MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has trawled the Bundesliga card to find the best three bets from Germany this weekend.
Hertha Berlin v Stuttgart | Saturday 14.30
Those of you that enjoy head-to-head hoodoos might like to know that Hertha Berlin have W18-D6-L3 in their last 27 capital clashes with Stuttgart but recently that record’s been soured by the Swabians. Saturday’s visitors have come out on top in two of their most recent four clashes and although they’ve made their worst start to a Bundesliga season, results haven’t told the whole story.
Die Roten may be pointless with a -6 goal difference from their first three outings but new head coach Alexander Zorniger should be relatively pleased with his side’s performances. VFB have competed well for large chunks of those defeats but been undone by their lack of defensive organisation, similar problems that saw the Swabians struggle in 2014/15.
Never before have Stuttgart began a top-flight campaign with four successive defeats but their W1-D2-L6 road record remains a real concern and this weekend they’ll be down to their third-choice goalkeeper. But new signing Toni Sunjic will most likely replace Adam Hlousek at centre-back and Florian Klein returns from suspension to start at right-back, giving Zorniger’s backline a timely boost.
What’s been most eye-catching though, is the amount of goals in the Reds’ matches. All three Bundesliga matches have proven profitable for Both Teams To Score punters as well as Over 2.5 Goals fans with a total of 14 goals seen – that’s an average of almost five goals-per-game. And Stuttgart’s away record since the start of last season also suggests goals will be on the agenda – 13/18 (72%) have featured BTTS with 11/18 (61%) breaking the three-goal barrier as well as 12 of their previous 13 anywhere.
So whilst Berlin have been far from goal-heavy since Pal Dardai took over the reigns, I feel we’ve just got to go with the goals on Saturday. Zorniger’s gung-ho and high pressing approach lends itself nicely to high-scoring encounters.
Despite adopting a cautious outlook, the capital club have managed to net in all three fixtures so far this season with two also proving profitable for Both Teams To Score backers. Vedad Ibisevic has joined from Saturday’s opponents to bolster their attacking output further but Hertha have also struggled to exert their authority at the back in recent weeks, which should also support our selection.
That selection is Both Teams To Score at 3/4 with BetVictor at the Olympic Stadium. It’s a bet to watch throughout the season in Stuttgart games with Die Roten’s all-or-nothing efforts making open, free-flowing football likely.
Hannover v Dortmund | Saturday 14.30
Who’s Jurgen Klopp? Since Thomas Tuchel took charge of Dortmund, the Black & Yellows have won all eight competitive games, smashing 30 goals. The former Mainz head coach has safely navigated BVB into the Europa League group stages and guided the fallen giants to the equal-best ever start to a Bundesliga season. Remarkable.
What’s also remarkable is the turnaround in form of some players, especially playmaking wizard Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian managed just five goals and five assists in 42 matches during 2014/15 – he’s already plundered eight goals and created seven assists this term – that’s exactly half of all Dortmund’s goals. Remarkable.
BVB have scored at least three goals in each of their victories in the Bundesliga thus far and beaten the one-goal handicap in each game too. The eight-game winning streak to start a new campaign is a club record and although Marco Reus’ broken toe has softened the mood slightly, the club is bouncing once more.
On Saturday the Black & Yellows travel to Hannover, a destination they tend to enjoy. BVB have W10-D4-L3 in their last 17 visits, grabbing at least one goal in each of their last 21 trips. Again, that’s blood remarkable, eh?
I fully expect Tuchel’s troops to pass the test with flying colours and a play on Dortmund -1 in the Asian Handicap is well worth investing in at 7/9 (BetVictor). The visitors have come out on top in 12 of their last 19 away days at bottom-six sides and I can’t see anything other than a relegation dogfight for the 96ers.
The hosts have made their worst start to a season for seven years (W0-D1-L2) and have already shipped six goals. It’s now 21 games since they recorded a clean sheet, they’ve bagged just two league victories during that run and been beaten by at least two goals in six of their previous nine when welcoming top-six opposition. Very unremarkable.
New head coach Michael Frontzeck is far from inspiring and the squad available to him is almost bordering on second tier standards. The 96ers are badly missing skipper Lars Stindl’s thrust in midfield since his move away whilst Joselu’s goals have been difficult to replace in attack.
Mainz walloped Hannover 3-0 before the international break and the Lower Saxony side have also posted the fewest touches of the ball inside the penalty area across the first three games. I can’t see anything other than a comfortable away victory.
With our -1 Asian Handicap selection, should Dortmund only win by one goal, we’ll get our cash back. But a win by two or more goals will give us a winner. As always, the Asian Handicap offers more protection and value for handicap bets.
Hoffenheim v Werder Bremen | Sunday 14.30 | BT Sport Europe
With all Europe’s finest playing on Saturday ahead of the Champions League return, the Bundesliga have given us a real treat by scheduling Hoffenheim’s contest with Werder Bremen for Sunday. Why? Well, this game has gotten goals written all over it.
I’m playing Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score from the Rhein-Neckar-Arena at a more-than-fair 4/5 thanks to Bet365 and here’s why…
Hoffe were handed a tough opening pair of fixtures – away to Leverkusen and home to Bayern – before visiting Darmstadt last time out. Markus Gisdol’s men have a point on the board but competed well in their opening games and will fancy their chances when returning home.
And since Gisdol took charge at Hoffenheim, the hosts have been awash in goals at the Rhein-Neckar. A huge 29/38 (76%) of matches have featured three goals or more with 17/38 (45%) also clearing the Over 3.5 Goals barrier. Hoff have only failed to net themselves on three occasions with just eight clean sheets kept.
Werder Bremen have improved with each passing game and their 2-1 victory over Gladbach before the international break was overdue. Aron Johannsson’s bedded in nicely since signing and should form a decent partnership with Anthony Ujah in the away side’s attack.
Since being handed the reigns midway through last season, Viktor Skrypnyk has transformed the River Islanders into a much more menacing outfit and that’s shown in their penchant for high-scoring games. Bremen have rewarded Over 2.5 Goals backers in 7/13 (54%) of road trips and featured four or more goals in five of those 13 outings on their travels. Skrypnyk’s side have managed just one shutout but also found the back of the net in 12 encounters.
The trends are already well in our favour for another high-scoring duel but a quick peek at their recent head-to-head battles also gives us reason to be believe Sunday’s match won’t disappoint. Hoffe have only won once in 15 clashes with Bremen but their 14 Bundesliga battles have produced 51 goals previously – that’s an average of 3.6 goals-per-game.
Hertha Berlin v Stuttgart – Both Teams To Score (3/4 BetVictor)
Hannover v Dortmund – Dortmund -1 Asian Handicap (7/9 BetVictor)
Hoffenheim v Werder Bremen – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (4/5 Bet365)
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