BUNDESLIGA fanatic Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) picks out the best bets from Germany this weekend.
Wolfsburg v Bayer Leverkusen | Saturday 17.30 | BT Sport 2
Saturday evening’s meeting between Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen should serve up a decent dollop of goals and entertainment. It’s the most eagerly-anticipated clash on the card with a history of thrilling encounters.
When these two clubs go head-to-head, high-scores tend to follow. Only one of the last 14 fixtures have failed to feature both teams scoring and those matches have accumulated a huge 59 goals – that’s an average of 4.2 goals-per-game and those showdowns date back to as recent as 2009.
Neither club is particular well followed nor liked because of their ‘plastic’ status and private funding models but even so, Bundesliga fans will be tuning in expecting another avalanche of goals and punters should certainly check out the 3/4 (Marathon) available on Over 2.5 Goals.
Wolfsburg have delivered 15/22 (68%) of Over 2.5 Goals winners from their Volkswagen Arena games since the start of last season with 14 of those matches also seeing both teams score. Meanwhile, Leverkusen have featured in 12/22 (55%) away games that produced at least three goals across the same sample.
Immediately the likelihood for another goal-filled encounter looks to have a very strong case and it would certainly raise eyebrows should the Saturday evening kick-off not produce the goods.
There’s also a decent case to support Dieter Hecking’s hosts at 15/16 (Marathon) in the Draw No Bet market. The Wolves were taken to the cleaners by Bayern Munich in their midweek DFB Pokal clash but that was only their third home reverse in 39. In the Bundesliga, Wolfsburg’s home record reads W20-D7-L0 since March 2014 yet we’re getting almost even-money on the hosts with the draw onside.
There’s no doubting Leverkusen’s tag as a tactically shrewd side under Roger Schmidt’s tutelage but Die Werkself have fallen to defeats in each of their last three against the Wolves and their recent five-match unbeaten spell has included plenty of concerning schoolboy defending; Roma and Stuttgart stuck seven goals past Bayer in the past fortnight alone.
The travellers have managed just two away wins in eight – at struggling Werder Bremen and Hannover – and so siding with Wolfsburg whilst having the added protection of the draw seems a sensible solution at a tidy price.
Hamburg v Hannover | Sunday 16.30 | BT Sport Europe
Hamburg’s impressive rebirth under Bruno Labbadia shows no sign of stopping as the Dinosaur clinched a late 1-0 win at Hoffenheim last Friday night that ultimately saw Markus Gisdol lose his job at the Rhein-Neckar Stadium.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga scored the only goal of a game in which both goalkeepers had performed heroics to keep their side on terms. Rene Adler was once again insurmountable between the sticks for HSV as they racked up a fifth clean sheet from their last seven fixtures.
It’s a far cry from the past few seasons where the Red Shots have been haemorrhaging goals and struggling to keep their heads above water in the battle for Bundesliga survival. And with Emir Spahic returning from from injury, HSV should be even stronger on Sunday.
The north German side are now just out of the top-half on goal difference but their W7-D3-L6 return from 16 games since Labbadia retook control should be enough to pierce the top-eight if Sunday’s hosts continue in the same vein.
Hannover make the reasonably short journey for what’s recently been described as the league’s ‘cuddle derby’. Both sets of supporters like each other and have developed a stern friendship over the recent years so fireworks are bound to kept to a minimum.
But backing Hamburg to pick up maximum points looks the best betting option with even-money on offer. Schalke are the only side to win at the Volksparkstadion under Labbadia’s watch (W3-D3-L1) whilst the visitors must overcome a rotten away record.
Michael Frontzeck’s already coming under pressure since taking the role as head coach in the summer with Die Rotten in 15th having lost six of their first 10 matches. Hannover’s W4-D8-L10 road record since the start of last season is also of huge concern, as is their tally of just four clean sheets across the same sample.
Hamburg should have enough to pocket the victory at even-money.
Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund | Saturday 14.30
The Bundesliga title race might be dead and buried before November but it’s still great to see Borussia Dortmund back to their brilliant best. So what if Bayern are seven points clear and breaking records week-in, week-out, I think we’ve all got a spot in our hearts devoted to the Black & Yellows.
BVB’s rebirth under Thomas Tuchel took a pounding against the defending champions but Dortmund have bounced back excellently and have now racked up an incredible 61 goals in 19 games this term. Second tier Paderborn were spanked for seven in the DFB Pokal during midweek and top marksman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang didn’t even feature.
Aubameyang was rested and with 13 of Dortmund’s 29 Bundesliga goals this season – that’s 45% – he’s arguably in hotter form than a certain Robert Lewandowski. So with the Black & Yellows too short in the betting come Saturday, back PEA to score in an away win to boost the price to a hugely attractive 11/10 with Skybet.
BVB tend to run over Bremen with relative ease. They’re bidding for an eight success in nine, have W7-D2-L1 in the league under Tuchel and have already built up a +17 goal difference across those 10 fixtures, scoring at least twice in 8/10.
Werder halted a five-match losing run with victory at Mainz last time out and backed that result up with a cup victory against Koln. But the host hold a terrible record against the leading German lights, losing 20/24 with sides positioned in the top-three of the table.
It’s telling that Viktor Skrypnyk’s side are still searching for a first clean sheet but even more alarming is the River Islanders’ lack of goals. They’ve fired blanks in five of their last six at their Weserstadion home, each time suffering defeats.
I’ll count on Dortmund doing the business and Aubameyang extending his sensational goalscoring streak this Saturday.
Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score and Borussia Dortmund to win (11/10 Skybet)
Wolfsburg v Bayer Leverkusen – Wolfsburg draw no bet (15/16 Marathon)
Wolfsburg v Bayer Leverkusen – Over 2.5 Goals (3/4 Marathon)
Hamburg v Hannover – Hamburg to win (1/1 Bet365)
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