THE BUNDESLIGA is back and here Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) shares his favourite player and team props-based plays from the weekend.
Augsburg v Wolfsburg | Saturday 16th May 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
Wolfsburg make the long journey south to Augsburg well in contention to earn a place in next season’s Europa League but will have to make do without their suspended leading scorer Wout Weghorst.
The Dutch’s strikers absence will certainly lead a void, but I was surprised to see the prices on second top scorer Renato Steffen at such a generous price – 15/8 with PaddyPower – to have 1+ shot on target in the game.
Steffen has become Mr Versatile this season, covering injured players often and featuring in both wing-back roles, on the right and left of midfield and in the number 10 role. His form before the league suspension certainly caught the eye, bagging three goals in six appearances, including a brace in a 4-0 win over Mainz.
When delving into his individual stats, the midfielder’s shots per-90 minutes rate is an impressive 2.2 when factoring out the fixtures he played in defensive roles. William is injured, as are two other Die Wolfe midfielders, so Steffen will almost certainly start and most likely on the right wing of a 3-4-2-1 formation. In comparison, his figure is a 1.8 average across all positions.
The wing-backs are given free reign to roam the flanks in manager Oliver Glasner’s high intensity set-up, so the 28 year-old will have a busy afternoon.
When looking back at the reverse fixture the right wing-back on that day, the aforementioned William, had five shots, registering two on-target and with the adventurous Vargas and Max lining up against Steffen, the latter will get space in behind to get shots away and make an impact again in the final third, especially with Augsburg’s woeful defensive record this season.
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn | Saturday 16th May 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
A simply must-win game for both these sides to boost their chances of remaining in the Bundesliga next season and the home team currently sit at around 11/10 to win it outright.
That price is probably about right given the current state of play but I’d rather delve into some of the stats to back near identical odds of 111/100 with Betfair and their same game multi tool. The bet combines Dusseldorf to have 13 or more shots with Paderborn +4 on the corner handicap.
Whether or not Uwe Rosler’s hosts can get the job done in terms of the result, I think they’re likely to have the better of the game and get plenty of efforts away. Since Rosler took the job at the end of January, the North Rhine club have done well to only lose once in six league matches considering the fixtures they have had to contend with.
In the one game at home to a bottom half under Rosler, Fortuna recorded 14 shots, following it up with 20 efforts on goal in their following game against Mainz. Paderborn are bottom of the table for several reasons but their record of conceding more than twice a game is one of them so Fortuna will be confident of finding the net if they test Leopold Zingerle in the away goal enough.
On the corner front though, Paderborn more than hold their own. On their travels, the team have the highest average league corner count, earning 5.58 per-game. Given that they are so often behind and needing to chase the game this is perhaps not too surprising and added to that, only 22% of the team’s attacks come through the middle of the pitch so they clearly have an emphasis on wide play.
Paderborn have covered this handicap in 20 of their 25 matches played so far this season and in what is expected to be a tight encounter, I think they’ll do it again and bring home the second part of this same-game double.
Koln v Mainz | Sunday 17th May 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
Koln, or Cologne for us English speakers, have been mightily impressive since their promotion from Bundesliga 2, more than holding their own in 10th position.
At times in the second tier, they were almost spoilt for choice in terms of attacking talent with all three of Simon Terodde, Anthony Modeste and John Cordoba vying for a single centre-forward spot. Colombian Cordoba has more than made that position his own this season though with 10 goals in 21 league games, attracting interest from bigger clubs near and far.
Cologne’s physical prowess has served them well on many occasion this campaign and I think it could be a weapon they look to deploy again here. The team have scored more goals from set-pieces (15) than any other top flight side whilst on the other hand, Mainz have conceded the joint 2nd highest from dead balls – 13 in total.
A man who may profit from those stats is on loan QPR defender Toni Leistner. The 6 ft 2 inch centre-back will almost certainly start the game with first choice Rafael Czichos out injured. Leistner registered a shot on target in the final game before lockdown, a 2-1 defeat at Gladbach and is 11/2 with PaddyPower to do the same here.
Cologne as a team have won an average of 20.4 aerial duels per Bundesliga match, a figure only bettered by Union Berlin and Leistner represents the highest total in the squad with 3.3 per appearance. Looking at how centre-backs faired against Mainz before the shutdown throws some weight behind backing the 11/2 odds – Dusseldorf’s triplet having five shots between them and then Paderborn’s pair getting two away on goal.
Mainz, a team who have taken a battering or two this season, will have their work cut out keeping the big men like Leistner quiet from corners and free-kicks.
Augsburg v Wolfsburg – Renato Steffen 1+ Shot On-Target (15/8 PaddyPower)
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn – Fortuna Dusseldorf 13+ Team Shots and Paderborn +4 Corners Handicap (111/100 Betfair)
Koln v Mainz – Toni Leistner 1+ Shot On Target (11/2 PaddyPower)