MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) delves into the German top tier in search of more Bundesliga winners.
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich | Saturday 17.30 | BT Sport 1
Bayern Munich suffered a shock 2-0 home defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach last time out, only their second home loss in 42 Bundesliga matches and the German champions have since been hit by the double-whammy of injuries to Arjen Robben and David Alaba. With Franck Ribéry already sidelined, it’s fair to say, the Bavarians aren’t in the best of shape heading into Der Klassiker.
Sure, Bayern are 10 points clear and have the title sewn up already but would I be backing Pep Guardiola’s men in the rematch of the 2012/13 Champions League final? Nope. No matter how you play it, the loss of Robben is significant. FC Hollywood have won 15/16 away games since the start of last season in which the Flying Dutchman has played but their win-rate falls to just 8/14 in the road trips he’s missed across the same timeframe.
Of course, Bayern have only lost twice in 38 away league fixtures and haven’t been beaten twice on the road in a season since 2011/12 but they have suffered defeats in four of their last six visits to Signal Iduna Park and actually returned mediocre figures of W2-D3-L2 in their seven games against the current top-five.
Dortmund were stuffed by Juventus in the Champions League but Jurgen Klopp’s men have made decent strides this calendar year. The Black & Yellows are unbeaten in seven (W5-D2-L0) league fixtures (although six came against the bottom-half) and are now only five points adrift of the Europa League qualifying places.
In fact, the 18 points that BVB have accrued in 2015 is three more than they collected in the entire first-half of the season and just one fewer than Bayern’s total since the winter break. Klopp’s men can also boast the second-best defence in the second-half of the campaign and are more than capable of avoiding defeat. So I’ll back Dortmund in the Double Chance market at 10/13 with 888 Sport.
Eintracht Frankfurt v Hannover | Saturday 14.30
One of the biggest surprises in the Bundesliga over the past fortnight or so is that Hannover boss Tayfun Korkut has kept his job. The 96ers put in a brave display against Dortmund before the international break but still ended up on the losing side, extending their winless streak to 10 games (D4-L6).
Die Rotten are now nervously looking over their shoulders with the gap now just two points between Hannover and the relegation play-off place. Korkut remains in charge and the Lower Saxony club should still survive, if only because the teams below them in the Bundesliga are a whole lot worse than the 96ers.
Hannover sit bottom of the 2015 table having picked up just three points this calendar year and with W0-D3-L4 from their previous seven away days, a visit to free-scoring Eintracht Frankfurt isn’t ideal. Die Rotten have failed to shut any side out in their 10-match winless run and with 19/30 (63%) away losses since the start of last season and 17 defeats in their previous 20 trips to top-half clubs, it’s hard to have any faith in the visitors.
Frankfurt are unbeaten in seven starts (W5-D2-L0) at the Commerzbank Arena as well as five wins from their last seven when hosting bottom-half clubs. The Eagles have also scored in each of their last 15 outings and with Thomas Schaaf’s men proving very profitable in the goals markets this season too, I’m keen to find an angle involving the home win alongside a goals-based bet.
Eintracht’s matches have produced a whopping 101 goals this season at an average of 3.9 goals-per-game – it’s the highest figure across Europe’s top five leagues and unsurprisingly, 17/25 have featured Over 3.5 Goals. When hosting bottom-half teams, Frankfurt have seen Over 4.5 Goals bank in 6/10 fixtures.
Betfair are offering a Frankfurt win + Over 2.5 Goals at 17/10 and that looks more than fair. I’ll have a dabble.
Wolfsburg v Stuttgart | Saturday 14.30
Wolfsburg failed to take advantage of Bayern’s slip before the international break as Dieter Hecking’s men were held in Mainz but we should expect the Wolves to come tearing out of the blocks again this weekend as they return to their feared Volkswagen Arena den.
The Wolves have been almost faultless on home soil, returning outstanding W11-D2-L0 figures from 13 fixtures in front of their home supporters this season. It’s the best home record in the German top tier and it means Wolfsburg have now gone 18 without defeat at the Volkswagen Arena (W14-D4-L0).
Hecking’s charges have been the best Bundesliga team since the winter break, taking 20 points and the hosts have suffered just the one reverse in their past 20 competitive outings (W14-D5-L1). So as you can tell, I’m quite keen to find a way to get the Wolves onside to enhance that record further against rock bottom Stuttgart.
The struggling visitors ended a nine-game winless streak (D4-L5) with a determined three points against Frankfurt before the international break but only Paderborn and Hannover have collected fewer points in 2015 than the Swabians paltry total of six. Huub Stevens’ side have W0-D2-L9 in 11 games against teams in seventh and above and lost seven of their last eight at top-six teams; with five of those seven losses arriving by a margin of two goals or more, it’s the handicap markets that make most appeal.
Wolfsburg -1 can be backed at 11/14 with BetVictor on the Asian Handicap line and means we’ll be paid out should the Wolves win by two goals or more with our cash back should Hecking’s men only manage a victory by a solitary goal.
Hertha Berlin v Paderborn | Sunday 16.30 | BT Sport 1
Poor Paderborn. Sitting seventh after beating Hertha 3-1 earlier in the season, Andre Breitenreiter’s side have since W1-D6-L9 of their following 16 Bundesliga matches and failed to even score in nine of their last 10. So it’s unsurprising to see the newcomers now nestled into the relegation zone.
The minnows have picked up a pathetic total of just five points since the winter break and their slide down the table shows no sign of stopping this Sunday as they head to a Berlin side on the up since legendary former player Pál Dárdai took the reigns on an interim basis.
Since the Hungarian took charge (he’s also looking after the vacant Hungarian national team position), Dárdai has overseen Hertha to W3-D2-L2. That record would have been even more impressive had the capital club held on to beat Schalke at the Olympiastadion home.
Now sitting four points above the bottom three and having kept clean sheets in four of those seven games, the Old Lady should have enough in their tank to make it 11 points from their past five outings with a win against freefalling Paderborn on Easter Sunday. With five wins in eight when hosting bottom-six sides, Hertha have the form to make the even-money on offer from William Hill on a home win look too good to ignore.
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich – Borussia Dortmund double chance (10/13 888 Sport)
Eintracht Frankfurt v Hannover – Eintracht Frankfurt to win and Over 2.5 Goals (17/10 Betfair)
Wolfsburg v Stuttgart – Wolfsburg -1 Asian Handicap (11/14 BetVictor)
Hertha Berlin v Paderborn – Hertha Berlin to win (1/1 William Hill)
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