German Bundesliga Preview

Munich remained seven points ahead of closest rivals Dortmund with a regulation 4-0 drubbing of Cologne at the weekend. It’s ten out of ten for the reigning Bundesliga champions, whose midweek Champions League loss to Arsenal had little effect on their charge for a fourth straight title. Dortmund were once again magnificent is dispatching basement-dwellers Augsburg 5-1, but how the club hopes to make up the points deficit already created is quite the conundrum. In essence, they need to continue picking up three points and must beat Bayern Munich when the two sides clash in 2016. This weekend sees Wolfsburg host Leverkusen with the two sides separated by only a point, in the marquee match of the gameweek.

Friday 30th October

11/1 Frankfurt | Draw 57/10 | Bayern Munich 1/5 (21:30)

Bayern Munich secured their 1000th victory in Bundesliga history at a canter. In fact, with a little under a third of the season completed and Munich having won ten straight matches to start the term, it seems like a fourth successive title could come with composite ease. Munich are already on course to shatter a host of league and European records domestically, yet one feels that Pep Guardiola has eyes only for the elusive Champions League trophy. That is not to say he won’t aim to clean up in Germany, especially with the potential for the Bavarians to become the only “Invincibles” in German history. Frankfurt ended a five-match winless run with a 2-1 victory away at Hannover last time out. But frankly, the side do not match up to Munich in any department. Away To Win Both Halves is tipped at 12/10.

Saturday 31st October

62/10 Werder Bremen | 42/10 | Borussia Dortmund 4/10 (16:30)

Werder Bremen lost five straight Bundesliga matches before their 3-1 victory on the road last weekend. Bremen moved out of the bottom three with their win over Mainz and had sealed victory before half-time, going into the break three goals to the good. It eased the pressure on coach Viktor Skripnik but this week’s encounter will likely leave them perilously close to the relegation zone. Dortmund romped to a 5-1 destruction of Augsburg with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claiming a hat-trick, a Marco Reus brace sandwiched between his exploits. The talented Gabonese forward is now equal with Robert Lewandowski at the top of the Bundesliga scoring charts with thirteen strikes. The trip to Werder Bremen won’t be easy, but I see Dortmund sneaking the three points. Back the away side at 4/10.

18/10 Hertha Berlin | 23/10 | Monchengladbach 29/20 (16:30)

Mitchell Weiser put the Old Lady in front at Ingolstadt in the tenth minute, which would prove to be the only goal of the game. Hertha Berlin remained in the top five at the conclusion of the weekend and have exceeded expectations in the first third of the season. Five wins thus far will fill their fans with confidence when the men from the capital host Gladbach. The Foals have bounced back in emphatic fashion following their disastrous start to the season, winning five matches on the trot after beginning with five straight losses. Their 3-1 win over Schalke at the weekend showed how the side gained automatic entry into this season’s Champions League. This should be a hard fought encounter especially considering that Berlin are unbeaten at home thus far. I’m tipping that streak to end here. Back Gladbach for the win at 29/20.

15/20 Schalke | 27/10 | Ingolstadt 36/10 (16:30)

Schalke have made a promising start to the 2015/16 season and are threatening a return to the top four if they can continue to deliver impressive performances. However, last week’s loss to Gladbach was not one of them. They were barely in the match and were outclassed in the second half, losing Johannes Geis to a red card. Ingolstadt have arrived in the Bundesliga to play survival football and they have been a total of only fourteen goals scored at either end in their ten matches so far. They set up as difficult to break down and this week will be no different. Ingolstadt were impressive on the road to begin the season and I’m tipping Under 2.5 Goals at 9/10. The trend has been true in every match away from home thus far.

29/20 Augsburg | 23/10 | Mainz 18/10 (16:30)

After an impressive 2014/15, Augsburg find themselves rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga standings and have lost seven of their ten fixtures this season. They were thrashed 5-1 by Dortmund over the past weekend and are without a win in five straight matches. One feels that something has to give for the side and this weekend could provide an opportunity to get back on track. But they host a Mainz side that has beaten them in their last three meetings. Mainz lost 3-1 at home to a determined Werder Bremen and are one of only three sides not to have drawn a match this season. I can’t help but feeling that a stalemate is on the cards. Back the draw at 23/10. 

21/20 Cologne | 26/10 | Hoffenheim 24/10 (16:30)

Cologne made a real enterprising start to the season but has since dropped off in performance over the past month. They’ve won only one match in their last five and although this was an impressive away win at Schalke, they’ve dropped points that they should’ve picked up. A 4-0 loss to Bayern Munich over the past weekend is par for the course and won’t have disheartened the group, but anything less than three points against lowly Hoffenheim will certainly prove deflating. Hoffenheim have only one win to their name and are only a point above Augsburg at the foot of the table. I’m tipping the home side to come away with the win at 21/20. 

29/20 Wolfsburg | 5/2 | Bayer Leverkusen 7/4 (19:30)

Wolfsburg endured a frustrating day at promoted Darmstadt but a late goal from substitute Daniel Caligiuri earned them their first away win of the season. Wolves occupy fourth spot in a congested battle for early Champions League places. This will be an important home fixture for the side which only a point separating them from Leverkusen. Bayer are unbeaten in their last five Bundesliga match-ups, twice coming from two goals down to snatch a dramatic 4-3 win at home against a spirited Stuttgart. The Werkself also came back from two goals down against Roma in the Champions League to draw 4-4. Both of these fixtures took place at BayArena and travelling to Wolfsburg will prove a more difficult proposition. Nevertheless, I prefer not to pick a winner in this one and will instead opt for Over 2.5 Goals at 13/20.

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Sunday 1st November

7/10 Stuttgart | 29/10 | Darmstadt 36/10 (16:30)

Stuttgart left with broken hearts after failing to secure three points against a Leverkusen side on the ropes. Stuttgart now find themselves back in the relegation zone and although they’ve put in substantially better performances than at the beginning of the season, they’ve little to show for their endeavours. An opportunity for three points certainly presents itself with the visit of Darmstadt. The promoted side has given a good account of itself this season and will look to sit back and absorb pressure, as has been customary with their life in the top flight. I can’t help but feel that Darmstadt are at the beginning of a rough patch. For that reason, I’m tipping an improved Stuttgart to secure the home victory at 7/10. 

1/1 Hamburg | 24/10 | Hannover 28/10 (18:30)

A game of two heroic goalkeepers almost forced Hamburg into a scoreless draw with Hoffenheim last time out. However, the hosts were reduced to 10 men which allowed Hamburg to heap pressure on the home side, resulting in a late Pierre-Michel Lasogga goal and all three points. It’s been an inconsistent season so far for Hamburg, with four wins, four losses and two draws. They are however unbeaten in three straight matches and will earmark the visit of Hannover as an opportunity for further good fortune. Hannover lost 2-1 at home to Frankfurt last weekend to end their own recent resurgence. Hannover lie just a point above the relegation zone and need to start stringing together performances lest they be cut adrift. I see another tight match-up here and fancy a Draw as the Half-Time Result at 21/20.

Bundesliga Picks
Dortmund WIN 4/10
Monchengladbach WIN 29/20
Schalke UNDER 2.5 GOALS 9/10
Augsburg DRAW 23/10
Cologne WIN 21/20
Wolfsburg OVER 2.5 GOALS 13/20
Stuttgart WIN 7/10
Hamburg HALFTIME DRAW 21/20

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