Finding new ways to look into the future is becoming as difficult as keeping a coaching job in the Bundesliga. Thankfully, a discarded party trick with alleged magical powers has come into the possession of DW's pundits.
DW's pundits have had varying degrees of predicting success
It's usually a tradition attached to New Year's Eve celebrations but DW's pundits are employing the German custom of Bleigiessen in February because, well, we've not had a great deal of success with our other divining techniques so why not? So we've melted the lead into a bucket of cold water and raised the resultant forms to a candle to see what the shadow cast from this twisted metal can tell us about the results for match day 22. The first one looks a little like Mario Gomez…
Saturday, February 13
The German champions came massively unstuck against relegation candidates Cologne last week, throwing away a 2-0 half-time lead to eventually lose 3-2. The effects on morale were clear in the post-match comments which were verbal equivalents of throwing in the towel. Bayern's challenge is all but over but they won't go quietly into the night so Hoffenheim, who came out best in their own 3-2 score line last week, should be wary. However, the champions are not the untouchable team they once were and the Hoff can perhaps heap more misery on them if they hold their nerve.
Prediction: Hoffenheim 2-1
Neuer was in outstanding form for Schalke against BVB
Schalke will be hoping that goalie Manuel Neuer is in the kind of form which single-handedly kept Dortmund at bay last week – because if the rest of the team perform like they did against BVB, Freiburg will be heading south with the points. Unable to deal with Dortmund's pace, it was Neuer and the woodwork which earned the draw. If Germany's No.1 has an off day, Freiburg have the tools to get the win. They just need the luck which evaded Dortmund last week – and for Neuer to be under par.
Prediction: Freiburg 1-0
Despite adding another nail to Gladbach's coffin last week, Stuttgart still remain in deep trouble but at least they managed to win for the first time in three games. Another three points on Saturday, combined with defeats to those immediately above them, could see VfB rise to a heady 14th place. However, they face a Nuremberg team buoyed by victory over high-flying Leverkusen and could find themselves rooted to 17th if their opponents carry on their recent good form which has seen them go unbeaten in three games.
Prediction: Nuremberg 2-0
Wolfsburg's Diego went against team orders last week
Pierre Littbarski begins his tenure as caretaker boss at Wolfsburg with a home clash against a Hamburg team who had a week off due to their derby with St. Pauli being rained off. It will be Armin Veh who hopes to rain on Littbarski's parade and take advantage of the dark clouds hanging over the 2009 Bundesliga champions as they face up to the possibility of a relegation battle. The Wolves will be without wayward playmaker Diego whom the club suspended after he took a penalty against team orders last week, making matters even worse. It's there for Hamburg's taking.
Prediction: Hamburg 3-1
Leverkusen will be hoping they haven't hit their perennial skids after last week's defeat to Nuremberg. It's around this time each season that they run out of steam in their pursuit of the title challengers and slip out of the Champions League places. After stealthily keeping pace with Dortmund for most of the season, it could be that the effort has been too much, although Frankfurt shouldn't prove too big a problem as long as Leverkusen haven't lost their heads. If belief remains in their tired legs, then they may survive this one.
Prediction: Draw 2-2
St. Pauli find themselves in the relegation battle they feared all season but, with a game in hand on most of those teams above them, a win over woeful Gladbach will see them leap clear. Three points could take them to 12th. Any win would give them some hope of emerging from the shadow of the drop zone and there's no better time to play Gladbach after their dispiriting 3-2 defeat last week to fellow strugglers Stuttgart. Gladbach now seem resigned to their fate while St. Pauli still believe – a victory in itself.
Prediction: St.Pauli 3-2
Dortmund have been in championship form for months
No-one is looking forward to playing Dortmund these days and Kaiserslautern, who are hovering over the drop zone, could find themselves having an even worse day than normal. BVB ripped Schalke to bits last week but failed to score. Kaiserslautern have a nice keeper in Thomas Sippel, but he's nobody's Manuel Neuer, so if Dortmund are in the same mood, it could be a cricket score. Reports that groundsmen at Kaiserslautern have been reducing the size of the goals are so far unconfirmed.
Prediction: Dortmund 4-1
Sunday, February 13
Mainz are still on track to complete their best ever season in the Bundesliga and perhaps even reach the Champions League. Despite being denied victory against Bremen last week, Mainz showed that their spirit remains undimmed and that their early season enthusiasm has yet to wane. Usually this would be a shoo-in victory for Thomas Tuchel's side but Cologne woke up from their season-long coma to rob Bayern last week against all the odds. Whether they now slump back into a vegetative state like Robert De Niro in Awakenings remains to be seen.
Prediction: Draw 1-1
Thomas Schaaf wishes the season was over already
"Is the season over yet?" No, Thomas Schaaf, it isn't…so get on with kicking your underperforming Bremen side up the backside and start winning some games. No side is too big to go down and, if things don't start going right for Schaaf's side, they could be the relegation victims who prove the rule. Just one point separates them from Cologne in 16th and defeat on Sunday could send Bremen into the basement. Hannover, on the other hand, are occupying the league placing where one would most expect Bremen to be – challenging for Europe in 4th. The form book dictates that this will be another uncomfortable afternoon for Werder.
Prediction: Hannover 1-0
Last week's results: 4 points
Total for the season: 92
Dortmund-Schalke 0-0 (DW Prediction: 2-0)
Mainz-Bremen1-1 (DW Prediction: 2-1)
Hoffenheim-Kaiserslautern 3-2 (DW Prediction: 1-1)
Cologne- Bayern 3-2 (DW Prediction: 0-4)
Hannover-Wolfsburg1-0 (DW Prediction: 1-3)
Nuremberg-Leverkusen1-0 (DW Prediction: 0-2)
Gladbach-Stuttgart 2-3 (DW Prediction: 2-3)
Freiburg-Frankfurt 0-0 (DW Prediction: 2-2)
Hamburg-St. Pauli CANCELLED (DW Prediction: 4-2)
Three points for a correct score prediction
Two points for a correct margin prediction
One point for a correct winner prediction
Author: Nick Amies
Editor: Susan Houlton