MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) explores the best bets available from this weekend’s Bundesliga action.
Schalke v Koln | Saturday 14.30
Schalke produced their best performance of the season to blitz Stuttgart 4-0 last weekend and the Royal Blues look excellent value to continue their upturn in Bundesliga form on Saturday afternoon against Koln.
Roberto Di Matteo’s secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League during midweek in Slovenia but that shouldn’t cause too many distractions. The Gelsenkirchen club are well used to the dual responsibilities that come with participation in domestic and continental competition and should be trusted to get the job done.
Since the Italian has taken charge, Schalke have won all four of their Bundesliga matches at the Veltins Arena, continuing the hosts proud record when playing in front of their home supporters. Looking back over the past three seasons, the Royal Blues have bagged victories in 27/41 (66%) of league games they’ve hosted.
They’ve already secured five wins at the Veltins in 2014/15 despite a tough schedule that’s seen them overcome Wolfsburg, Dortmund and Augsburg whilst holding all-conquering Bayern Munich.
BetVictor have chalked up Schalke as 20/23 shots, which just looks far too big. The hosts have won by two or more goals in 18/41 (44%) of games in those three seasons whilst forwards Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar have hit hat-tricks in the past fortnight.
Koln will have been encouraged by their start to life back in Germany’s top tier since promotion. But having kept consecutive clean sheets in their first four matches, Peter Stoger’s men have slowly unravelled defensively.
The Billy Goats have lost four of their last five games, kept just one shutout in their previous 10 Bundesliga outings and leaked 11 goals from their most recent four away days.
Mainz v Stuttgart | Saturday 14.30
Mainz and Stuttgart meet with both sides in need of maximum points. But rather than try and call the game, it could pay to back a goal-laden encounter at the Coface Arena.
Over 2.5 Goals can be taken at 3/4 with BetVictor and although the hosts can lay claim to just one win in seven, they have broken the Over 2.5 Goals barrier in six of those games, including their last three as hosts.
Stuttgart for their part have also seen three goals or more in seven of their most recent 10 Bundesliga battles and boast just one clean sheet to their name this season. And in four of their last five away games, the Swabians matches have featured Over 3.5 Goals.
Last weekend they were hammered 4-0 by Schalke at home but the week previously they outsmarted Freiburg 4-1 on the road. Huub Stevens is still settling into the role and may need more time to organise the Bundesliga’s worst defence.
Wolfsburg v Paderborn | Sunday 16.30 | BT Sport 1
I’ve mentioned a few times my admiration for Wolfsburg and their coach Dieter Hecking. The Wolves have motored into second spot in the Bundesliga and although they trail Bayern Munich by seven points, have easily been the next best thing in the German top tier.
After a convicting Europa League win at Lille on Thursday night they return home to the Volkswagen Arena and should be backed to comfortably despatch Paderborn in Sunday afternoon’s live fixture.
Wolfsburg have won eight of their 10 matches when hosting this season with only Everton coming away with maximum points despite a dominant display from the Wolves. They’ve also bagged eight wins from their last nine in league action.
In four of Wolfsburg’s last six Bundesliga matches they’ve won by a margin of two goals or more and you can back Hecking’s men at 21/20 with Bet365 in the -1.5 Asian Handicap. Backing this selection means we’ll be in profit should the Wolves win by two goals or more.
Paderborn have made an excellent start to life in the Bundesliga, nestling into 10th place. But they’ve taken just four points from 18 available away from home, have failed to score in their last three on the road and have been handed heavy defeats on visits to Bayern, Augsburg and even struggling Werder Bremen.