Our football writer previews gameweek 11 of the German Bundesliga.
With another international break behind us, it’s back to focussing on Germany’s top league - which has a rather surprising look to the top part of the table after 10 matches. Bayern Munich lead the league on goal difference from newly-promoted Leipzig, with Hoffenheim and Hertha Berlin making up the rest of the Champions League places.
This weekend sees a massive clash with Dortmund and Bayern Munich going head-to-head in what could prove an opportunity for Leipzig to leapfrog the German champions.
Friday 18 November
Leverkusen 13/10 | Draw 47/20 | Leipzig 2/1
Leverkusen were made to sweat for a 3-2 victory over struggling Darmstadt in their last outing, leading by two goals before the visitors pulled one back to make for an interesting ending. Leverkusen held on for three points and edged closer to the top six, making it two wins in a row in the Bundesliga to go with their victory over Tottenham in the Champions League.
Leipzig have remarkably joined Bayern Munich at the top of the league, winning seven and drawing three of their 10 matches. Timo Werner scored either side of an Emil Forsberg strike to beat Mainz 3-1 in a match that Leipzig dominated last time out. This is probably their toughest test to date but I’m tipping Leipzig on the Double Chance at 6/10.
Saturday 19 November
Monchengladbach 5/4 | Draw 9/4 | Cologne 23/10
Monchengladbach’s indifferent form continued as they were hammered 3-0 by Hertha Berlin last time out, making it five consecutive Bundesliga matches without a win. Indeed, Gladbach have won only three league matches this season and sit 11th on the table. Christoph Kramer was sent off in the 39th minute against Berlin, yet Monchengladbach were already two goals down.
Cologne were beaten 1-0 by Eintracht Frankfurt to end off what has been an inconsistent month for the Goats. Level on points with Dortmund in fifth, Cologne will look to build on what has been a bright start to the season. This is another match in which I feel the away side can leave with something. Cologne on the Double Chance is the tip at 6/10.
Mainz 23/20 | Draw 49/20 | Freiburg 23/10
Mainz were soundly beaten by Bundesliga surprise package Leipzig last time out and have had to deal with a fairly large share of disappointments lately. Mainz fell apart in the latter stages of their Europa League fixture to lose 6-1 to Anderlecht, a week after losing 2-1 to 2. Bundesliga side Greuther Furth in the DFB-Pokal. They will be aware that this fixture represents an opportunity to get their season back on track. Freiburg lost their first home league match this season, going down 3-0 to Wolfsburg in their last outing. They’re just a point above Mainz and will need to improve their form away from home to get something from this match. I’m backing the home victory at 23/20.
Wolfsburg 29/20 | Draw 47/20 | Schalke 18/10
Wolfsburg picked up their first Bundesliga victory since August to move out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win over Freiburg, a double from Mario Gomez and a penalty from Ricardo Rodriguez gifting Wolves their first three points since opening day. Promoted from the under-23 team, Valerien Ismael has been named as the new Wolfsburg manager.
After a disastrous start to the season, Schalke have steadied the ship and gone five matches unbeaten. A 3-1 victory over Werder Bremen last time out saw Alessandro Schopf score twice, with Nabil Bentaleb adding his fifth goal in six games. This is bound to be a hard-fought fixture and I think Both Teams to Score looks like a sound bet at 13/20.
Augsburg 31/20 | Draw 21/10 | Hertha Berlin 39/20
Augsburg snatched three points at Ingolstadt with two late goals earning the side a 2-0 victory in a largely underwhelming Bavarian derby. It took a Raul Bobadilla free-kick and 86 minutes for Augsburg to open the scoring, before an Ingolstadt red card and another goal brought some entertainment to the fixture.
Salomon Kalou struck a hat-trick as Hertha Berlin beat Monchengladbach 3-0 and went level with Hoffenheim for third place in the league. Kalou had previously failed to net all season but changed that emphatically by opening his account after 18 minutes and completing his hat-trick five minutes from time. I’m tipping the away win at a lucrative 39/20.
Darmstadt 2/1 | Draw 2/1 | Ingolstadt 29/20
Darmstadt looked to make a late recovery at Leverkusen but failed to equalise as they pressured the home side in the closing stages. Mario Vrancic scored Darmstadt’s second goal five minutes from time in a 3-2 defeat that leaves the club struggling in 15th with only eight points to show for their efforts so far this season.
Ingolstadt have things even worse, with only two points collected in 10 matches and winless all season. In fact, Ingolstadt haven’t won a match in normal time in any competition since April this year. There’s not an awful lot to choose between these two and Both Teams to Score at even money makes appeal.
Dortmund 51/20 | Draw 26/10 | Bayern Munich 1/1
The biggest match of the weekend sees perennial rivals Dortmund and Bayern Munich clash at Signal-Iduna-Park. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned from a club-imposed suspension to score four times in Dortmund’s 5-2 routing of bottom team Hamburg. It saw Dortmund move up to fifth on goal difference, six points behind Bayern Munich.
The Bavarians continued their unbeaten start to the season by sharing the spoils with Hoffenheim last time out. Munich fell behind early and needed a Hoffenheim own goal to draw level at the Allianz Arena. I think backing Under 2.5 Goals at 21/20 looks a great bet given the way this fixture tends to play out.
Sunday 20 November
Hoffenheim 6/10 | Draw 32/10 | Hamburg 17/4
Hoffenheim continued their fantastic unbeaten start to the season with a 1-1 draw against record champions Bayern Munich away from home. Hoffenheim showed all the confidence of a side that has yet to taste defeat, playing high up the field and forcing Bayern back in the first half. However, the majority of the second half was spent holding on to a point. Hamburg were soundly beaten 5-2 by Dortmund and Nicolai Muller’s goal to end a 717-minute drought was scant consolation for a side that has yet to win all season and with just two points, is propping up the Bundesliga. Hoffenheim to pick up the home win at 6/10 is the best bet here.
Werder Bremen 17/10 | Draw 47/20 | Ein. Frankfurt 31/20
Werder Bremen slipped into the bottom three of the Bundesliga with a third consecutive 3-1 defeat. A Serge Gnabry penalty gave Werder Bremen some hope going into the second half but the club could prove no match for Schalke. They simply must make the most of hosting Frankfurt, but the away side are on a quite useful run of form, unbeaten in four matches. They beat a very tough Cologne side 1-0 last time out in the league, holding onto an early goal. Frankfurt are in seventh place following a solid start to the season. I quite fancy the Frankfurt Double Chance at 9/20.
TREBLE @ 9/1
Mainz Win 23/20
Hertha Berlin Win 39/20
Hoffenheim Win 6/10
Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets