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German Bundesliga Preview

The German Bundesliga returns with Bayern Munich still 3 points clear at the top of the table.
The German Bundesliga returns with Bayern Munich still 3 points clear at the top of the table.
Thankfully, Europe’s club football hiatus for World Cup qualifiers is over for another month and the Bundesliga returns to heated competition. Admittedly, Bayern Munich are still streets ahead of all pretenders to the throne, yet the draw with Cologne in their last outing perhaps points to a previously unidentified lack of depth. Dortmund will be annoyed with an awful performance on the road last time out, failing to capitalise on Munich’s dropped points.

Friday 14 October

3/10 Dortmund | Draw 47/10 | Hertha Berlin 17/2 (20:30)

Dortmund had chances in their 2-0 loss to Leverkusen but a combination of good shot-stopping from the opposition number one and poor finishing from their frontline meant that the Black and Yellows left the BayArena empty-handed. It was a golden opportunity missed to cut Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga lead to just a point. Vedad Ibisevic’s double earned Hertha Berlin a 2-0 home win against Hamburg in their last outing, the victory taking the club to within three points of the league leaders. Their loss to Bayern Munich is currently Hertha Berlin’s only league defeat. This will be a hard-fought encounter and Both Teams to Score seems a good shout at 9/10.

Saturday 15 October

13/20 Monchengladbach | 29/10 | Hamburg 38/10 (15:30)

Gladbach were soundly beaten 4-0 by a previously winless Schalke side in their last outing, all of the goals coming in the second-half (three of them in the space of six minutes). Gladbach attempted a recovery following the salvo but with little conviction, still allowing a further goal in the closing stages. It’s been an up-and-down start to the season for the Champions League hopefuls. Markus Gisdol’s first game in charge of Hamburg was one to forget as they lost 2-0 to Hertha Berlin, making apparent how large the challenge is for the new manager, the club winless and bottom of the table. Back the home win at 13/20 in this one.

15/20 Cologne | 5/2 | Ingolstadt 15/4 (15:30)

Cologne became the first team to deny Bayern Munich victory in the Bundesliga this season, securing a well deserved 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena last time out. Cologne recovered from 1-0 down in the second half, drawing level through Anthony Modeste and then pressing the champions close for a winner. Cologne remain unbeaten for the season in fourth place with three wins and three draws. Ingolstadt have made an awful start to their second consecutive Bundesliga season, winless from six fixtures, drawing once to prop up the table on a single point. Despite a Lukas Hinterseer consolation, they were easily beaten 2-1 at home by Hoffenheim in their last outing. I’m tipping another home victory here at 15/20.

21/10 Augsburg | 23/10 | Schalke 13/10 (15:30)

Augsburg have struggled to get their season going, winning only two of their opening six fixtures. They were beaten 2-1 away from home at Bundesliga new boys Leipzig last time out. Despite erasing the home side’s lead two minutes after conceding, Augsburg could not repeat the feat as Leipzig restored their lead in the second half. Schalke eased the mounting pressure on manager Markus Weinzierl with their first victory of the Bundesliga season, a 4-0 romp over Monchengladbach with goals from Maxim Choupo-Moting, Leon Goretzka and a double from Breel Embolo. Gladbach themselves made an identical start to last term with five straight defeats but still finished third. I’m tipping Schalke to pick up the away win at 13/10.

23/20 Hoffenheim | 51/20 | Freiburg 22/10 (15:30)

Hoffenheim continued their resolute start to the season with a 2-1 victory away from home at Ingolstadt. The three points were more comfortable than the scoreline suggests, the opposition netting a very late consolation from the penalty spot. Hoffenheim have won two and drawn four of their matches, making an unbeaten start to the season thus far. Freiburg continued their bright start with a 1-0 win against Frankfurt in their last outing. Vincenzo Grifo scored for Freiburg after only three minutes and although the club had plenty of defending to do, they held out for their third win of the term. This looks like a close game and I’ll leave my comfort zone to tip a half-time draw at 14/10.

19/2 Eintracht Frankfurt | 47/10 | Bayern Munich 1/4 (15:30)

Frankfurt rolled over and lost 1-0 to Freiburg last time out, going a goal down early and failing to recover. Alexander Meier wasted a good chance for the Eagles to equalize and Frankfurt remain mid-table with a middling start to the season. Bayern Munich were held to a 1-1 draw by a Cologne side that could feel rightly aggrieved at not having beaten the Bundesliga champions. The result came on the back of a 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, highlighting how Bayern can struggle when Robert Lewandowski fails to hit the back of the net. The Polish frontman has played every minute this season, indicating that there is simply no competition for his place. Nevertheless, backing Munich to win at 1/4 is still the smart bet.

36/10 Werder Bremen | 31/10 | Leverkusen 13/20 (15:30)

Werder Bremen remained unbeaten under caretaker coach Alexander Nouri by claiming a 2-2 draw away at Darmstadt. Ludovic Sane headed Werder Bremen level after the club had conceded an early penalty, before Serge Gnabry’s second goal since joining from Arsenal in the summer put the Green and Whites ahead. However, Darmstadt were back on terms within five minutes and the draw leaves Bremen in 15th with one victory. Leverkusen will be delighted with their 2-0 win against Dortmund, Admir Mehmedi and Javier Hernandez providing the goals against their fellow Champions League participants. The win puts Leverkusen right back into the hunt at the top of the table, even at this early stage. However, Werder Bremen have a terrific record against Leverkusen and the home win at 36/10 might be the bet of the week.

Sunday 16 October

5/10 Mainz | 32/10 | Darmstadt 52/10 (15:30)

Mainz held Wolfsburg to a goalless draw away from home before the international break. Two wins, two draws, two losses is by no means a terrible record but considering that Mainz were Champions League hopefuls last season, the fans will want to see an improvement. Darmstadt negated a strong threat from Werder Bremen to draw 2-2 at home. Darmstadt have struggled to pick up points so far with only one victory and two draws leaving them on five points. Another season in the Bundesliga could prove a step too far for this squad. Back the home win at 5/10.

5/4 Wolfsburg | 47/20 | Leipzig 21/10 (17:30)

Wolfsburg have begun this season as woefully as they ended the last. Wolves played out their third goalless draw of the season with Mario Gomez once again drawing a blank. The German international has yet to open his account for club despite playing the full 90 minutes of each of Wolfsburg’s last five matches. Julian Draxler is also guilty of missing some fantastic opportunities. Leipzig are fifth in the Bundesliga following an unbeaten start to their first season in the top flight. Three wins and three draws shows that the club are delivering on the goal to become a Bundesliga staple. This will be a tough fixture for them on the road and as dearly as I’d want to avoid backing Wolfsburg, the price is right at 5/4.

QUAD @ 87/10
Monchengladbach Win 13/20
Cologne Win 15/20 
Mainz Win 5/10 
Wolfsburg Win 5/4

Written by Rick John Henry