FC Köln v FC Ingolstadt
The Bundesliga’s two Austrian coaches face off on Friday night with both having had decent starts to the season. Peter Stöger’s Cologne have maintained an unbeaten home record carrying over from the last campaign. Ingolstadt under the guidance of Ralph Hasenhüttl have so far been excellent on the road, winning each of their three away games 1-0.
This time, they’ll face a Cologne side without their important defensive midfielder Kevin Vogt after he broke his nose against Hertha during the week. Ingolstadt have shown they’re not afraid to press but given the hosts’ potency on the counter, Cologne should run out winners here at 1.95.
VfB Stuttgart v Borussia Mönchengladbach
No two sides in the Bundesliga had endured worst starts to the season than Stuttgart and Gladbach – until Wednesday night that is. Stuttgart ended their run of five straight defeats by becoming the latest side to win away at Hannover. Meanwhile Gladbach, in their first game since Lucien Favre’s resignation, halted an identical run with a victory against Augsburg.
This was just the sort of game that you would have backed Gladbach in last season, such was their counter attacking nous under Lucien Favre. They didn’t totally convince on Wednesday though and Stuttgart create enough at home to make a draw the best option here at 3.55.
FC Augsburg v TSG Hoffenheim
Augsburg captain Paul Verhaegh described their first half performance against Gladbach as a catastrophe as they shipped four goals in the space 16 minutes. Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol wasn’t best pleased either earlier this week. He was sent to the stands after Eduardo Vargas was incorrectly flagged offside when through on goal, with Hoffenheim a goal up against Borussia Dortmund
They ended up with a draw, as Gisdol’s side put in a similarly strong display to the one that saw them narrowly lose to Bayern earlier in the campaign. Two points from Hoffenheim’s opening six games though is a poor return and whilst Augsburg haven’t exactly fired so far this season, they’re likely to be the stronger side on Saturday – pick the hosts to win at 2.25.
SV Werder Bremen v Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Defeats to both newly promoted sides in the space of four days has led to talk of Werder Bremen facing a relegation battle. The defensive naivety shown in the latest of those against Darmstadt doesn’t bode well, given Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are the next sides to rock up at the Weserstadion.
First though it’s Leverkusen, who still haven’t quite clicked into gear this season. Javier Hernandez helped them beat Mainz 1-0 on Wednesday but their wastefulness in front of goal is still a worry. Werder’s haphazard displays at the back still give enough reason to believe that Leverkusen can win in Bremen at 1.95.
VfL Wolfsburg v Hannover 96
Hannover president Martin Kind has said that coach Michael Frontzeck will be in charge even if they lose to Wolfsburg in the Lower Saxony derby. The prospect of a defeat is a likely one given that Hannover have lost their last five games with their only point of the season coming at Darmstadt on the opening day.
Wolfsburg on the other hand looked very good value for their half time lead at Bayern Munich on Wednesday. You might have then seen that Robert Lewandowski scored five times in nine second half minutes to change the complexion of the game. Dieter Hecking’s side are a much better team than that second half suggested and a comfortable derby win should prove that, with Wolfsburg to win -1 at 2.08.
Mainz 05 v Bayern Munich
After an unfortunate deflection did for Mainz against Leverkusen, it is perhaps even more unfortunate that they are the next team to face Bayern Munich, especially after what Robert Lewandowski did the other night.
Bayern though will need to be on their guard as Mainz have shown through the likes of Yoshinuri Muto and Yunus Malli that they have the tools to cause the champions problems. Whilst Arjen Robben is not quite ready for a comeback, Bayern should still advance to their seventh win in a row. It may just take longer to grind out than usual – with a draw at half time but a Bayern victory come full time at 4.30.
Hamburg v Schalke 04
Optimism continues to emanate from Hamburg after they secured a late win away at Ingolstadt on Tuesday. Even more surprisingly, they kept a third straight clean sheet for the first time in eight years.
Schalke are the team tasked with breaking HSV down on Saturday evening. They haven’t been all that impressive going forward so far this season, apart from when the ball is at the feet of the immensely talented Leroy Sané. He came up with an excellent finish to see off Eintracht Frankfurt in the week. Bizarre as it is to say though, Hamburg’s recent form suggests they can come out on top here, with a win for HSV at 2.85.