out-attack mode, due to the need of points, will be forced to leave gaps behind, which the hosts will take advantage of. Expect a win for the hosts.
Finally, the hosts, despite their upper hand, will have to deal with the desperation of Magdeburg. While the home team can easily take the three points on offer, a clean sheet will be extremely hard to achieve. Moreover, Bochum conceded in eight of their last ten home games, and Magdeburg scored in four of their last six. It’s logical to expect goals from both teams.
Home teams have consistently been the better side in h2h ties. In fact, every single h2h encounter so far has had the hosts finding the back of the net. Also, Dresden won five of the last seven such games at this venue.
Moreover, Dresden was unbeaten in their last five home ties, and in eight of the last ten, Meanwhile, St. Pauli lost the last three away ties, and five of the last six as well. They also conceded two or more goals in all these five fixtures.
As things stand, expect the hosts to avoid a loss at any cost. But do keep in mind that St. Pauli is fighting for the playoffs, and will give a very tough fight, considering time is running out for them, and due to the team having nothing to lose.
Finally, nine of the last twelve h2h match-ups and three of the last four at this venue had goals from both teams. It’s practical to expect goals from either side of the pitch.
Tomas Oral emerged as a true saviour for Ingolstadt. The German manager took charge at the start of the month after the team had a run of five consecutive defeats in the league. He made an immediate impact shifting Die Schanzer’s fortunes around instantly as the team won two and drew one of three 2. Bundesliga games with him in charge. Ingolstadt bagged an impressive eight-goal tally in these three matches.
Dynamo will also enter this in the highest of spirits after a demolishing victory over section leaders Koln on Sunday. However, their away record does not quite promise success here against a red-hot opposition who are desperate for points. The home win is the way to go at 1.73 odds.
The visitors should enter the match in much higher spirits having kept back-to-back clean sheets in last two rounds against Magdeburg and Bochum. They took four points from these two ties and are now ten adrift of the danger area. This means the Lilies all but secured the survival in the second class of German football with just four games left to play.
Looking at the head to head record as well as mere quality, Koln have to be considered heavy favourites here. Darmstadt were generally struggling badly on the road so far in the season. The Lilies won 3, drew 3 and lost 9 of 15 league matches away from home.
Koln won four and drew one of past five home outings in the league and they scored at least three goals in each of these wins.
Regensburg haven’t exactly thrived in their attempts to build on last seasons’ 5th-place finish, though they’ve been far from poor. They currently sit in a respectable 8th place. As they’re ten points below the coveted 3rd position, it looks as though a tilt at promotion will be beyond Jahn, but they haven’t allowed that to prevent some decent efforts of late. Having avoided defeat in each of their last four, two of which they’ve won, Monday’s hosts ought to be feeling confident ahead of this match.
The last couple of performances of Jahn have been pleasing; they were unlucky not to beat Duisburg when drawing last time out. At the very least, the fact that they emerged from the game with an expected goal difference of +1.43 tells us that they were far better than their opponents in terms of creating scoring opportunities. Prior to that, they battled hard to secure victory away against Heidenheim. In front of their own fans, Regensburg have looked like a useful side going forward, but they’ve found it tough to keep things tight at the back. Monday’s hosts come into this fixture having conceded at least once in each of their last three at Continental Arena, while they’ve kept just a single clean sheet in their last ten on home soil. Add in the fact that they’re averaging 1.49 expected-goals against and have recently surrendered numbers of 1.19, 2.35, 1.93, 1.19 and 2.27 and it’s easy to conclude that they’re far from astute defensively. Fortunately, they’re averaging 1.58 expected goals for at home, so all is not lost.
On the face of it, Hamburg are struggling; they’re without a win in two and have dropped off their lofty perch. That said, their performances haven’t exactly been terrible, so we shouldn’t overreact to recent goings on. Monday’s hosts couldn’t take anything from their game against Regensburg last time out, but they were easily the better side and were thus unlucky to lose. The fact that they recorded 2.35 expected goals for and ended the game with a+0.55 expected goal difference tells us that they really shouldn’t have gone home empty handed. What’s more, when they faced Heidenheim prior to that, Wolf’s men created 2.41 expected goals for and conceded just 0.74, so it’s easy to say that they were desperately unfortunate not to come out on top. Results haven’t gone their way over the last few weeks but Die Rothosen will take confidence from the fact that they’ve played reasonably well. In addition to some decent efforts despite results going against them, Hamburg have been very tough to beat at this venue. Monday’s hosts have lost just twice at home this season and are now without defeat at Volksparkstadion since September. They’ve since kept five clean sheets out of seven and have conceded more than once on just one occasion during that time. Moreover, they’ve conceded an average of just 0.98 expected goals since their last defeat on home soil, which suggests that they’ve not exactly been giving up plenty of chances. At the other end, they’ve averaged 1.43 expected goals for since their last home defeat. While Hamburg have seemingly found it easy to avoid defeat at home in recent times, Furth have found it very, very tough to get their heads in front on the road. Monday’s visitors are now without a win in seven away matches, five of which they’ve lost. During that time, they’ve failed to find the net on six occasions. Scoring goals is becoming a real problem for Furth on the road. They’ve found the back of the net in just six of their last seven travelling matches, while they’ve averaged a rather dismal 0.67 expected goals for during that time, so we can’t exactly say that they’ve been unlucky to find the net on so few occasions. Not only have the visitors struggled to get going offensively on the road, but they’ve also done little to prevent their opponents from doing well in that respect. Furth come into this match having kept just two clean sheets in their last ten on the road, while they’ve shipping an average of 1.56 expected goals, which suggests that they’ve consistently conceded way more than they’ve created.