THE BUNDESLIGA is back and here Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) shares his favourite player and team props-based plays from matchday 31.
Hertha Berlin v Eintracht Frankfurt | Saturday 13th June 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
Eintracht Frankfurt will not have too long to recover from their DFB Pokal semi-final exit with another road trip, ironically to the capital Berlin where they were hoping to play in that cup final.
Hertha lie in wait for the wounded Die Adler players and their manager Bruno Labbadia is boosted by the return to fitness of Marvin Plattenhardt and Marcus Cuhna, although the latter is touch-and-go for the game.
Frankfurt themselves have some positive team news heading into this fixture with playmaker Filip Kostic returning to the fold following his midweek suspension. Tackles from right-sided players up against the left-winger are very common across the season but I instead want to look at a Serbian counterpart of Kostic in this market – Marko Grujic.
The central midfielder will be playing on the right side of the defensive midfield pairing and therefore may have to come across and stop Kostic at source, especially if Frankfurt are counter attacking and the full-back is out of position.
The man on-loan from Liverpool has recorded five successful tackles in his last two games and 20 across five games since moving to a deeper role at the beginning of Labbadia’s reign. Therefore, with the numbers on our side, I like the look of Grujic 3+ tackles at 13/8 with SkyBet.
The odds imply a 38% of something that has landed in four of the youngster’s last five matches so I think there’s some value to be found in the price.
Grujic is attracting interest from clubs across the continent with his impressive performances so will be eager to impress any watching eyes to stake a place at a club playing European Football next season.
With Hertha landing 20, 24 and 20 tackles in their last three games, the physicality and increased intensity under the new boss is clear for all to see and hopefully Grujic can be a contributing number in a high count again.
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Borussia Dortmund | Saturday 13th June 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
Fortuna Dusseldorf are keeping away from the immediate trapdoor at the moment in their battle to avoid relegation to 2.Bundesliga but are far from safe yet with four matches remaining.
Uwe Rosler’s troops are showing encouraging signs that they have enough to remain in the top flight, creating plenty of chances in games but not necessarily getting the desired results. Last weekend’s frustrating draw against 10-man Hoffenheim typifies that with only a point gained despite total domination once the team had a man advantage.
A feature since Rosler’s appointment has been the increased possession numbers and whilst it doesn’t guarantee wins, it opens up a few opportunities on the prop markets to try and take advantage of.
One player the coach described last week as a great passer of the ball is Turkish centre-back Kaan Ayhan. Despite some defensive lapses, Rosler has ensured the 25 year-old is an integral part of how his team sets up, forming part of a three man defence in a 3-5-2 formation.
That structure allows the team to play out from the back and since the German’s appointment, Ayhan has averaged 74.8 passes per game in his 90 minute appearances and has hit the 55 marker in seven of those eight matches. Therefore, 55+ passes for the Turk, priced at 11/10 with Ladbrokes, appeals to me as a one-point play given its recent success rate.
Much is made of Dortmund’s pressing but if you delve into the numbers (as well as watching them play), seven teams in the league have racked up more attacking pressures on the ball than BVB.
To add to this, 12 of the last 15 centre-backs to line-up against Dortmund have reached the 55 marker, with Favre’s players happy to allow those individuals time on the ball as they are not causing harm to their defence by playing the ball around at the back.
The perfect case in point of this occurred last weekend. Hertha’s centre-backs Torunarigha and Boyata passed to each other an awful lot (65 and 62 passes respectively despite only 36% possession) but in the end, Hertha ended up having just one shot on target and the home team gained the three points.
I’m happy to attack the 55 line as I think it’s too low, which tends to be an reaction to the fact they are playing Dortmund without factoring in the true figures. If Dusseldorf inexplicably get in front the bet could be in trouble but given the likelihood of an away win here, I’m happy to back the value on a one-point play.