Our footy scribe previews gameweek 6 of the German Bundesliga.
Bundesliga frontrunners Bayern Munich left it excruciatingly late to secure a 1-0 win on the road and ensure their perfect start to the season remained intact. The three-point gap between the champions and closest challengers Dortmund already looks an ominous one.
Late goals in a couple of other matches thwarted a few predictions last week, including Javier Hernandez completing a hat-trick for Leverkusen. The coming weekend looks no clearer cut than any other in a league that continues to spring surprises.
Friday 30 September
Leipzig 15/20 | Draw 26/10 | Augsburg 38/10
Leipzig extended their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-1 draw away at Cologne last weekend. Scottish midfielder Oliver Burke scored his first Bundesliga goal to open the scoring before the hosts levelled shortly after. Leipzig will sense they have a chance to continue their good fortune with the visit of Augsburg.
Dirk Schuster picked up his second win at the Augsburg helm, an Alfred Finnbogason header enough to ensure victory over the club he reared to a top flight entity, Darmstadt. Augsburg have made a plodding start to the season, sitting mid-table, with their inability to put the game to bed amid a plethora of chances last week a concern going forward. This one has a home win at 15/20 written all over it.
Saturday 1 October
Bayern Munich 1/6 | Draw 6/1 | Cologne 14/1
Hamburg provided the biggest test of the season so far for the Bundesliga champions, the hosts giving as good as they got for the first hour of the match. Ultimately, the pace and class of Bayern would show through to put their opponents under tremendous pressure in the closing period. Joshua Kimmich struck in the 88th minute to break hearts in Hamburg and continue Bayern’s perfect start to the league season.
Cologne secured a draw at home to newly-promoted and high flying Red Bull Leipzig, Yuya Osako’s 25th minute strike levelling proceedings. Cologne had the better of the second half and really should’ve left with all three points. Nevertheless, the club are still unbeaten and currently lie third on the table. Bayern have typically bullied this fixture at the Allianz Arena and Over 3.5 Goals at 21/20 is the tip.
Hertha Berlin 19/20 | Draw 49/20 | Hamburg 3/1
Hertha Berlin recovered well from their 3-0 loss in midweek to Bayern Munich to come within minutes of snatching all three points away at Frankfurt in a six-goal thriller. Berlin opened the scoring, only to concede twice to go into the halftime break 2-1 down. A second from Vedad Ibisevic followed shortly by a goal from Alexander Esswein put the men from the capital in front, but there was to be late drama with Frankfurt heading home in stoppage time to share the spoils.
With only one point from their five matches, Hamburg have decided to sack Bruno Labbadia after their 1-0 loss to Munich. In all fairness, his team showed they were willing to fight for him, but his exit was probably already a foregone conclusion. The new boss will have an uphill task in keeping the side in the top flight. Back the home win at 19/20.
Ingolstadt 23/20 | Draw 24/10 | Hoffenheim 47/20
Ingolstadt had a disappointing trip to Monchengladbach last weekend, losing 2-0 in a match in which the visitors were never in touch. Gladbach could well have added to the lead, twice hitting the woodwork, and after last season’s heroics, Ingolstadt look a spent force. They’re still awaiting their first win of the season and have lost their last five matches in a row in all competitions.
Hoffenheim broke their string of four consecutive stalemates with a 2-1 come from behind victory over Schalke at the weekend. Although the club sit ninth in the league, they are unbeaten so far this season. The away win looks profitable but I prefer Under 2.5 Goals at 9/10 in the interest of safety.
Darmstadt 16/10 | Draw 47/20 | Werder Bremen 33/20
Darmstadt lost 1-0 to Augsburg last weekend and the club would have been disappointed to not secure at least a point from the match. Augsburg were wasteful and Darmstadt certainly had their own chances to level in the closing stages. Darmstadt have won once, drawn once and lost three matches this season and will be desperate to secure something from this fixture.
Werder Bremen came from behind to pick up their first victory of the season, hosting Wolfsburg at the Weserstadion. An own goal gave Wolfsburg the lead before the hosts equalised four minutes from time, and snatched three points with the last kick of the game. There was little to choose between the sides last term and Both Teams To Score at 6/10 looks the best bet.
Freiburg 27/20 | Draw 23/10 | Eintracht Frankfurt 39/20
Freiburg have been nothing if unpredictable in their beginning to the season so far. Two wins and three losses, no two results following the other, has ensured that Freiburg won’t be a simple side to nail down. They expectedly lost 3-1 to Dortmund at the weekend, however a victory by the same margin over Monchengladbach earlier in the season shows that the club are not merely making up the numbers.
Frankfurt staged a remarkable comeback to square their match with Hertha Berlin 3-3 in the closing moments. The away team are unbeaten in their last three matches and look intent on not being among the relegation contenders again this season. Frankfurt to get a result on the Double Chance at 11/20 is the tip here.
Bayer Leverkusen 47/20 | Draw 26/10 | Dortmund 21/20
A Javier Hernandez hat-trick ended Bayer Leverkusen’s run of three matches without a win in dramatic fashion with a 3-2 victory over Mainz last weekend. Mainz took the lead twice, only for Hernandez to level and then deliver the killer blow in stoppage time. Leverkusen seemed determined as manager Roger Schmidt breathed new life into his side’s attack with a couple of canny substitutions.
Dortmund recorded a comfortable 3-1 win over Freiburg with goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lukasz Piszczek and Raphael Guerreiro. The win ensured that Dortmund have breezed to victory in all four matches since their shock loss to Leipzig, scoring a staggering 20 goals in the process. I like the look of the away win at 21/20 considering Dortmund’s firepower.
Sunday 2 October
Wolfsburg 17/20 | Draw 26/10 | Mainz 3/1
Wolfsburg were gifted the lead by a Werder Bremen own goal against the run of play in their last outing, but could not hold and shipped two goals in the closing stages to slump to another loss. Wolfsburg are looking no better than the end of last season, blunt in attack and shipping five goals against a rampant Dortmund in midweek.
Mainz twice took the lead against Leverkusen but the home fans were to be denied a celebration in sharing the spoils as Hernandez completed a hat-trick with practically the last kick of the game. Mainz will certainly be no pushovers here while Wolfsburg’s aura of invincibility at the Volkswagen Arena has been well and truly shattered. Mainz to get something from this match on the Double Chance at 9/10 looks a shrewd bet.
Schalke 13/10 | Draw 5/2 | Monchengladbach 2/1
For the first time in their history, Schalke have begun the season with five consecutive defeats. Now rooted to the bottom of the table with not a point to show for their efforts, Schalke are surely in crisis. Manager Markus Weinzierl only took over at the beginning of the season but will already be wary of losing his job at a club that has been unable to find a decent managerial fit in over a decade.
Monchengladbach eased past Ingolstadt with a 2-0 win at the weekend in a match in which the club were seldom troubled. In fact, the scoreline could easily have been double considering the chances at their disposal. Gladbach are unbeaten in their last three matches and although a midweek meeting with Barcelona is likely to take its toll, the club will feel this is potentially to best time to be meeting Schalke given their opponent’s recent results. One feels that surely the tide must turn for Schalke, but it’s tough to pass up the 2/1 on offer for an away win.
Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets