German Bundesliga Preview

With Bundesliga sides coming through two fixtures last week, those competing in Europe will be forced into the same scenario. An extraordinary display by a certain Robert Lewandowski crushed Wolfsburg, with the Polish striker scoring five times in nine minutes. He shattered the record for the fastest Bundesliga hat-trick and scored a brace against Mainz at the weekend to take Munich four points clear and unbeaten at the top of the table. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the first Bundesliga player to score in all of the opening seven games of the season. However, Dortmund would only draw with Darmstadt and come into their clash with Bayern a yard off the pace.

Friday 2nd October

Darmstadt 19/10 | Draw 9/4 | Mainz 14/10

Newly-promoted Darmstadt have certainly looked at home in the top flight. They’ve suffered only one defeat from their first seven games, coming against defending champions Bayern Munich. They’ve picked up four draws in the process and look an incredibly difficult side to break down. They also showed tremendous heart last week in scoring a 90th-minute equaliser to share the points with Dortmund. It’s been a season of ups-and-downs for Mainz, who have won three and lost four of their seven matches. They were soundly beaten by Bayern Munich last weekend by the same scoreline that the Bavarians beat Darmstadt, 3-0. This looks a tough one to call and last season’s one-point specialists Mainz are due a draw. Back the stalemate at 9/4. 

Saturday 3rd October

Monchengladbach 17/10 | Draw 23/10 | Wolfsburg 31/20

Gladbach have rallied to two victories after a disastrous start to the campaign. The six points has seen them move off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone, for now. The wins over Augsburg and Stuttgart were solid team efforts built on what was undoubtedly an inspirational bit of work from manager Lucien Favre. Wolfsburg were held to a frustrating draw last time out, having clawed their way back into the fixture after going a goal down. Bas Dost is in fine form despite the rift between himself and his manager. He scored against Hertha Berlin (twice) and Hannover, and has the propensity to go on goal gluts. This will be a tough game, full of industry, and I fancy Both Teams to Score at 6/10.

Hannover 31/20 | Draw 5/2 | Werder Bremen 31/20

A spirited Hannover side rallied in the second half to find a leveller against Dortmund and take a point from the match. It still left the Lower Saxony club rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table, but did provide some relief after five consecutive losses in the league. Werder Bremen will need to use the Hannover blueprint to turn their own fortunes around. They’ve picked up a measly two wins from seven matches and have lost three on the trot, both matches against the newly promoted clubs and a 3-0 hammering from Bayer Leverkusen at home. I fancy Hannover to turn their lacklustre form around and pick up their first win of the season. Back them at 31/20.

Hertha Berlin 11/10 | Draw 23/10 | Hamburg 5/2

Hertha Berlin snatched a point from their trip to Frankfurt last weekend with a late goal earning the men from the capital a 1-1 draw. Lying sixth, with three wins and two draws, Berlin will be pleased with their opening exchanges. Hamburg’s three-match unbeaten run was broken last week by Schalke. Hamburg were abject last season but will be hoping that 2015/16 brings a more comfortable route to safety. However, I can’t see them travelling to Olympiastadion Berlin and leaving with much to show. Back the home side at 11/10. 

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Hoffenheim 15/10 | Draw 26/10 | Stuttgart 31/20

Hoffenheim’s 3-1 win away at Augsburg gave the club reason to celebrate their first win of the season. It was a clinical performance and far removed from their recent disappointing form. Kevin Volland was fantastic, netting in the 10th minute before converting a penalty just past the hour mark. He also set up the final goal with a pass through to Jonathan Schmid. Stuttgart recorded their first win of the season in midweek against Hannover, romping to a 3-1 victory away from home. However, they have lost all six of their other fixtures and once again look likely to be scrapping against relegation all season. Neither have been brilliant nor consistent, but Hoffenheim are tipped to make home advantage count at 15/10.

Ingolstadt 31/20 | Draw 9/4 | Eintracht Frankfurt 18/10

Amazingly, Ingolstadt had won every away game this season in the Bundesliga until last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Cologne. The big league new boys have started the season impressively and will be keen to tighten up their home form, which has seen them without a win in three matches at Audi-Sportpark. Frankfurt have only picked up two victories this season and have been terribly inconsistent in their performances. A 4-1 win over Stuttgart was followed by a 6-2 victory over Cologne. Three matches later and they have picked up just two points, scoring only once. However, I fancy the entrenched Bundesliga force to get something from this match due to Ingolstadt’s wobbly home record. Back Frankfurt on the Double Chance at 5/10.

Sunday 4th October

Schalke 15/20 | Draw 11/4 | Cologne 36/10

Schalke have made the third-best start to the season and are four points clear of nearest rivals Wolfsburg. They find themselves only a point behind Dortmund after scraping a victory away from home against Hamburg. Leroy Sane has delivered on his promise from last season and the 19-year-old currently has three goals in as many games. Cologne have made a middling start, winning three of their seven matches. However, none of those wins have come against particularly tough opposition, depending on how one views Gladbach at present. They were hammered 6-2 by Frankfurt but have picked up draws against a misfiring Wolfsburg and resolute Ingolstadt. I doubt they’ll have the quality to match Schalke. Back the home side at 15/20. 

Bayern Munich 6/10 | Draw 31/10 | Borussia Dortmund 4/1

This enormous clash is most certainly the marquee fixture of the weekend. The league leaders take on the current runners-up in what is simultaneously the biggest German rivalry in football. Der Klassiker is the name given to this auspicious match and with the way both sides have begun the season, it should be nothing short of exhilarating. Bayern Munich have started the season on fire in pursuit of an unprecedented fourth straight league title. The Bavarians have won all seven of their league matches in rather convincing fashion. Dortmund matched Munich step for step until the last two gameweeks, where they’ve been held to draws by Hoffenheim and Darmstadt. In Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang they have an in-form striker who can hurt just about anyone but being at the Allianz Arena will be a daunting prospect for Thomas Tuchel’s attractive side. This is bound to be a humdinger but I wouldn’t venture much farther than a home win at 6/10. 

Bayer Leverkusen 4/10 | Draw 39/10 | Augsburg 67/10

Leverkusen have had an up-and-down beginning to the campaign, evidenced in none of their opening seven fixtures ending in draws. Leverkusen have won four and lost three, the losses coming consecutively to Munich, Darmstadt and Dortmund. While Leverkusen would have been disappointed that they could not push the likes of Bayern and BVB closer than 3-0 scorelines on the road, they’ve picked up two victories on the trot and their only blip at home was a 1-0 loss to Darmstadt. Augsburg have had a miserable start to the season and have only picked up three points at home against Hannover. They were soundly beaten 3-1 last weekend by Hoffenheim and seem to be struggling with their presence in the Europa League. Last season’s exploits seem long forgotten. I cannot look past a Leverkusen win at 4/10.

Bundesliga Picks
Darmstadt DRAW 9/4
Monchengladbach BTTS 6/10
Hannover WIN 31/20
Hertha Berlin WIN 11/10
Hoffenheim WIN 15/10
Eintracht Frankfurt WIN/DRAW 5/10
Schalke WIN 15/20
Bayern WIN 6/10
Leverkusen WIN 4/10

Written by Rick John Henry for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!