MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) talks us through his best bets from the Bundesliga this weekend with the Revierderby taking centre-stage on Sunday.
Borussia Monchengladbach v Ingolstadt | Saturday 14.30
Borussia Monchengladbach’s draw with Juventus in midweek confirmed the Foals could no longer reach the knockout stages of the Champions League but the Rhineland club performed admirably for the second time in a fortnight against last season’s finalists.
In fairness, Gladbach have been flying ever seen Andre Schubert stepped in as interim boss following Lucien Favre’s resignation. Six Bundesliga wins from six under Schubert has equalled the best ever start of a new head coach and victory on Saturday would see WIlli Entenmann's record broken.
And who’d bet against the Foals right now? Gladbach have climbed from rock bottom to within two points of the top-four and even knocked Schalke out of the DFB Pokal. In those six consecutive wins, they’ve smashed at least three goals in five separate fixtures and come into the weekend defending a fearsome record at their Borussia-Park home.
Since the start of last season, Gladbach have W15-D3-L4 and scored the opening goal in 17 of their last 20 league games. That’s a win percentage of 68% yet we’re able to invest our faith in the hosts at 9/13 with 10Bet (that’s 1.69 in decimals) – translate those odds into percentage chance and the bookies believe the Foals only have a 59% chance of beating Ingolstadt.
The newly-promoted club have surprised by settling into top-tier life relatively comfortably with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s charges occupying a top-half position. Only Bayern Munich have kept more clean sheets than the visitors’ tally of five in 11 outings and likewise, only Bayern have conceded fewer goals.
Last weekend FCI held Schalke to a 1-1 draw, snapping their two-match losing streak and with only one loss to their name on the road (and 11 of their 17 points accrued away), Ingolstadt are a tough nut to crack. But there are faults in the side that Gladbach can expose.
Firstly, defensive midfielder Roger is again missing and secondly, their well organised, hard-working and solid approach lends itself well to defending but their attack can often suffer as a consequence. No side has scored fewer goals than FCI’s seven and Hasenhuttl’s men have fired blanks in five contests already.
No player in the squad has notched more than once and I’d be surprised to see the industrious travellers shutout a rampant Foals side on Saturday. Brazilian forward Raffael has been directly involved in 11 of the Gladbach’s 21 league goals under Schubert (five goals and six assists) and should help the hosts to a record-breaking win. Even at the odd price of 9/13, there’s value in Gladbach.
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke | Sunday 14.30 | BT Sport/ESPN
I was surprised to see Thomas Tuchel field a strong side for Thursday night’s Europa League game with Qabala. Naturally, Dortmund smashed the Azerbaijanis 4-0 to take their season tally to 67 goals from 20 games but the victory came at a cost.
Marco Reus picked up an injury and will now miss the all-important Revierderby on Sunday. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to fancy the Black & Yellows delivering yet another knockout blow to their bitter rivals from Gelsenkirchen.
The last time Schalke visited the Westfalenstadion they were blown away 3-0 with BVB out-shooting their neighbours 31-3. Such a one-sided contest might be a little too far fetched to repeat but I still expect Dortmund to show the Royal Blues who’s boss in the Ruhr and so backing the hosts -1.5 in the Asian Handicap market appeals at 6/7 with BetVictor – we need the hosts to win by two or more goals for our selection to collect.
The two teams are only separated by two places in the table but Thomas Tuchel’s troops have smashed 18 more goals than Schalke and their 26-point tally from 11 matches has only been bettered twice in the club’s illustrious history. Eight of those 11 outings have been won by a margin of two goals or more with seven W-W double results recorded. Woof.
Looking at the form of the Black & Yellows in front of their home fans is also rather enlightening. Dortmund have won eight of their last nine at the Westfalenstadion, scoring at least twice in each encounter – seven were won by a margin of two goals or more.
Schalke have drifted into mediocrity in recent weeks. The Royal Blues laboured to a 1-1 draw at Sparta Prague on Thursday night and required a late Leroy Sane equaliser to salvage a point at home to promoted Ingolstadt last weekend. Andre Breitenreiter’s visitors have W1-D2-L1 across their past four Bundesliga games.
To make matters worse, midfield general Johannes Geis is still suspended and skipper Benedikt Howedes is injured. Schalke have been beaten in five of their last eight on the road and in their last 20 trips to fellow top-six finishers over the past four seasons, the Royal Blues have W4-D4-L12 with nine of those defeats arriving by that magic two-goal margin or larger.
I can’t wait for this contest – it’s always one of the best European derbies – and so I can’t resist a second selection. The Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wincast failed last weekend but the Gabonese pocket-rocket has been in sensational form in 2015/16, hammering home 13 Bundesliga goals – the same as Bayern hot-shot Robert Lewandowski. Schalke, as a whole, have managed just one more.
I’m going to stick a decent wager on Aubameyang to score in a Dortmund win at 11/10 with Bwin. He’s scored 15 goals in 21 home starts since the start of last season, netted on Thursday night and should get ample opportunity to add to his tally on Sunday.
Augsburg v Werder Bremen | Sunday 16.30 | BT Sport Europe
Should Hoffenheim collect maximum points in Huub Stevens’ home bow on Saturday, Augsburg’s clash with Werder Bremen on Sunday may represent the Bundesliga’s bottom-two locking horns.
Augsburg surpassed all expectations last term to finish fifth and qualify for their debut season in continental competition. On Thursday the club downed AZ Alkmaar 4-1 to give their Last 32 qualification hopes a strong nudge in the right direction but now Markus Weinzierl’s weary squad must raise themselves for the battle back home.
Sitting rock bottom, the Fuggerstädter have won just once this season and taken only two points from a possible 18. In that six-match winless spell, Augsburg have conceded 18 goals with the Swabians throwing away a 3-2 lead against Mainz last weekend with the final kick of the game.
Augsburg have never been totally robust defending their own goal but 23 goals against already this campaign equals their goals conceded tally from the whole first-half of 2014/15. The side have shutout their visitors just seven times since the start of last season with 11/23 (48%) of home fixtures featuring both teams scoring and 13/23 (57%) producing three or more goals.
Viktor Skripnik received rave reviews for what he achieved when taking over the reigns at Werder Bremen last season but the River Islanders have plummeted down the standings with six defeats in seven. Their total of 11 points is their lowest at this stage for 41 years and the 18 goals they’ve conceded is also of major concern.
Curiously, eight of the 11 goals Bremen have scored came on their travels and I’d expect them to play their part in a high-scoring contest. Since the start of last season, 15/22 (68%) of Werder’s away days have broken the Over 2.5 Goals barrier with a huge 18/22 (82%) also banking in the BTTS column.
This term alone, seven of Skripnik side’s 11 have gone over the goals line whilst Augsburg have joined them in nine of their last 13 in all competitions. The hosts have seen three or more goals plundered in all bar five of their last 20 when entertaining bottom-six battlers, making the 20/21 from Bet365 on Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score look scrumptious on Sunday.
Borussia Monchengladbach v Ingolstadt – Borussia Monchengladbach to win (9/13 10Bet)
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke – Borussia Dortmund -1.5 Asian Handicap (6/7 BetVictor)
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score and Borussia Dortmund to win (11/10 Bwin)
Augsburg v Werder Bremen – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (20/21 Bet365)
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