BUNDESLIGA fanatic Jonny O'Sullivan (@libero_the) has taken a deep dive into the weekend's standout televised tussles from Germany, picking out the value best bets.
Matchday 5 is upon us in the Bundesliga and the league table has a familiar feel to it…
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig all take three of the top four spots, the latter remaining unbeaten after a decent 1-1 against the champions last week. The likes of Eintracht Frankfurt, Hoffenheim and Leverkusen are struggling to get their season’s started, whilst Paderborn and Hertha Berlin are still waiting to pick up their first victory.
Below I have singled out three selections from the weekend’s standout televised action.
Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund | Sunday 22nd September 2019, 17:00 | BT Sport
On Sunday, Dortmund travel to Frankfurt in an attempt to build on their solid start as they continue their fight for the title. BVB have not been shy of goals, scoring 13 in total, which is a divisional-high thus far.
Spanish striker Paco Alcacer had scored in every game this season for club and country this season – before Ter Stegen’s heroics on Tuesday night – notching seven goals in six games. Dortmund will be expecting to score on Sunday as they have done in their last seven games against Eintracht, and Paco will be feeling confident that he can add to his impressive tally.
Frankfurt have struggled in the final-third, which is understandable considering the losses of Sebastian Haller, Luca Jovic and Ante Rebic. Bas Dost has returned to the Bundesliga in an attempt to fill the hole left by the departees but it is a huge ask for the former Sporting striker.
Dortmund do not have these problems as they have goals coming from all over. Alcacer has been the man in form in front of goal but they can also lean on the likes of Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho for goals. Lucien Favre’s visitors have recruited with purpose this summer. The likes of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard will provide more depth to their attack.
Not only have Dortmund signed well going forward, but they have added crucial experience in the shape of the returning Mats Hummels at the back. This could provide that much-needed boost to a defence which was guilty of being naive at crucial stages of the season during the last campaign.
If Dortmund are to push for the title then they must force three points out of tricky away games to go that one step further this time around. You can get an extremely tasty price of 4/1 at Paddy Power for Paco Alcacer to score first, and 15/8 for the Spaniard to net anytime in a Dortmund success, which is my advised play for this fixture.
Werder Bremen v RB Leipzig | Saturday 21st September 2019, 17:30 | BT Sport
Werder Bremen host RB Leipzig on Saturday night in a game where goals should be a given based on each side's statistics. Werder Bremen’s games so far this season have read: 1-3, 3-2, 3-2 and 1-2. Leipzig’s games have also been packed with action as their results have been: 1-1, 1-3, 2-1 and 0-4. Both sides league games have one thing in common – goals.
With Julian Nagelsmann in charge of things at Leipzig, the visitors should see themselves having an outside chance at the title; especially as Bayern Munich remain in transition under Niko Kovac.
Timo Werner has scored seven goals in five games in all competitions and is enjoying his strongest start to a season. There is no doubt that his new contract has given his career more clarity, allowing for the German international to help his club sit pretty on the top of the table.
With Leipzig's firepower and attractive way of playing, it seems like a task well within their power to overcome a decent Bremen side to grab all three points. However, this may come with a struggle as they are playing a side who no doubt possesses an attacking threat of their own.
Leipzig to win is valued at 77/100 at Marathon, which appears a tasty price given the stats provided. However, if you want even more bargain for your buck, then Leipzig to win with Both Teams To Score (19/10 BetVictor) would be my best angle of attack.
Schalke v Mainz | Friday 20th September 2019, 19:30 | BT Sport
The Friday night match between Schalke and Mainz should prove an interesting watch. Schalke head into the game with a lot of confidence off the back of their 5-1 annihilation of Paderborn and 3-0 win over Hertha Berlin.
Although Mainz recorded their first win of the season last weekend against Hertha, their record of nine losses in their last 10 away games makes miserable reading. Schalke have not lost to Mainz at home since 2012 and will feel confident that they can grab a win to improve on their recent comprehensive victories.
Schalke have scored an impressive eight goals in their last two matches, whilst Mainz has shipped 11 goals in their first three away games, only scoring one. Mainz are playing away like a side with no confidence and laying out performances which are riddled with individual errors.
David Wagner’s hosts looked the complete opposite in their last game. They have found a successful pattern of play which brings out the best of young right-back Jonjoe Kenny's crossing ability. Along with the performance of Amine Harit, who scored a brace in the previous game, the Gelsenkirchen group will have the belief that a win should be a foregone conclusion to set up a wonderful weekend for all Schalke fans.
With all this in mind, Schalke to win with a -1 handicap (to win by two or more goals) is a meaty 15/8 at Paddy Power. Plenty of value for a punter to get their teeth into.
Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund – Borussia Dortmund to win and Paco Alcacer to score (15/8 Paddy Power)
Werder Bremen v RB Leipzig – RB Leipzig to win and Both Teams To Score (19/10 BetVictor)
Schalke v Mainz – Schalke -1 Handicap (15/8 Paddy Power)