THE BUNDESLIGA continues on Saturday and Chris Bland (@blandc_1996) is on-hand to preview the televised showdown between Wolfsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt.
Wolfsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt | Saturday 29th May 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
Wolfsburg take on relegation-threatened Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon, as Oliver Glasner’s side look to build on a fantastic 4-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in midweek and compound Frankfurt’s run of dismal form.
A first point since the return of the Bundesliga for Adi Hutter’s side will give them an inkling of hope heading into this clash, but Tuesday’s entertaining 3-3 draw with Freiburg was indicative of a tough season so far, and another game where the underlying data painted a different picture to what happened on pitch.
Racking up a total of 34 shots, as well as an Expected Goals (xG) output of 4.30, Eintracht were made to pay by their inability to take chances, with Freiburg racing to a 3-1 lead, making the most of an open defence which will concern Hutter once again.
Although the three goals came at an xG of 0.76, the open nature and ease that Freiburg were able to cut open the back three, which Hutter switched to for the game, will concern him as they come up against a side with a much more imperious attack, and one that has shone since the return.
Makoto Hasebe’s lack of pace and need to sit deeper can be targeted, with Wout Weghorst’s physicality also a potential cause for concern, Wolfsburg should be able to have a focal point up front for Glasner’s side to utilise on the counter. The defensive positioning of wing backs Filip Kostic and Almany Toure can often be called into question, with Joao Victor and Renato Steffen expected to press on and utilise these spaces.
Frankfurt’s attack does at least look to be getting back to full strength, and whilst Goncalo Paciencia is a miss, the attacking nature of the line-up in midweek paid dividends, and I would expect Hutter to follow suit once again, with his side’s defensive woes meaning attack is at times the best form of defence.
With both sides xG for sat at 43.88 (Wolfsburg) and 45.67 (Frankfurt) respectively, goals do immediately stand out in this clash, and although Wolfsburg’s own defence has been particularly strong in recent weeks, they have still conceded in all three of their games.
Joshua Guilavogui has been a miss in holding midfield, and whilst Max Arnold and Xaver Schlager have impressed in the last two games, there are still concerns and it is tough to see them keeping a clean sheet.
The betting angles
As a result, my first point of call on this fixture would be on goals, with Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score priced at evens (Bet365).
Building on Frankfurt’s attack, the shot line on Hutter’s side is particularly appealing, especially when considering they are in desperate need of points in their battle against the drop. SkyBet currently have 12 or more shots priced at 10/11, and whilst the defensive performances and statistics of Wolfsburg do explain the initial pricing, a dig deeper into Die Adler's statistics do make this appealing.
Only six games this season have seen Frankfurt dip under the 12 or more shot line, and these came against Leverkusen twice, Leipzig twice, once against Dortmund and once against Dusseldorf. As a result, in 21 of their 27 games, they have achieved this mark, including hitting 17 in the reverse fixture against Wolfsburg.
Game state can often have an impact upon the shot counts, but the ‘shoot on sight’ nature of many Frankfurt players can’t be ignored, and it would be no surprise to see them behind at some point in this clash, further reinforcing a similar situation to that against Freiburg on Tuesday.
Although only 11 games have seen Wolfsburg concede this volume of shots this season, it is telling that one came against Frankfurt, and I’m happy to factor in the requirement for Frankfurt to gain a result, and their leaky defence meaning its tough to see Wolfsburg not scoring.
For a longer shot, and keeping in mind the 34 shots they peppered Freiburg’s goal with on Tuesday, 19 shots doesn’t seem too farfetched, and has landed in six of their games this season.
Again, it is important to note that Wolfsburg are yet to concede this volume in a game, but a Frankfurt side in desperate need of a result and chasing the game could see this pushed, and 22/1 (SkyBet) is a price worthy of considering.