Welcome to another eagerly-anticipated weekend of third division football.
Hallescher FC vs FSV Zwickau (Friday)
We start the weekend with an Ost Derby as 15th host 11th. Halle is just three points outside the bottom four, albeit with a game in hand. Their remaining fixtures include a lot of teams situated around them so this is a great opportunity to earn three points. They come across a solid Zwickau side who rarely leak goals. On 32 points themselves, you feel Zwickau will be all but safe with a couple of extra wins on the board. It’s often a close affair when Zwickau are around but it’s this point of the season where sides go for it even more. This could be an entertaining match to kickstart matchday 26.
(Prediction: Halle 1:2 Zwickau)
FC Kaiserslautern vs FC Magdeburg (Saturday)
This is quite possibly the game of the weekend. It’s 2nd vs 1st as the top two sides meet for the final time this campaign. Kaiserslautern is the more in-form of the two and actually boast the best defensive record in the country! Playing at home in front of their own fans will certainly give them a good advantage. However, Magdeburg has been top for some time and obviously know how to go to away grounds and get results. If the Red Devils were to win here, they’ll be closer to their opponents with a game in hand. I imagine Magdeburg fans will be happy with a draw here but I can see one team coming away with all three points.
(Prediction: Kaiserslautern 3:1 Magdeburg)
Würzburger Kickers vs MSV Duisburg
Now to the bottom. This is a massive game in the fight for survival in the 3. Liga. Würzburger is in real trouble of making it back-to-back relegations. This week the Kickers brought back former coach, Ralf Santelli. Whether he can have an immediate impact is yet to be seen. On the flipside, Duisburg stuck with their manager, Hagen Schmidt, as they enter a crucial week in their campaign. It’s a classic case of stick or twist here and I do think we will see a victory in Bavaria on Saturday. All I’ll say is, watch out for Die Zebra’s Moritz Stoppelkamp in this one.
(Prediction: Würzburger 1:2 Duisburg)
SV Meppen vs 1860 München
Meppen simply has not got going in the league since the start of 2022. It was a surprise to see them in and around the top three at Christmas and it appears they’re slowly but surely running out of steam. Currently in 7th place, they’re gradually being caught up by those around them. One of those teams is their visitors, 1860. If Die Löwen get a win here, they’ll be one point behind Meppen with two games in hand! In fact, if the Bavarians can win their games in hand, they’ll be in with a chance of claiming 3rd position. After a fairly poor 2021, many thought 1860 were done. However, I did make the claim a few games back not to write off Michael Köllner’s men.
(Prediction: Meppen 0:2 1860 München)
Türkgücü München vs SV Waldhof Mannheim
It’s been well documented that Türkgücü is in massive amounts of trouble both on and off the field. The first professional immigrant club in Germany once had aspirations of reaching the second league but have now filed for bankruptcy and occupy a bottom four spot. With a game in hand, the Bavarian side could climb out of the relegation places but decisions off the pitch may settle their fate. All they can do for now is to play for the club and get as many points as possible. They welcome a Mannheim team that got back to winning ways last weekend in a thrilling 5-goal thriller. Just two points off third, all Mannheim can keep doing is getting points on the board and hope teams above buckle under the pressure.
(Prediction: Türkgücü 1:3 Mannehim)
Eintracht Braunschweig vs SC Freiburg II
Braunschweig is in 4th position and just a point off 3rd with a game in hand. They definitely have their fate in their own hands. Similar to the team around them, they must simply keep the pressure on and take their opportunity when it comes around. They face a Freiburg II team who will be fairly happy with their season up to yet. With a couple of more wins on the board, Freiburg II should be clear of any relegation scares. However, I just feel Braunschweig will be more up for this one.
(Prediction: Braunschweig 2:0 Freiburg II)
Borussia Dortmund II vs TSV Havelse
Dortmund II is having a great 2022 up to this point. Currently on 38 points and sitting in 8th, they should be pleased with their efforts. Of course, the side can not get promoted but they’ll still want to finish as high as possible and perhaps put themselves on the shop window as it were. They welcome a Havelse team who has been in inspired form recently. With two wins on the bounce, the Hannover club has given themselves a brilliant chance of possibly pulling off one of the most shock survival campaigns I can think of. They moved off bottom spot for the first team all season last weekend and they’ll be up for another battle this weekend. Dortmund will be a tough side to break down but you never know at this point in the season.
(Prediction: Dortmund II 2:1 Havelse)
Viktoria Berlin vs SC Verl (Sunday)
Sunday’s action begins in the capital as 14th host 16th. Berlin has somehow spilt into a bit of a relegation fight. However, they do have two or three games in hand on all teams around them, there is no certainty that they will win these fixtures. It’s crucial that they get one this weekend with Verl breathing down their necks. Verl will see this as a real opportunity for three points and to further steer clear of the trapped door. This is a very close one to call.
(Viktoria Berlin 1:1 Verl)
SV Wehen Wiesbaden vs FC Saarbrücken
Sunday concludes with 10th hosting 3rd. It’s fair to say that Wiesbaden has been going through the motions recently and look as if they’re already packing for their summer holidays. Saarbrücken on the other hand has a lot riding on the last ten games or so. With Braunschweig only two points behind and with a game in hand, it’s crucial they just keep winning their matches and hope the team from Lower Saxony slip up. For me, there’s only one winner here bar a surprise upset.
(Prediction: Wiesbaden 0:2 Saarbrücken)
FC Viktoria Köln vs VfL Osnabrück (Monday)
Monday games may just become a thing of the past for the 3. Liga but for now, they are here to stay. The matchday’s action finishes with 13th playing host to 5th. V.Köln are just six points above the bottom four. For now, that seems okay enough. However, if teams down the bottom start to collect more points (which they often do at this point in the season), they might just find themselves playing Regionalliga football next term. Osnabrück has ambitions of its own. Just two points off 3rd, they themselves need a valuable three points to keep the pressure on. V.Köln has got some great results from teams at the top this campaign so they won’t fear Osnabrück when they roll into Der Dom Stadt.
(Prediction: V.Köln 1:1 Osnabrück)
That brings an end to what looks to be a thrilling matchday in the 3. Liga. With so much to look forward to I wouldn’t blame you if you cancel any plans you might have had this weekend!