WANT the best bets from the Bundesliga this weekend? German football fanatic Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has scoured the coupon and shares his thoughts.
Koln v Hannover | Sunday 14.30 | BT Sport Europe
Koln are enjoying their best start to a Bundesliga season for 19 years following their 3-0 win at Schalke before the international break. Peter Stöger's side are the epitome of an excellent counter-attacking unit but their supremely organised defence ensures opposition teams rarely get a good sniff against the Billy Goats.
At their Rheinenergie Stadium base, Koln have netted in all four of their matches (W2-D2-L0) this term and are yet to taste defeat on home soil this calendar year (W5-D9-L0). They’re an even-money chance (William Hill) to pocket maximum points from Sunday afternoon’s meeting with Hannover.
Summer signing Anthony Modeste has already notched six goals this season – as many as the entire Koln squad managed by this stage of the previous campaign – and the bustling Frenchman has been involved in 11 of the club’s 17 goal tally this term. He’ll fancy his chances against a Hannover side that toils on their travels.
Michael Frontzeck’s visitors have picked up four of their five points in the last two matches, including their first win (1-0 v Werder Bremen) of the new campaign. That victory marked their first shutout in 25 Bundesliga games but even so, the 96ers rotten return has marked their worst start to a season since 1988.
The aforementioned away record reads W1-D7-L7 from their previous 15 with 32 goals leaked. Hannover have been behind at the break in 12 of those matches and in 16 of their previous 20 trips to top-six teams they’ve been beaten.
The new system implemented by Frontzeck will be seriously tested by the Billy Goats on Sunday and I’m going to count on Koln producing the goods in front of their home fans.
Schalke v Hertha Berlin | Saturday 14.30
It may pay to go against the grain and back a low-scoring tie as Schalke welcome Hertha Berlin to Gelsenkirchen. Under 2.5 Goals can be snapped up at 9/8 with Marathon.
Never before have the two sides sat in the top-four of the Bundesliga before meeting each other but the hosts do hold a significant head-to-head advantage of the capital club visitors.
Schalke have W11-D2-L0 in the past 13 meetings and leaked just four goals in the process. That record includes seven successive wins on home soil and Andre Breitenreiter’s boys had bagged six wins on the spin before a surprise 3-0 defeat by Koln before the international break.
However, the Royal Blues have only accrued more points at this stage of a season on five previous occasions and that’s a trend mirrored by Hertha. Pal Dardai’s charges have only had more points on the board after their first eight games three times before and that record is based around their stingy defensive return.
Only Bayern have conceded fewer goals than Hertha this calendar year but Dardai’s team also make up the league’s poorest attack in that time. Unsurprisingly then, eight of Hertha’s last 10 away trips have produced two goals or fewer and that’s also proven the case in 12/21 (57%) of Schalke’s home outings since the start of last season.
Between the two clubs they’ve kept 11 clean sheets in all competitions this term and so opposing goals in Gelsenkirchen offers great value on Saturday.
Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim | Saturday 14.30
Wolfsburg have dropped to ninth in the Bundesliga having failed to record a win in their past three fixtures but Dieter Hecking’s an almost fully fit squad to choose from and the Wolves will fancy their chances on Saturday when returning to their fearsome Volkswagen Arena home.
The hosts are unbeaten in 26 Bundesliga encounters (W19-D7-L0) in front of their home fans and will be expected to enhance that return when Hoffenheim visit this weekend. If we look at results since the start of last season, Wolfsburg have W16-D5-L0 with nine of those 16 victories being recorded by a margin of two goals or more.
The Wolves are backable off a -1 Asian Handicap start at 12/11 (BetVictor) and that looks a little on the large side, especially when taking Hoffenheim’s road record into account. The visitors have lost exactly half of their away days since the beginning of 2014/15 with eight of their 11 league losses also arriving by at least a two-goal margin.
Markus Gisdol men managed just one point from a possible 15 to open their account this term but their W1-D2-L0 run before the international break has at least settled a few nerves. Kevin Volland’s bagged back-to-back braces but it’s difficult to see woeful travellers Hoffe avoiding defeat when they visit the Wolves’ den.
But rather than entering the Asian Handicap or straight Match Odds markets, it may pay to venture into the home win alongside a goals-based bet. In this instance, I’m going to take the 9/4 (Titanbet) that Wolfsburg win and Both Teams Score as well as Wolfsburg to win and Over 2.5 Goals (23/20 Boylesports).
A ridiculous 14 of the last 15 meetings in all competitions between the two have proven profitable for Over 2.5 Goals backers. The past seven seasons of Bundesliga duels between the clubs have averaged 3.9 goals-per-game whilst 16 of Hoffenheim’s previous 18 trips to top-half teams have also featured three goals or more.
Since the start of last season, Wolfsburg have recorded 13/21 (62%) of winning Both Teams To Score bets plus 14/21 (67%) of successful Over 2.5 Goals selections. Hoffenheim have repeated the BTTS feat in 12/21 (57%) of their road trips during the same sample with 12/21 (57%) also doing the business for Over 2.5 Goals hunters.
Koln v Hannover – Koln to win (1/1 William Hill)
Schalke v Hertha Berlin – Under 2.5 Goals (9/8 Marathon)
Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim – Wolfsburg to win and Both Teams To Score (9/4 Titanbet)
Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim – Wolfsburg to win and Over 2.5 Goals (23/20 Boylesports)
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