THE BUNDESLIGA is back and here Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) shares his favourite player and team props-based plays from matchday 30.
Borussia Dortmund v Hertha Berlin | Saturday 6th June 2020, 17:30 | BT Sport
The management team at Borussia Dortmund have admitted that their pursuit of the 2019/20 Bundesliga title is realistically over, with the club’s focus instead turning to securing a second place finish for the fifth time in eight seasons.
Frustratingly for boss Lucian Favre, injuries have started to mount within the squad as a long season and lack of full ‘pre season’ prior to the league restart take its toll. One man that looks doubtful for this weekend’s game with Hertha Berlin is Erling Haaland who is struggling with a knee problem.
The striker returned to training for the first time in over a week on Thursday but Saturday’s kick-off may come too soon for the Norway international as the injury has been persistent. Given that the makeshift front line of Julian Brandt, Jadon Sancho and Thorgan Hazard helped the team to a six goal haul against Paderborn, Favre is not under too much pressure to make changes to the starting line-up.
Hazard, in that most recent win, started in the false nine role so should Haaland miss out again, he’s favourite to start up front for successive matchdays. Whilst the prices on a single shot on target for the Belgian are understandably short, I’m looking to a slightly different market (along similar lines) for some value.
Of the shots on goal Hazard has got away this campaign, 82% have been with his favoured right foot and each of his last four shots on target have also been with his right peg. The evens price with SkyBet that Hazard has a shot on target with his right foot (listed under ‘player shot on target specials’) is a bet I’m happy to get on side considering the attacker’s current form of three goals in five games.
In the Paderborn win, 11 of Dortmund’s 16 shots hit the target and the team – Bayern game aside – have been clinical since the resumption of play despite dipping below their overall shot averages for the season.
If we take a look back at the fixture between the two sides earlier this season, it reveals that Hazard scored with his right foot on that day so a repeat of that – or a shot which tests the goalkeeper – would bring home this first selection.
RB Leipzig v Paderborn | Saturday 6th June 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
A rather one-sided encounter looks to be on the cards in Saxony on Saturday afternoon, with relegation destined Paderborn hoping to overcome Champions League quality opponents.
Leipzig put in a very impressive, if not all-rounded performance in Cologne on Monday to score four goals in which their attacking quality and depth led the team to a much-needed three points. Red Bull’s strikers combined to score a goal each in the game and had eleven shots on goal between them with Patrik Schick accounting for seven of those efforts.
The 6″1′ forward has been rewarded with increased minutes in the team since Yussef Poulson’s injury and he’s certainly seizing the chance with both hands or, more accurately, with his head.
Two of the Czech striker’s shots on target against Koln were from headers, including the goal he scored which now means that three of the last four goals he has bagged have been put away with his head.
To add to this, with 24 of the 42 shots Schick has struck this season coming from his head, including five of his last six shots on target, I’m happy to take double the general shot on target price of 1/2 for the target man to have an effort on goal with a header. It’s evens with SkyBet, again under their shot on target specials market and will be my second selection.
Despite playing such a physical team on Monday, Schick won seven aerial duels – the most of any game he has played in 2019/20 and with Paderborn winning just 14 per game on average as a collective unit, Schick will be confident he can win the battle in the air with the opposition centre-backs and test goalkeeper Leo Zingerle.
Werder Bremen v Wolfsburg | Sunday 7th June 2020, 12:30 | BT Sport
Werder Bremen, searching for victories in the battle for Bundesliga survival, desperately need to start picking up points at home if they are to stand any chance of remaining in the top flight next season.
A flat midweek showing in the team’s game-in-hand against Frankfurt was perhaps a result of big efforts from the players in the prior fixtures to pick up seven points from nine, but a repeat of that display on Sunday would almost certainly lead to another loss the River Islanders can ill afford.
Wolfsburg are a having a steady season and it’s two of their players, as part of a double, I want to focus on for my third prop play of matchday 30.
Max Arnold is integral to the team’s success and often if the German puts in a good performance, a positive result will follow. A feature of the midfielder’s game is his dead-ball prowess and sharing corner duties as well as taking most attacking free-kicks inevitably leads to crosses.
In the 11 games Arnold has played in 2020, he has produced four or more crosses in nine of these fixtures and in each of his last six, earning an average of 5.27 per game in that time.
With Wout Weghorst back in the team, Arnold and his teammates have a target in the box to aim for so will naturally be looking to deliver into the box as much as they possibly can. Considering that Bremen have conceded a league-high 17 times from set-pieces, the crossing numbers could well increase even more here to take advantage of that opposition weakness.
It’s also worth factoring in that Bremen have been conceding a high number of fouls in recent weeks (15.25 in four games compared to a league average of around 12), so there could be plenty of opportunities for Arnold to deliver from wide areas if the home team give away as many free-kicks as they have been during their last few matches.
The second part of the double is Swiss right-back Kevin Mbabu to make 3 or more successful tackles. That line may seem high on the face of it to include as part of a double but not when you look at the defender’s stats.
Mbabu’s season long figure stands at 3.3 per appearance which has risen to 4.1 in his last six matches thanks to a whopping eight which landed last time out against Frankfurt. The 3.3 number is the third highest of all players in the Bundesliga and the full-back has registered three or more in nine of his 11 starts in his favoured position.
In this match, Mbabu will have to deal with Bremen’s biggest creative threats of Davy Klassen, on the left side of a midfield three, and Milot Rashica who will surely return in place of Fin Bartels who was ineffective in midweek.
I highlighted that pairing last week and how reliant The Green and Whites are on them as a route to goal so it was not surprising to see the majority of their play in the Schalke win come down the left flank to give full-back JonJoe Kenny a tough time. It tees up a fascinating battle that I’m sure that both players who will be one-on-one, Rashica and Mbabu, will be looking forward to contesting.
Max Arnold to have 4+ crosses, combined with Kevin Mbabu to win 3+ tackles with Ladbrokes’ BetBuilder is 7/5 and it’s a two-point play for me.