After a fine performance last week, DW's pundits feel like they should take things easy. Settling back for a bout of relaxing hypnosis, here are the match day 21 predictions from the dark recesses of the subconscious.
When you wake up you will be able to accurately predict scores
You are feeling sleepy…very, very sleepy.
Reaching a hypnotic state can sometimes unlock surprising revelations in the sub-conscious. In a bid to dig deep into the darkest reaches of our psyche and find the results for match day 21, DW's soccer pundits have been watching a DVD of Cologne's season to date while dressed in fleecy pajamas. Aided by a glass of warm milk and a wee dram of single malt, we feel just about ready to reveal this week's predictions...ZZzZZzZzz....
Friday, Feb. 4
Dortmund - Schalke
Bundesliga derbies don't come any bigger than this one, and with Dortmund going from strength to strength and Schalke struggling for consistency, bragging rights are firmly in the black and yellow camp this season. Dortmund are still on course for the title and showing no signs of fatigue. Even without the excellent Shinji Kagawa, BVB have creativity in spades and with a capacity crowd taking huge pleasure in a possible league triumph, Schalke will be up against it - and likely to be found wanting, despite the occasion.
Prediction: Dortmund 2-0
Saturday, Feb. 5
Mainz - Bremen
They may be three points above the drop zone but make no mistake, Bremen are in a relegation battle. Their confidence has gone the same way as their form and has deserted them, leaving them in a precarious position. Last week's comprehensive defeat to Bayern showed just how far they've fallen and with Mainz regaining composure by the week after their own mid-season crisis, Werder are ripe for the taking. Only poor performances by those below them may save Bremen from the indignity of slipping into the bottom three this week.
Prediction: Mainz 2-1
Hoffenheim - Kaiserslautern
It's hoped Ryan Babel can breathe life into Hoffenheim
Last week's results neither helped nor hindered the positions of these two teams who stayed in 8th and 13th place respectively. Hoffenheim look to have succumbed to comfortable mediocrity after flirting with a Europeean place earlier this season, and will hope that new signing Ryan Babel can help inject some much-needed energy into their remaining games. Kaiserslautern are one of three teams on 22 points, just three off the relegation zone so are not safe by any stretch of the imagination. The form book says Hoffenheim should win but it's hard to call.
Prediction: Draw 1-1
Cologne - Bayern
While taking the title may be more than a little optimistic, Bayern have certainly found the form to cement a Champions League place in the last few weeks. Just three points off second now, the Bavarians are breathing down Leverkusen's neck. Cologne, meanwhile, have more than a faint whiff of relegation about them and will certainly have their hands full if Arjen Robben and Co. are in the mood - which seems rather likely. From the looks of their roll-over-and-die routine last week at St. Pauli, Cologne don't seem to know where to start when it comes to saving themselves.
Prediction: Bayern 4-0
New signing Patrick Helmes has boosted the Wolves attack
Hannover - Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg splashed out in the transfer window and time will tell if they got the horses they need to ride to safety. After getting their hides tanned by Dortmund last week, they may be smarting a bit. Hannover’s luck is running out, and after pushing for the Champions League places for most of the season, they’ve slid down to sixth. It could be that the bubble has simply burst for Mirko Slomka's side. Saturday’s derby would be a great time for new Wolves Patrik Helmes and Tuncay to put on a show and prove they're worth the money.
Prediction: Wolfsburg 3-1
Nuremberg - Leverkusen
They may have buckled under the pressure last season but Leverkusen's fine form in this campaign suggests that they've got something right at last on the banks of the Rhine. Who knows what a third season at the top end of the table may yield for this team. At the very least, they should enjoy more European soccer next season and an away victory at mid-table meanderers Nuremberg would help ensure it’s the Champions League kind.
Prediction: Leverkusen 2-0
Gladbach - Stuttgart
This basement clash has a lot riding on it. Equal on wins, draws and losses, only Gladbach's doozy of a goal difference figure (-21) puts them below Stuttgart at the bottom of the table. Gladbach have had a season to forget by anyone's standards and seem doomed to dropping down a level. Lucky for them, there are enough other inept squads around to keep things interesting. Stuttgart will surely go down if they continue to squander chances to pull free of the drop zone, and if they remain unable to win away. Time is running out and an air of desperation may inject some excitement into this game. Both teams are playing for their survival.
Prediction: Stuttgart 3-2
Sunday, Feb. 6
Hamburg - St. Pauli
The Pirates go to their rivals ready to take no prisoners
Another big derby this weekend pits the two Hamburg clubs against each other, with seven places and eight points between them in the table. Hamburg continue to underperform and slipped up against Nuremberg last week while Pauli earned three valuable points to give their survival mission an extra boost. The form card can be ripped up here, however, as it will be hell for leather in the northern port city. Expect fireworks a-plenty and maybe a few goals too.
Prediction: Hamburg 4-2
Freiburg - Frankfurt
Freiburg are still surprisingly in the mix for a Europa League place after weathering the loss of top striker Papiss Demba Cisse. He’s back this week, and his help toward a home win over Frankfurt would certainly help them stay on track for some European soccer next season. However, Frankfurt’s loss to bottom club Gladbach last week was more than a bit unlucky. Frankfurt are stronger than that result suggests, and in Theofanis Gekas they have a deadly striker of their own who loves to score away from home. Freiburg beware.
Prediction: Draw 2-2
Last week's results: 8 points
Total for the season: 88
Leverkusen - Hannover 2-0 (DW Prediction: 2-0)
Schalke - Hoffenheim 0-1 (DW Prediction: 2-1 )
Bremen - Bayern 1-3 (DW Prediction: 2-2)
Wolfsburg - Dortmund 0-3 (DW Prediction: 0-2)
Nuremberg - Hamburg 2-0 (DW Prediction: 2-1)
St. Pauli - Cologne 3-0 (DW Prediction:1-0)
Kaiserslautern - Mainz 0-1 (DW Prediction:0-0 )
Stuttgart - Freiburg 0-1 (DW Prediction: 2-1)
Frankfurt - Gladbach 0-1 (DW Prediction: 1-2)
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: Matt Hermann