Raphael Honigstein’s Bundesliga Betting: Expect comfortable wins for Dortmund and Leipzig but Bayern may struggle at Wolfsburg


FRIDAY

Bayer Leverkusen v FC Schalke 04, 19.30

“We aren’t looking up right now. That’s totally forbidden.” That was sporting director Rudi Völler’s analysis of Leverkusen’s current predicament after defeat to Freiburg. Only six points have been collected from seven games since Tayfun Korkut came in as coach with performances on the whole matching that record.

Schalke are only two points further up but their draw against Leipzig was a good result last weekend given their Europa League exploits just three days before. Despite a pretty wretched away record this season, they look more capable than Leverkusen at present and are worth backing at 3.10.

 

SATURDAY

1. FSV Mainz 05 v Borussia Mönchengladbach, 14.30

Defeat on penalties in the DFB-Cup semi-finals to Eintracht Frankfurt made it two wins in 10 games for Gladbach. What’s more, their list of injuries became that little bit longer with full back Oscar Wendt sustaining an elbow injury to rule him out for the remainder of the campaign.

Mainz are gaining a bit of momentum in their fight against the drop. Their point at Bayern Munich last weekend should mean they bound into this game. Gladbach will still come to play and that’s likely to mean goals. There have been 18 in Gladbach’s last three Bundesliga games alone, so back over 3.5 at 2.95.

 

Borussia Dortmund v 1. FC Köln, 14.30

There was a sizeable slice of fortune to Borussia Dortmund’s midweek victory at Bayern Munich in the DFB-Cup. However, you cannot question the character shown by Thomas Tuchel’s side. On Saturday, they return to the Signal Iduna Park where, in 2017, they have a 100% record in the Bundesliga.

Cologne arrive in Dortmund harbouring hopes of playing European football next season despite just one win in their last five. They played very well in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign only to be denied by a late Marco Reus equaliser. This should be a little more clear-cut, with a Dortmund -1 win at 1.67.

 

SV Werder Bremen v Hertha BSC, 14.30

Max Kruse and Werder Bremen are on fire. Last Saturday’s 4-2 win at Ingolstadt was Bremen’s eighth win in their last 10 games with Kruse scoring all four goals to take his tally to thirteen for the season. Next up, it’s Hertha who have lost each of their last eight Bundesliga away games. Teenager Jordan Torunarigha is likely to deputise for the injured John Anthony Brooks at the back for them. He did well on his last outing away at Gladbach but on current form, it’s worth backing Kruse to break the Hertha back line, with a goal anytime at 2.25.

 

 

 

RB Leipzig v FC Ingolstadt, 14.30

Ingolstadt had the initiative against Werder Bremen last weekend. As they led 2-1, a calamitous defensive mix up followed with goalkeeper Martin Hansen at fault. They were then picked off on the break by Bremen meaning that their trip up north this weekend is a proverbial “must win” if they’re to beat the drop.

Leipzig dropped off in the second half against Schalke last weekend but they’re edging ever closer to a place in the Champions League group stages. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side were stifled well earlier in the season by Ingolstadt, his former club. It should be different this time round, with a Leipzig -1 win at 2.28.

 

SV Darmstadt v SC Freiburg, 14.30

In an unlikely twist bottom club Darmstadt have won their last two games and deservedly too, against Schalke and Hamburg respectively. Their first back-to-back wins this season is going to be too little too late though.

Freiburg saw off Leverkusen last weekend to push themselves up to sixth. They’ve now won three of their last four games and are likely to go with joint top scorers Nils Petersen and Florian Niederlechner up front once again. Darmstadt were unfortunate to lose at Freiburg earlier in the season but back this to be the moment where they do finally perish with an away win at 2.18.

 

VfL Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich, 17.30

This could be the weekend where Bayern wrap up a record fifth straight Bundesliga title but the mood in Munich is far from triumphant after five games without a win in all competitions. Carlo Ancelotti is under pressure after defeat to Dortmund in the cup this week followed defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Wolfsburg are in a relegation scrap and haven’t looked all that inspiring of late. Yet they have the talent in their squad to take the game to Bayern and will be encouraged by fellow strugglers Mainz getting a result at the Allianz Arena last weekend. With coach Andries Jonker and striker Mario Gomez both facing former employers too, don’t be surprised if Wolfsburg win or draw this at 3.05.

 

SUNDAY

FC Augsburg v Hamburg SV, 14.30

Since victory over Hoffenheim three weeks ago, things have gone downhill for Hamburg at an alarming rate. First they lost the Nordderby to Bremen before they were then beaten at home by Darmstadt who hadn’t won away all season before then. It means they’re now just one point off their old friend, the relegation playoff spot.

Injuries to Rene Adler and Christian Mathenia means that third choice goalkeeper Tom Mickel will be in goal at Augsburg who currently occupy 16th. As the position suggests, they’ve not exactly been convincing of late. Striker Alfred Finnbogason and midfield Dominik Kohr both return from suspension for this one and having them coming back at such an important time could well make the difference on Sunday. Back a home win at 2.55.

 

TSG Hoffenheim v Eintracht Frankfurt, 16.30

Hoffenheim were nullified by Cologne for much of last Friday night but Kerem Demirbay’s injury time equaliser ensured the Hoffe will play European football for the first time in their history. Eintracht Frankfurt have had quite a good week themselves. After beating Augsburg last weekend to end a 10-game winless run in the Bundesliga, they held their nerve from the spot at Gladbach to go through to the DFB-Cup final. Hoffenheim though are still yet to lose at home this season and despite high spirits in Frankfurt, go for a home win at 1.56.