MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has scanned the Bundesliga scene and selected his three favourites bets from Germany this weekend.
Paderborn v Bayern Munich | Saturday 14.30
It doesn’t get much bigger than this for teeny-weeny Paderborn. The Bundesliga’s newest club host Germany’s powerhouse at the Benteler Arena with 15,000 fans squeezed into the league’s smallest stadium. Sadly for us neutrals, Bayern are unlikely to show mercy as Pep Guardiola looks to guide his visitors to yet another title triumph.
When these two teams met earlier this season at the Allianz Arena, SCP arrived in Munich as league leaders. Pep’s men quickly put an end to that, sending the minnows packing on the back of a 4-0 spanking. A similar result on Saturday looks the most likely but I’ll invest in Boylesports’ 20/23 on Bayern winning ‘to nil’.
FC Hollywood were held to a 0-0 draw in Ukraine in midweek without ever looking under any pressure. It was a fiery encounter but there was little in the way of goalmouth action. However, last weekend the Bavarian giants annihilated Hamburg 8-0 – their biggest league win in over 30 years – and although they didn’t need to move into third gear for that clash, there’s a feeling they’re starting to find the same form that made them so imperious in the first half of the season.
The drab stalemate on Tuesday night was their third successive clean sheet having previously shutout Stuttgart and Hamburg and lets not forget, only six Bundesliga sides have managed to score against Guardiola’s immovable force in 2014/15. In seven of their 10 away games, you guessed it, they kept clean sheets.
Last weekend Andre Breitenreiter’s hosts sank my European NAP as they performed superbly to come from behind and pinch a 2-1 victory over Hannover. It was their first win in 10 matches and ended a four-game scoreless streak for SCP. But with Bayern averaging less than three shots-on-target in their road games, it’s hard to imagine the plucky underdogs making any headway against the visiting superstars.
Freiburg v Hoffenheim | Saturday 14.30
Just three points separate 11th-placed Koln from Freiburg in 16th. Last weekend’s 2-0 success at Hertha Berlin saw the Black Forrest side leapfrog the capital club and ease the pressure on boss Christian Streich but the Brazilians of Breisgau know it will count for little if they don’t put in a performance against Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Nils Petersen and Admir Mehmedi remain on the sideliens for Freiburg but there’s still plenty of reason to believe this fixture should produce goals. Despite failing to score in four of their 10 matches at the Schwarzwald-Stadion, Streich’s charges have netted two or more goals four times in front of their home fans, including in two of their most recent three outings.
Last Saturday’s win could be described as efficient and a repeat could reap rewards against a Hoffenheim side that will always allow the opposition opportunities. Markus Gisdol’s side overcame rock bottom Stuttgart 2-1 on home soil last time out but eight defeats in 12 have seen Hoff plummet down the table.
Stuttgart had failed to score in eight of 11 fixtures before facing TSG and with just one clean sheet in 12 now, it’s hard to have any faith in Gisdol’s men improving that record this weekend. However, Roberto Firmino has scored in two of four games since the return of the winter break and his return to form should aid their challenge for a European place.
So the bet I’m going to take is Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals at 10/11 with Bet365. Freiburg have made nine individual errors that have led to opposition goals this season and with just six clean sheets in 21 Bundesliga games, it would be a surprise if they were able to shut Hoffenheim out.
As for the visitors, 10 of their last 12 league outings have featured Over 2.5 Goals and with their lack of defensive stability since Niklas Süle’s injury clear to see, we should be treated to another goal-heavy game in Germany.
Wolfsburg v Hertha Berlin | Sunday 16.30
Another week and another chance for me to find a bet involving Wolfsburg. Dieter Hecking’s men have been irresistible in 2015 and they’re certainly one of my favourite sides to watch this season. Yes, they were in Europa League action on Thursday night but I don’t have any concerns about that as they should still prove far too good for a Hertha Berlin side that remains deep in relegation trouble.
Last weekend the Wolves were involved in a stunning 5-4 win at Leverkusen. Having stormed into a 3-0 half-time lead, Wolfsburg blew a 4-2 advantage only to steal the points with the last kick of the game. Bas Dost continued his remarkable goalscoring form with four goals and followed up with a brace in Thursday night’s 2-0 win over Sporting, taking his tally to 10 goals in his last five appearances. Astonishing!
True, Wolfsburg weren’t at their best against their Portuguese opponents but they have now bagged eight wins from an unbeaten previous 11 games and on Sunday they return to their Volkswagen Arena den where they’ll defend a proud W9-D2-L0 record in Bundesliga action. Hecking’s hosts have plundered 25 goals in those 11 outings and that’s despite not yet facing any of the current bottom four.
Opponents Hertha axed boss Jos Luhukay a fortnight ago with club legend Pál Dárdai taking over the role on an interim basis. A fortunate away win at Mainz was just what the doctor ordered but last weekend’s meek effort when going down at home to relegation rivals Freiburg was greeted with jeers and whistles from Berlin supporters.
The capital club have now lost 12 of their 21 Bundesliga games including six of their 10 on their travels. A trip to the Volkswagen Arena is certainly not the best place to head if you’re searching for points in a battle against the drop and I can’t see anything else other than a sweeping home win for the Wolves.
Wolfsburg can be backed at 42/41 with 888 Sport with a -1.5 Asian Handicap start. This means we’ll be in the money should the home team win the game by two goals or more and that’s something they’ve achieved in seven of their last nine victories in front of their home supporters.
Paderborn v Bayern Munich – Bayern Munich to win ‘to nil’ (20/23 Boylesports)
Freiburg v Hoffenheim – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (10/11 Bet365)
Wolfsburg v Hertha Berlin – Wolfsburg -1.5 Asian Handicap (42/41 888 Sport)
*Remember, you can earn a bonus of up to 100% on your returns if you place accumulators on the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga or Bundesliga with Bet365. Place a pre-match accumulator of 3 or more selections combining teams in any of those competitions, and if successful Bet365 will add the a bonus to your returns.*
What's your best Bundesliga bet this weekend? Could Bayern struggle at Paderborn? Is Mark right to expect goals at Freiburg?
We’d love to hear so let us know in the comments box below!