Bundesliga: Mainz misfit can make his mark on Sunday

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BUNDESLIGA fanatic Jonny O'Sullivan (@libero_the) has taken a deep dive into Matchday 22 from Germany, picking out his best bets.

Matchday 21 produced two huge games in the title race which were polar opposites. One completely lived up to its billing and produced seven goals of the highest quality, whereas the other produced a game where both teams were too concerned about the consequences of losing, rather than trying to gather momentum ahead of the latter stages of the season.

Leverkusen versus Dortmund was a game that epitomised German football this season. Inexplicable high lines, relentless tempo and an abundance in quality allowed for a game of the highest entertainment.

It is impossible to focus particularly on just one goal in the match which stood out as there is a case for all seven to deserve a huge write-up on a specific moment of technical genius. What was clear, however, is that Dortmund's defence will undoubtedly be the reason that they have virtually no chance of winning the title and competing in the Champions League.

The thought of Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi playing against Dortmund's high line sends shivers down the spine.

Leipzig and Bayern produced a performance that Dortmund could not dream of. A pretty stale 0-0 had moments of quality but ultimately, the thought of Bayern developing a gap from Leipzig or Leipzig leapfrogging Bayern was enough for both sides to not go for the jugular in this clash.

Gladbach watched on as their game was cancelled due to weather conditions and will be feeling quite smug that all their fellow title chasers dropped points and Leverkusen's victory has put them into a place where they can challenge for Champions League football once again, somehow.

At the rear of the table, a gap is beginning to develop between the bottom three sides and those above. Werder Bremen are in a mess, while Paderborn and Fortuna Dusseldorf are about where they were expected to be, at the foot of the table.

Fortuna Dusseldorf v Borussia Monchengladbach | Saturday 15th February 2020, 17:30 | BT Sport

Fresh from their unscheduled winter break, Gladbach watched Bayern and Leipzig stumble to a draw which Dortmund showed all their considerable strengths and weaknesses in a 4-3 loss to Leverkusen.

Gladbach should have watched the weekends action and be buoyed by what they witnessed. All three sides displayed their vulnerabilities and Gladbach should not have an inferiority complex as we head towards the latter stages of the season.

Gladbach are facing a Dusseldorf who have only won one game in their last 11 and in their last six games they have only picked up five points. These numbers are extremely worrying for a side who are facing a lot of pressure in the dark end of the league table.

Home form is a huge issue for the hosts. It is hard to imagine a team who has won just three games out of 10 at home to survive in one of Europe's top leagues.

Dusseldorf have also scored the fewest in the league. They have scored five fewer goals than any other team in the league, scoring just 20 in 21 games. At home, they have only managed just nine goals in 10.

The main reason behind backing Gladbach (1/1 SkyBet) is due to their last league match, which seems a long time ago, away at Leipzig. A poor refereeing performance cost Alassane Plea's position on the field and he was shown a red card for dissent.

Before that, Gladbach absolutely slaughtered Leipzig and were unlucky to be just two goals ahead. Even when they were a man up they held their own and it was only a last-minute thunderbolt which stopped them getting all three points.

The confidence taken from this match should be huge and could have provided a momentum boost in the next few weeks. They really could be the dark horse in a season which has already had more than its fair shares of thrills and spills.

Mainz v Schalke | Sunday 15th February 2020, 17:00 | BT Sport

Robin Quaison is currently on a mission to steer Mainz away from the relegation zone. After scoring his second hat-trick of the season, the Swedish international notched his 11th goal in 20 matches this season.

Football is a curious game. Sometimes players can be at several clubs and not make a huge impact but can show glimpses of immense quality. Josep Ilicic, for example, has been around Italy for a long time until he exploded onto the scene for Atalanta last season. Bruno Fernandes has just made a big-money move to Manchester United after breaking records at Sporting last season, but he struggled to make a huge impact in Serie A.

This is the case with Quaison, as he struggled to make a serious impact in Italy with Palermo, joining Mainz for a small fee which went unnoticed. The winger, who has shades of Serge Gnabry when he plays, has been superb this season in a team which hardly inspires most the game.

With the ability to play both centrally and out wide, Quaison uses his stocky frame and quick feet to dominate his opponent, which was evident in his superb performance last weekend.

With form being everything in football, I believe another impressive performance could be on the cards. To aid this, Schalke has Kenny, Sane, Kabak and Caligiuri all unavailable for Sunday's clash, which will undoubtedly help the Swedish internationals case to get on the scoresheet this weekend at 21/10 Bet365).

Best Bets

Fortuna Dusseldorf v Borussia Monchengladbach – Borussia Monchengladbach to win (1/1 SkyBet)

Mainz v Schalke – Robin Quaison to score at anytime (21/10 Bet365)

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