Gameweek three of the 2016/17 German Bundesliga will commence on Friday evening.
Bayern Munich were made to wait longer than expected to break down Schalke, but the Bundesliga champions still collected all three points and are one of only two sides to have won both of their opening fixtures. Dortmund succumbed to a shock loss to newly-promoted Red Bull Leipzig last weekend and will know that even the smallest slips will prove costly in this league. With Bayern seemingly going from strength to strength, there is simply no room for error.
Friday 16 September
Cologne 17/20 | Draw 26/10 | Freiburg 3/1
Cologne remained unbeaten across their opening two fixtures this season with a goalless draw at Wolfsburg. Cologne were happy to sit back and defend at Volkswagen Arena, improving in the second half and having chances to win the match but not delivering the crucial goal.
This week they host a Freiburg side who pulled off a shock victory against Monchengladbach in front of their home fans. Freiburg came from behind to win the match 3-1 with a brace from Maximilian Philipp and late penalty from Nils Petersen. This is a tough match to call but Under 2.5 Goals looks a good bet at 9/10.
Saturday 17 September
Bayern Munich 1/14 | Draw 19/2 | Ingolstadt 33/1
Bayern Munich left it late to complete a 2-0 triumph at Schalke and maintain their 100% win record this season. In addition to the two victories, Bayern are yet to concede a goal. The champions’ quality shone through eventually with yet another goal from Robert Lewandowski, followed by Joshua Kimmich’s first strike for the club. Most disappointing will be the lukewarm debut of Renato Sanches, who was sloppy and gave away possession cheaply.
Ingolstadt are still waiting for their first win of the season and will likely have to sit tight for a bit longer. The club were beaten 2-0 at home by Hertha Berlin last weekend and have only a point to show for their trouble so far. Bayern Munich to win on the Halftime-Fulltime Double is the tip at 3/10.
Dortmund 1/7 | Draw 13/2 | Darmstadt 16/1
Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel blamed a host of technical errors for the club’s surprising loss to Red Bull Leipzig. It was a Dortmund side that showed a lack of focus throughout the match - from a litany of unforced errors in defence and the conceding of a late goal to the inability to create clear cut chances. Dortmund must surely improve at home against Darmstadt.
The away side snatched a last-gasp 1-0 derby win over Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend in a match marred by clashes between fans in the stands. Although Darmstadt will have the bragging rights over their rivals for the rest of the year, they’ll struggle in this fixture. Back Over 3.5 Goals at 19/20.
Hamburg 17/10 | Draw 43/20 | Leipzig 17/10
Despite opening the scoring against Leverkusen last week, Hamburg were undone by a brilliant Joel Pohjanpalo hat-trick after coming off the bench. A goal from Bobby Wood put Hamburg in the lead, his second in two Bundesliga appearances after marking his debut with a goal the week before. However, the club couldn’t contain Leverkusen’s young Finnish forward.
Leipzig have begun life in the top flight with a win and a draw, last weekend’s late victory over Dortmund a result of substitute Naby Keita’s winner. The club had been adamant that they would not fear the Black and Yellows and kept true to their word in an evenly matched contest. This could be a close match but I’m tipping Leipzig to build on last week’s win at 17/10.
Hoffenheim 39/20 | Draw 51/20 | Wolfsburg 13/10
Hoffenheim were involved in what was undoubtedly the most exhilarating match of last weekend. The club conceded three goals in the opening half hour, bringing one back before conceding yet again before half-time. Hoffenheim were 4-1 down at the break but mounted an amazing comeback to square the game in the 84th minute and pick up a point.
Wolfsburg have yet to be beaten in the league this season but will still be disappointed by their inability to break down Cologne at home last weekend. Mario Gomez made his debut for Wolves but failed to make an impact in a match largely bereft of quality chances. Wolves will definitely feel that it was two points lost rather than one point gained. I’m tipping them to come up with the goods away from home at 13/10.
Eintracht Frankfurt 28/10 | Draw 51/20 | Leverkusen 19/20
Frankfurt will probably still be kicking themselves for missing some good chances in the first 45 minutes of their 1-0 loss to Darmstadt. Not only that, but conceding in the final minute of the match to lose a derby will not be easily forgotten.
They’ll be at home this weekend, facing a Leverkusen side who had to rely on a late flurry of goals from Finnish wonderkid Joel Pohjanpalo to collect three points against Hamburg. With Pohjanpalo netting the equaliser in the 79th minute, Leverkusen poured forward in search of the winner, with the 21-year-old scoring twice in injury time. I’m tipping Leverkusen to build on the victory at 19/20.
Monchengladbach 5/10 | Draw 7/2 | Werder Bremen 47/10
Monchengladbach will certainly have had their confidence dented after letting the lead slip against bogey side Freiburg. Thorgan Hazard opened the scoring in the 35th minute to put the Foals into the lead, yet the club crumbled in the second half to concede three times and ruin their 100% season win record (Champions League and DFB-Pokal included).
Werder Bremen manager Viktor Skripnik will already be feeling the pressure with their second loss of the season, going down 2-1 to Augsburg last weekend. Serge Gnabry made his Bremen debut but was unable to make an impact to the club’s fortunes. I’m leaning towards the home side at 5/10 here.
Sunday 18 September
Augsburg 5/4 | Draw 5/2 | Mainz 2/1
Augsburg came from behind to beat Werder Bremen 2-1 last weekend with a much improved performance in the second half. Augsburg gave away a penalty towards the end of the first period but hit back with goals from Jeffrey Gouweleeuw and Konstantinos Stafylidis to earn their first win of the season.
Mainz gave up a three-goal lead against Hoffenheim to share the spoils at home in a match the club should’ve won. Mainz were 4-1 up at half time, but two goals in two minutes from Hoffenheim’s Mark Uth and a late equaliser meant that Mainz missed out on two points. This could be another open encounter and I’m keen on Over 3.5 Goals at 18/10.
Hertha Berlin 15/10 | Draw 9/4 | Schalke 37/20
Hertha Berlin have been the only side to match Bayern Munich in winning both of their opening Bundesliga fixtures. The Old Lady claimed a 2-0 win on the road at Ingolstadt last weekend, with Bosnian forward Vedad Ibisevic putting the club ahead in the eighth minute. It was Julian Schieber who provided the finishing touches late on, heading home with four minutes left on the clock.
Schalke frustrated Bayern Munich for eighty minutes but the superior quality of the Bundesliga champions eventually took its toll. Nevertheless, Schalke can be proud of their performance and will be up for this clash with the club from the capital. I’m opting for Both Teams to Score at 7/10.
TREBLE @ 57/10
Wolfsburg Win 13/10
Leverkusen Win 19/20
Monchengladbach Win 5/10
Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets