IT’S matchday six from Germany this midweek and Mark O’Haire’s (@MarkOHaire) picked out the best bets. He’s recommended five winners from his past six Bundesliga tips.
Bayern Munich v Wolfsburg | Tuesday 19.00 | BT Sport 2
On Saturday evening, the Darmstadt coach Dirk Schuster said: “The most normal thing in the world happened, Bayern won 3-0 in Darmstadt.” But things aren’t entirely normal in Germany – Bayern Munich aren’t top of the table five games into the 2015/16 season despite posting a 100% win record.
Yes, there’s no stopping Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund. The Black & Yellows have bagged wins in all 11 of the new head coach’s fixtures in charge and currently top the tree on goal difference from FC Hollywood. But on Tuesday night, Pep’s troops get their chance to retake leadership of the league with BVB not on show until Wednesday.
Last season’s Bundesliga champions take on silver medallists Wolfsburg in the pick of the midweek fixtures but I reckon Wolfsburg could make this a closer encounter than the odds suggest. Sure, I was wrong to assume Leverkusen were capable of keeping in touch with the Bavarian masters but at 11/10 (BetVictor), I’m having a bit of Wolfsburg +1.5 on the Asian Handicap.
Bayern Munich are unbeaten in 47 Bundesliga matches before the Christmas break (W39-D8-L0) dating back to October 2012 and FC Hollywood boast a W12-D3-L0 record in their last 15 outings during Oktoberfest. The defending champions have kept clean sheets in 14 of those 15 fixtures.
The stats are certainly against Dieter Hecking’s visitors – Wolfsburg have lost each of their 17 visits to Munich, on top of that – but does Arjen Robben’s injury give the visitors hope? I reckon so.
Yeah, Douglas Costa has been marvellous, Arturo Vidal scored a stunner on Saturday but even so, it’s worth pointing out that Bayern won 19/21 matches with the Flying Dutchman since the start of last season. The 18 fixtures he’s missed have resulted in only 11 victories with a goals-per-game ratio falling from 3.19 down to 1.56. That’s significant.
Bayern have bagged a barely-believable 32 wins from 37 matches in Munich but it’s often mooted that since Pep arrived in the Bavarian capital, Bayern have struggled against the Bundesliga’s leading lights. Last term FC Hollywood only W3-D3-L4 when taking on teams in sixth and above. And in 20 matches against the same opposition, that record reads W11-D4-L5. In fact, their last five against top-six clubs have returned just one point.
Bayern have been far from their imperious selves thus far. Pep’s charges were fortunate to record maximum points at Hoffenheim and at home to Augsburg whilst Darmstadt weren’t a million miles away from grabbing a goal on Saturday, albeit against a much-changed FC Hollywood side. That should certainly encourage Wolfsburg.
The Wolves have returned W10-D5-L11 when taking on top-six finishers under Dieter Hecking’s watch but the positives are heavily weighted towards their home form. In road trips to the same standard of opposition, the Wolves hold a rotten W1-D1-L8 return.
Wolfsburg are four points behind the hosts and appear to coping just fine without last season’s Bundesliga Player of the Year Kevin De Bruyne and top performer Ivan Perisic. Hecking’s focussed on tightening up the backline that sprung a few too many leaks in 2014/15 and the visitors make the journey on the back of three successive shutouts in the league.
They’ll look to play on the counter and defend deep but I reckon Hecking’s charges have the ability to stay within range of the champions. Wolfsburg +1.5 Asian Handicap is the play at 11/10 with BetVictor.
Hertha Berlin v Koln | Tuesday 19.00
Hertha Berlin’s home fixture with Koln brings together two of the Bundesliga’s most organised coaches. Both Pal Dardai and Peter Stöger are experts in the art of setting sides up to defend well and prove effective in the final third.
Since being handed the reigns at the Olympic Stadium, Dardai has returned decent W3-D4-L2 figures in the German capital and helped Hertha to a solid start to 2015/16. Only Dortmund and Wolfsburg have gotten the better of Berlin and although Sebastian Langkamp and John-Anthony Brooks will miss out, the hosts have looked stable at the back.
Dardai may have a few issues getting goals, mind. Roy Beerens won’t be involved and Hertha have W1-D4-L10 in the 15 fixtures he’s missing since the start of last season, failing to even score in eight of the last 14 of those. In contrast, the capital club have won 42% of the 24 matches he’s featured in.
But instead of any goals-based bets, the shrewder option looks to be to back the half-time draw at attractive 11/10 quotes from Bet365. It’s proven profitable in 7/9 (78%) of Olympic Stadium duels under Dardai and in 10/19 (53%) since the start of 2014/15.
For Koln, the Billy Goats recovered from their awful 6-2 hammering at Eintracht Frankfurt with a 1-0 win in the derby against Gladbach – their first Rhine-Derby success on home soil for 10 years. But like their hosts, Stoger’s troops have shown an incredibly strong penchant for half-time stalemates.
Since returning to the top-flight, Koln have gone into half-time level in 14/19 (74%) of their away games including in 13 of their most recent 16. On more occasions than not it’s been goalless but with odds-against quotes on the table, I’m happy enough taking the 11/10 (Bet365).
Ingolstadt v Hamburg | Tuesday 19.00 | BT Sport/ESPN
Finally, something short and sweet. Ingolstadt have surprised everyone with their start to life in their debut Bundesliga campaign and despite scoring only three goals in five games, Die Schanzen have 10 points and are up in sixth.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s hosts have done it by being supremely well organised, resolute and drilled in the art of discipline and defending. No wonder then, they’ve managed to shutout four of their five opponents.
On Saturday they were given a helping hand with a late penalty winner at Werder Bremen but even so, it made it 5/5 winning Both Teams To Score ‘No’ selections from the newcomers.
Hamburg have so far defied the pre-season critics that forecasted Bruno Labbadia’s men to struggle for survival yet again. HSV have actually impressed in recent weeks and after five games, find themselves on the brink of the top-half (W2-D1-L2).
The Dinosaur have kept consecutive clean sheets against Gladbach and free-scoring Frankfurt meaning they’ve also been involved in BTTS losers in 3/5 Bundesliga matches. Having seen Ingolstadt in detail now, I’d count on this clash going the same way.
Selecting ‘No’ in the Both Teams To Score market is even-money with Paddy Power and interestingly enough, it’s also proven successful in 49% of 45 German top tier games in 2015/16 thus far, including eight of the nine matchday five encounters.
Bayern Munich v Wolfsburg – Wolfsburg +1.5 Asian Handicap (11/10 BetVictor)
Hertha Berlin v Koln – Half-Time draw (11/10 Bet365)
Ingolstadt v Hamburg – Both Teams To Score ‘No’ (1/1 Paddy Power)