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German Bundesliga Preview

The German Bundesliga returns with Bayern Munich just 2 points clear at the top of the table.
The German Bundesliga returns with Bayern Munich just 2 points clear at the top of the table.
Another extraordinary weekend in Germany ended with a host of the unexpected. Bayern Munich failed to win for a third consecutive match, teenage sensation Ousman Manneh scored two years after fleeing Gambia as a refugee and RB Leipzig are up to third at the cost of Wolfsburg’s manager. It’s turning into a quite fascinating start to the season but one certainty remains; Bayern Munich are still at the top of the league.

Friday 21 October

27/20 Hamburg | Draw 23/10 | Eintracht Frankfurt 2/1 (20:30)

Hamburg bravely held on for a goalless draw away at Monchengladbach last weekend, reduced to 10 men in the 26th minute. Goalkeeper Rene Adler saved the resulting penalty while Hamburg were given another life as a second penalty hit the bar on the hour mark. Hamburg are still without a win in the Bundesliga this season. Szabolcs Huszti went from hero to villain for Frankfurt against Bayern Munich, netting the club’s first goal to bring them back on level terms, only to be sent off 20 minutes later. The Eagles did not give up however, equalising a second time with only 10 men to pick up a point. This is too close to call so Both Teams To Score is the tip at 15/20.

Saturday 22 October

5/10 Leverkusen | 7/2 | Hoffenheim 47/10 (15:30)

Leverkusen are struggling with their start to the season, currently ninth with three wins, three defeats and a draw. Last weekend the club went down 2-1 to a Werder Bremen side that has historically had the better of their more illustrious opponents. Hakan Calhanoglu struck for Leverkusen against the run of play in the first half and although Leverkusen had the best of the next period, they could not find a way back. Hoffenheim took the honours with a 2-1 derby win over Freiburg with goals from Sandro Wagner and Andrej Kramaric. It ensured that Hoffenheim remain unbeaten in the league this season and moved the club up to fifth. Leverkusen recently have the edge over Hoffenheim at home and I’m tipping this to continue at 5/10.

31/20 Hertha Berlin | 43/20 | Cologne 19/10 (15:30)

Hertha Berlin will be pleased with picking up a point away at Dortmund this past weekend. Valentin Stocker put the Old Lady ahead early in the second half and the club must have thought it was their day as Dortmund missed a penalty in the 77th minute. However, Berlin conceded just minutes later and had Stocker sent off at the death in a dramatic finish containing two red cards. Cologne remarkably moved up to second in the Bundesliga after a 2-1 win over struggling Ingolstadt, extending their unbeaten start of four wins and three draws. This will be close fought and I like Under 2.5 Goals at 6/10 here.

9/2 Ingolstadt | 32/10 | Dortmund 11/20 (15:30)

Lukas Hinterseer’s penalty for Ingolstadt was too little too late as the Bavarians sunk to a 2-1 loss to Cologne last weekend. The club currently props up the Bundesliga table with only a single point from their seven matches thus far. It will get no easier for the minnows as they host a Dortmund side looking to make amends for recent slip-ups. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a penalty saved last time out against Hertha Berlin, before scoring three minutes later to rescue a point at home. Due to injuries, Dortmund were forced to reshuffle and Thomas Tuchel fielded the third-youngest side ever to start a Bundesliga fixture. This time round, Dortmund should get up for the away win at 11/20.

37/10 Darmstadt | 26/10 | Wolfsburg 15/20 (15:30)

Darmstadt salvaged some pride with a late penalty in their derby date at Mainz, Antonio Colak’s miss from the spot before half time proving crucial in a match in which failed to threaten. Colak’s miserable day did not stop at his penalty miss; failing to hit an open goal midway through the second half summed up Darmstadt’s day. Wolfsburg were no better as they drew yet another blank at home to Leipzig. It was the fourth time that they’ve failed to hit the back of the net this season, the third at home. Manager Dieter Hecking will certainly be feeling hot under the collar. Under 2.5 Goals at 17/20 here.

12/10 Freiburg | 23/10 | Augsburg 9/4 (15:30)

Freiburg endured a tough afternoon at Hoffenheim, losing 2-1 in a match in which they could have conceivably snatched a point. Florian Niederlechner brought Freiburg level in the 78th minute with an assist from Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu - making amends for an earlier error that led to Hoffenheim’s first. However, Soyuncu then gave away a penalty minutes after helping his side level, condemning Freiburg to their fourth loss of the season. Augsburg fought back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Schalke, thwarting the best efforts of their former manager. Augsburg have had an inconsistent start to the season and it’s tough to predict whether they’ll have enough to beat Freiburg away from home. I’m betting that they will at a lucrative 9/4.

1/4 Bayern Munich | 52/10 | Monchengladbach 10/1 (18:30)

According to Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern Munich “slept” through the second half of their match with Eintracht Frankfurt. It was the third match in succession that Bayern have failed to win, the Champions League loss to Atletico Madrid followed by draws with Cologne and Frankfurt. Munich are, of course, still top of the Bundesliga table and have yet to be beaten. To make matters worse, Bayern were up against 10 men for the final half an hour and still allowed Frankfurt to equalise and end the match at 2-2. Similarly, Monchengladbach missed two penalties to be held to scoreless draw with 10-man Hamburg. It was a frustrating afternoon for the Foals who failed to bounce back from a heavy defeat at the hands of Schalke. Gladbach haven’t lost to Munich in two seasons and the away Double Chance at 28/10 is the bet here.

Sunday 23 October

6/10 Leipzig | 31/10 | Werder Bremen 17/4 (15:30)

Leipzig extended their record-breaking unbeaten start to their first season in the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg that sees the club climb to third in the standings. A goal from Emil Forsberg was enough to seal all three points away from home. Werder Bremen’s 19-year-old Ousman Manneh made history last weekend as he became the first Gambian to score in the Bundesliga. The striker’s goal secured all three points and continued Werder Bremen’s revival under the tutelage of Alexander Nouri. The victory means that Bremen have picked up seven points from a possible nine since losing their opening match under the new boss. I’m tipping Leipzig to continue their magic start to the season at 6/10.

9/10 Schalke | 26/10 | Mainz 28/10 (17:30)

Schalke were held to 1-1 draw at Augsburg and for the first time in the Bundesliga, goal-line technology was used to validate Nabil Bentaleb’s 65th-minute strike to open the scoring. Although Markus Weinzierl was deprived of a win on his return to Augsburg Arena and despite Schalke still sitting in the relegation zone, the side looks to be moving in the right direction. Mainz were twice on target to beat local rivals Darmstadt 2-1 in their last outing. The victory sees Mainz climb to seventh with three wins, two draws and two losses. Mainz are unbeaten in three matches and it’s tough to tip Schalke, even with the tide seemingly turning. Opting for Both Teams To Score at 6/10 looks the best bet.

TREBLE @ 26/10
Leverkusen Win 5/10
Dortmund Win 11/20
Leipzig Win 6/10

Written by Rick John Henry