Our football writer previews gameweek 8 of the German Bundesliga.
Underdogs RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim are Bayern Munich’s closest challengers as the Bundesliga prepares to close the door on the first third of the season. All three sides remain unbeaten as a turbulent start to the season sees certain German giants struggling to get out of the starting blocks. This weekend can only serve to further complicate an already engrossing 2016/17 season.
Friday 4 November
Hertha Berlin 14/10 | Draw 22/10 | Monchengladbach 2/1
Hertha Berlin dropped to fifth in the Bundesliga after losing 1-0 to Hoffenheim last weekend in a match in which they rarely troubled their opponents. The loss ended a four-match unbeaten streak but the Old Lady will be pleased to be back on home soil having won all four league matches at the ground this term.
Monchengladbach could not break down Frankfurt and were made to settle for their second consecutive goalless draw in front of their home fans, the first between the sides since 1974. It was a match of few chances and one that Monchengladbach will look to swiftly put behind them, however a visit to the capital will make that difficult. Hertha Berlin have been consistent at home and tipping them to win or draw should prove safe at 7/20.
Saturday 5 November
Bayern Munich 1/5 | Draw 6/1 | Hoffenheim 10/1
Bayern Munich beat Augsburg for the second time in four days with Robert Lewandowski on target twice in another 3-1 win. The Bavarian giants dumped Augsburg out of the DFB-Pokal by the same scoreline during midweek and wasted little time in putting the Bundesliga fixture to bed. With Champions League football on Tuesday, Munich will need to make sure that they are sharp for this tough home fixture.
Hoffenheim kept their unbeaten record intact with a 1-0 victory over Hertha Berlin at the weekend. A first-half goal from Niklas Sule was enough to ensure all three points as Hoffenheim moved to third on the table with five straight wins and four draws. This will, of course, be their toughest test to date. In the interest of better value, Under 4.5 Goals at 9/20 makes enough appeal given form and past head-to-heads.
Bayer Leverkusen 3/10 | Draw 9/2 | Darmstadt 9/1
Leverkusen came from behind to beat Wolfsburg 2-1 at the Volkswagen-Arena with second-half goals from Admir Mehmedi and Tin Jedvaj. It ended a run of four matches without a win, including losing on penalties to 3. Liga side Sportfreunde Lotte in the DFB-Pokal in midweek.
Darmstadt provided little resistance in a 2-0 home loss to Leipzig last time out. The visitors dominated the match from start to finish and the loss leaves Darmstadt on just eight points, with two wins and two draws from their opening nine matches. I can’t imagine Darmstadt having much to offer against a Leverkusen side looking to turn their form around. The home win will do at 3/10.
Hamburg 57/10 | Draw 7/2 | Dortmund 9/20
Hamburg remain bottom of the Bundesliga after another disappointing loss at the weekend. The club were soundly beaten 3-0 by Cologne, extending the new club record of minutes without a goal to 630 - seven straight Bundesliga matches. Still awaiting their first win of the season, Hamburg will surely have their work cut out for them with the visit of Dortmund.
BVB were frustrated into a goalless draw at home with local rivals Schalke, meaning they’ve been unable to pick up a league win in the entire month of October. It was Dortmund’s third draw on the trot and something has to give. Dortmund away at 9/20 provides enough value.
Ingolstadt 21/10 | Draw 9/4 | Augsburg 11/4
Ingolstadt are still awaiting their first win of the Bundesliga season after going down 2-0 at Mainz this weekend. Lukas Hinterseer hit the crossbar midway through the first half but the visitors could muster little else.
Augsburg were routinely disposed by Bayern Munich and will be intent on bouncing back instantly on the road in a match in which they will feel confident given the poor form of the home side. Koo Ja-cheol was lively in the match with Munich, netting a consolation goal and consistently the focus of Augsburg’s strongest chances. Ingolstadt did the double over Augsburg last season and I’m tipping them to pick up their first win at 21/20.
Freiburg 17/10 | Draw 47/20 | Wolfsburg 31/20
Freiburg won their first match away from home this season with a 3-1 victory over Werder Bremen. Maximilian Philipp gave Freiburg the lead before Vincenzo Grifo doubled the advantage from the penalty spot just before half-time. Amir Abrashi rounded out the scoring to pick up three points and leave Freiburg in eighth coming into this fixture.
Wolfsburg’s miserable season continued after giving up a goal lead against Leverkusen to lose 2-1 at home, their fifth league defeat from nine matches. Wolfsburg have won only once in the Bundesliga this season, against Augsburg in the opening gameweek. Caretaker coach Valerien Ismael now looks increasingly unlikely to be the choice to lead the club in the future. Freiburg have won all of the matches at home and are tipped to continue at a valuable 17/10.
Eintracht Frankfurt 31/20 | Draw 22/10 | Cologne 18/10
Eintracht Frankfurt ensured their place in the top half of the Bundesliga with a goalless draw away at Monchengladbach taking the club to 15 points, a fantastic start given last season’s relegation battle. Frankfurt have lost only one of their last five matches but will face a tough test from an in-form Cologne side.
Leading Bundesliga goalscorer Anthony Modeste extended his tally to 11 goals from nine matches, four more than both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lewandowski, in a 3-0 win against Hamburg. Modeste put a penalty miss behind him to rack up a sensational second-half hat-trick. I’m tipping Cologne to get something from this match at 9/20 for the Double Chance.
Sunday 6 November
Leipzig 13/20 | Draw 29/10 | Mainz 4/1
Leipzig kept up their extraordinary pursuit of Bayern Munich with a 2-0 victory over Darmstadt last weekend to make it nine matches unbeaten in their first top flight season. Marcel Sabitzer netted a brace to keep Leipzig just two points adrift of Munich at the top of the table. Leipzig are now just one game short of equalling the Bundesliga record for the most matches unbeaten at the start of a campaign by a promoted side.
Mainz eased past Ingolstadt 2-0 and despite showing last season that they have what it takes to mix it in the top half of the table, haven’t been nearly consistent enough. For this reason I’m continuing to back Leipzig at 13/20.
Schalke 11/20 | 33/10 | Werder Bremen 17/4
Schalke were the happier of the two sides to leave the Westfalenstadion with the spoils shared in goalless draw with Dortmund. It helped extend Schalke’s unbeaten run to four games and after a horror start to the season, the Royal Blues are now 12th with further progression a certainty should their form hold.
Werder Bremen manager Alexander Nouri was made to give up his unbeaten home record as his side slipped to a 3-1 loss to Freiburg last weekend. It’s a second straight loss for Werder Bremen and it looks as though it could be a long and tense season for the club. Back Schalke to win at 11/20.
QUAD @ 3/1
Hertha Berlin Win/Draw 4/10
Leverkusen Win 3/10
Dortmund Win 9/20
Leipzig Win 13/20