Our football writer previews gameweek 12 of the German Bundesliga.
Newly-promoted Leipzig sit top of the Bundesliga table as we approach the end of November, unbeaten after 11 matches and three points clear of record champions Bayern Munich.
The Bavarians were beaten for the first time in the league this season by closest historic rivals Dortmund, who moved up to third on the table with in-form striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 12th league goal. With the top six sides all within seven points of each other, this season looks like one that could finally go down to the wire.
Friday 25 November
Freiburg 3/1 | Draw 26/10 | Leipzig 9/10
From winning two consecutive matches to losing twice in a row, Freiburg’s definition of an “up-and-down season” is particularly accurate. Freiburg came away from Mainz with a 4-2 loss in a match in which the club rarely threatened to claim the three points. Friday night’s visit of Bundesliga leaders Leipzig will prove a sterner test.
The RB Leipzig fairytale continued last weekend as they beat Leverkusen 3-2 away from home. Admittedly, Leipzig were probably fortunate to leave with all three points but - you know, small margins and all that. With eight wins and three draws thus far, it’s tough to deny that Leipzig have a touch of Leicester City about them. The away win is tipped at 9/10.
Saturday 26 November
Monchengladbach 1/1 | Draw 26/10 | Hoffenheim 51/20
Gladbach manager Andre Schubert will surely be feeling the pressure with a last-gasp goal last weekend extending his side’s winless run in the Bundesliga to six matches. Cologne came from behind to steal all three points at Borussia-Park and leave the home side wallowing in 13th with only three wins. They have a chance for redemption this weekend with the visit of Hoffenheim.
The away side extended their unbeaten start to the season to 11 matches with a 2-2 draw with Hamburg. Hoffenheim will be disappointed not to have held onto a lead against the basement club and consequently moved up to third. Nevertheless, they are one of the teams locked on 21 points and will be intent on keeping their streak intact. Hoffenheim on the Double Chance at 15/20 is the tip.
Cologne 15/20 | Draw 51/20 | Augsburg 4/1
High-flying Cologne snatched all three points on their visit to Monchengladbach with Anthony Modeste scoring his 12 goal of the season; the one he probably knew the least about as it ricocheted into the goal off his head. Cologne kept hold of fourth place, equal on points with both Dortmund and Hertha Berlin but falling between the two on goal difference.
Augsburg shut up shop to frustrate Berlin into a goalless draw in Bavaria. It was a busy day for ‘keeper Marwin Hitz, who was instrumental in ensuring that Augsburg picked up a share of the spoils. Cologne to secure all three points at home is a good bet at 15/20.
Hamburg 13/10 | Draw 49/20 | Werder Bremen 39/20
Bottom of the log Hamburg really must secure all three points at home this weekend. A 2-2 draw away at Hoffenheim last weekend resulted in only their third point of the campaign, and they are the only Bundesliga club still awaiting victory. They’ll fancy their chances with the visit of relegation rivals Werder Bremen, only four points and two places above the home side.
Bremen’s late loss to Eintracht Frankfurt leaves the club in trouble with four consecutive defeats. Summer signing Serge Gnabry is in fine form for club and country, but his influence has not been enough to lift the club out of the bottom three. This is Hamburg’s weekend to register their first win, tipped at 13/10.
Ingolstadt 37/20 | Draw 43/20 | Wolfsburg 16/10
Maik Walpurgis marked his first match in charge of Ingolstadt with a win as the club picked up their first competitive victory since April. Moritz Hartmann scored the only goal of the game away at Darmstadt, volleying in Lukas Hinterseer’s headed pass. Ingolstadt’s first win of the season put them only four points behind struggling Wolfsburg.
It was another frustrating day for Ismael Valerien and his charges, losing 1-0 at home to Schalke. Although Wolves were under pressure for much of the fixture, a lucky goal with less than 10 minutes left snatched away an important point. This fixture is difficult to call considering the woeful form of both sides and Under 2.5 Goals at 7/10 makes the most appeal.
Eintracht Frankfurt 17/4 | Draw 31/10 | Dortmund 6/10
Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to beat Werder Bremen 2-1 away from home and join a number of clubs on 21 points. It completes a run of five league matches unbeaten and the Eagles showed resilience in responding to a 1-0 half-time deficit.
Dortmund brought an end to Bayern Munich’s unbeaten run with a 1-0 win last weekend courtesy of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabonese striker scored in the 11th minute of an entertaining match at the Westfalenstadion, the victory moving Dortmund three points behind Bayern Munich in third. Unbeaten in five league matches, the club will be intent on picking up something from this fixture against another form side. I think Both Teams to Score at 7/10 is a good bet.
Bayern Munich 3/10 | Draw 9/2 | Leverkusen 17/2
Bayern Munich looked lethargic in their outing to Dortmund, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer perhaps the only player to shine. A string of fine saves ensured that Munich did not suffer an even heavier defeat at the home of their biggest rivals. Their first loss of the season in the league, manager Carlo Ancelotti was still somehow pleased with the performance.
Leverkusen endured a difficult night last week, losing 3-2 to Leipzig. Kevin Kampl gave Leverkusen the lead after just a minute before a Julian Baumgartlinger own goal put Leipzig back on level terms shortly after. Hakan Calhanoglu missed a penalty to put Leverkusen 3-1 and probably the game to bed. The home win at 3/10 must be backed, but Both Teams to Score (No) at 8/10 provides better value in a fixture that rarely sees both sides find the back of the net.
Sunday 27 November
Schalke 7/20 | Draw 15/4 | Darmstadt 15/2
Schalke’s revival continued at the weekend with a 1-0 win away at Wolfsburg. Leon Goretzka scored the only goal of the game as the Royal Blues extended their unbeaten run to six league matches and 10 in all competitions.
While the goal was a fortunate one, Schalke will look to carry that momentum into this fixture against struggling Darmstadt. The away side lost 1-0 to Ingolstadt last weekend and have come away with nothing to show from their last four matches. The home win at 7/20 seems a safe bet in this one.
Hertha Berlin 1/1 | Draw 47/20 | Mainz 28/10
Hertha Berlin failed to find the goal that would have fired them into the top three and a point behind Bayern Munich, settling for a goalless draw away in Augsburg. Hertha Berlin will be intent on making matches like last weekend count for more, narrowly missing out on Europe last term with a late season slump.
Mainz scored four to put away Freiburg last weekend and lie eighth on the table. As usual, Mainz are no pushovers but are too inconsistent to really stand up and be noticed. This one looks like a home win and at even money provides good value.
TREBLE @ 56/10
Leipzig Win 9/10
Cologne Win 15/20
Hertha Berlin Win 1/1
Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets