BUNDESLIGA fanatic Jonny O'Sullivan (@libero_the) has taken a deep dive into Matchday 24 from Germany, picking out his best bets.
At the time of writing, the Bundesliga remains the best league in Europe. This is 100% a fact as every game in the knockout rounds of both the Champions League and the Europa League has resulted in victories for German sides.
Bayern Munich humbled Frank Lampard's Chelsea ‘kids’, whilst actually having a lower average age than the Londoners, RB Leipzig without their central defenders beat a toothless Tottenham and Dortmund's exciting side sent PSG into meltdown and left Neymar and co. eating humble pie.
In the Europa League, Leverkusen proved far too much for a Porto side in apparently their best form of their season, Wolfsburg destroyed Malmo 3-0 away and Frankfurt's game was suspended due to high wind.
This all links with a title race which many leagues could be very envious of. Leipzig have one of the most exciting coaches in world football and are trying to break tradition. Dortmund have a stupid amount of talent at their disposal and Gladbach are still in with a shout despite last week’s late equaliser which went against them.
Leverkusen are also finally waking up this season. Kai Havertz produced one of the best performances seen in the Europa League this season as the wonderkid strolled around Porto's back garden and played against a team filled with fierce competitors as if they were small children.
Of course, Bayern are Bayern. The biggest club in Germany are getting better as each week passes but have hit a potential stumbling block in the form of their hitman Robert Lewandowski being out for a month with a knee injury. That being said, they still have the likes of Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry who have found themselves in top form.
Hoffenheim v Bayern Munich | Saturday 29th February 2020, 14:30
Bayern Munich are flying right now. They look to be hitting top form and are dominating games from start to finish. The move of Joshua Kimmich into midfield and the emergence of Alphonso Davies in the last few months has helped Hansi Flick create a fair argument as to why he should get the biggest job in Germany permanently.
Bayern normally complete over 600 passes on average per-game, which is over three times what their opponent usually achieves. The Bavarians’ annihilation of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge proved that they are a serious competitor this season.
The focus on the pitch is a Pep Guardiola disciple dominating the game in the middle. Thiago in central midfield is truly one of the best players in the world to watch at what he does best and this is for good reason. The La Masia product has everything you want in a deep-lying playmaker and this year he has been hitting new heights.
The last five Bundesliga games has allowed Thiago to gain some impressive passing totals. They read as follows: 101 passes vs Paderborn, 98 passes vs Koln, 97 passes vs Leipzig, 90 passes vs Mainz and finally 60 passes vs Schalke, where he subbed off on the 60th minute. It is worth noting that in that Schalke game, players hit over 120 passes.
The stats from Thiago and the form of Bayern suggest that the Spanish international will be a pivotal reason behind a likely dominant Bavarian display on Saturday. Back the midfield star to make 90+ passes at 6/5 (Coral).
Koln v Schalke | Saturday 29th February 2020, 17:30 | BT Sport
Koln are playing Schalke at home in the evening Bundesliga match on Saturday in an attempt to continue Schalke's woes in recent times. A heavy 5-0 loss to Leipzig made grim viewing to all Royal Blues fans, especially as they have been extremely poor lately.
Schalke have only managed one win in their last eight league games and have not won a single match in their last five. This puts them in a poor position to try and get all three points against a team who have hit a bit of a purple patch in their season.
Koln are currently in a run of six wins out their last eight whilst winning four out their last five home matches. The Billy Goats won more than double the number of points as Schalke in the same time period, with only Bayern Munich being in more impressive form.
Koln's losses in this time period have both been fairly heavy against Dortmund and Bayern but they have been making fairly light work out of the rest of their league rivals. In picking up their six victories, they have brushed aside the likes of Leverkusen, Frankfurt, Hertha and Wolfsburg.
The mentioned sides are predominantly playing European football and have looked impressive while representing Germany overseas. This would suggest that Koln are not just bullying the sides you would consider the weakest in the league.
In the process of this upturn in form, Koln have steered themselves well clear of relegation and could even have some sneaky looks at European places if their form continues with the current trajectory. The home win is 6/5 (Bet365).