One of Germany's most competitive and closely-fought divisions is back for another round of scintillating football.
Viktoria Köln vs TSV Havelse (Friday)
Havelse has given themselves a slight chance of survival with some recent wins. However, this weekend’s game is a must-win match. With the likes of Viktoria Berlin who have games in hand, it’s vital Havelse keep the pressure on. Viktoria Köln, on the other hand, is nearing that desired 40 point mark. Currently on 33 points in 12th, they look like they should steer clear of any last-day drama. V.Köln is a tricky customer when playing at home having taken points off top teams when in front of a home audience. Havelse will look to break on the counter but I can see the home side being victorious here.
(Prediction: V.Köln 2:0 Havelse)
SV Meppen vs VfL Osnabrück (Saturday)
Meppen has certainly gone off the boil since the start of 2022. However, despite dropping down to 8th, they are still just 4 points off third. It looks unlikely that Meppen will challenge for a top-three spot but a win against a table rival could just spark life into their season. Osnabrück is looking for their first win in two matches having drawn in previous weeks. With a game in hand on a few teams above them, this is a great chance to keep the pressure on. Just three points off 3rd, Osnabrück is well and truly in this race.
(Prediction: Meppen 1:3 Osnabrück)
Würzburger Kickers vs FC Magdeburg
On paper, this is a bit of a mismatch. Würzburger is sat in 18th on 21 points and six points adrift from safety. Magdeburg couldn’t be anything further from that. 14 points clear at the summit, it’s only a matter of time before FCM is promoted and then crowned champions. Magdeburg will know this will be a potential banana skin. A professional display from the away side and they should be fine in this one.
(Prediction: Würzburger 1:3 Magdeburg)
Eintracht Braunschweig vs MSV Duisburg
This is another game where two clubs are fighting for completely different goals. Braunschweig is in 3rd position and just two points off an automatic place. Their visitors, Duisburg, are coming off back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Earlier in the campaign, Die Zebras won this fixture 3:2 in a very entertaining game. I expect Braunschweig to see more of the ball but it all depends on how they use it. Duisburg will look to the in-form John Yeboah on the break as well as Mortiz Stopplekamp who can't stop scoring at the moment. The first goal could be massive in this tie. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a close fixture.
(Prediction: Braunschweig 2:1 Duisburg)
Hallescher FC vs SV Waldhof Mannheim
Halle is hitting form at the right time. Now seven points clear off the drop, Halle will feel better about their situation. However, a lot can happen in ten games especially when you have to play clubs in and around your position. The team from the east will be tested once again this weekend as they host 4th place, Mannheim. Just two points off third, Mannheim needs to keep their momentum and hope results elsewhere fall their way. Having drawn to their rivals last time out, I feel Mannheim will take the game to Halle and get the job done.
(Prediction: Halle 1:2 Mannheim)
FSV Zwickau vs 1860 München
Zwickau will be looking to steer clear of a potential relegation scrap. Though seven points clear off the drop with games to spare, there is no guarantee that Die Schwäne will be victorious in those matches. Chances are that they will certainly draw a few! Interestingly enough, both Zwickau and 1860 München have drawn the most matches in the 3. Liga this season. 1860 is now without a win in their previous four. Having put themselves in a decent position to start climbing the table, Die Löwen have gone off the boil somewhat. No surprise what I’m predicting here then…
(Prediction: Zwickau 2:2 1860 München)
FC Kaiserslautern vs SC Verl
It appears many of the top teams are playing clubs in and around the bottom four this weekend. This is also the case in this fixture. Kaiserslautern is looking to get back to winning ways having drawn their last two games. Unbeaten since October, it’s going to take a mammoth task for Verl to go to the Fritz-Walter-Stadium and get all three points. The visitors will be looking for a well-earned point at the most. However, I can’t see how they will break down the best defence in the division.
(Prediction: Kaiserslautern 3:0 Verl)
Viktoria Berlin vs Freiburg II (Sunday)
With a couple of games in hand, Berlin will be looking to earn a massive three points in this game. Just above the relegation zone, it’s all about getting points regardless of how many matches you have to spare. Going on Berlin’s recent form, they’re in big trouble and it’s hard to see them winning all of their games in hand. In Berlin’s last two 3. Liga matches, they’ve conceded 8 and scored 0. Freiburg II is on 36 points in 11th and could even sneak into the top half this weekend. A top 10 finish for the Dritte Liga newcomers will be a huge achievement. The big question in this one is which Viktoria Berlin will turn up?
(Prediction: Berlin 1:2 Freiburg II)
Borussia Dortmund II vs Wehen Wiesbaden
BVB II is doing everything they can to catch up with the top three. Though they can’t go up themselves, this young side might just have a major say on what happens in terms of promotion to the 2. Bundesliga. Their opponents, Wiesbaden, are only a point behind them having won their last two games. A few weeks back I said it looked like Wiesbaden were already on the beach. However, to Markus Kauczinski’s credit, his team have bounced back. This could be an interesting tie and it’s going to be hard to call a winner.
(Prediction: BVB II 1:1 Wiesbaden)
Türkgücü München vs FC Saarbrücken (Monday)
The weekend’s action ends as bottom side Türkgücü host 5th place, Saarbrücken. Having recently been deducted 11 points, survival looks very unlikely for Türkgücü. Even if they win this one, they will still be a minimum of 9 points off 16th. It could be a matter of playing with pride and no pressure. Who knows, perhaps this will help Türkgücü? Their visitors come with their own ambitions, however. Two points off 3rd position, Saarbrücken are still in with a chance of a top-three finish despite losing their last two fixtures. This is a golden opportunity to get back to winning ways.
(Predicition: Türkgücü 1:2 Saarbrücken)
That ends another match day in Germany’s 3. Liga. It is worth noting, however, that there will be a few games played next midweek as teams start paying their catch-ups fixtures. This includes 1860 München vs Kaiserslautern on Tuesday and Halle vs Berlin on Wednesday. It's set to be another interesting weekend of football where the landscape for promotion and relegation can change dramatically. Happy watching German football fans!