Our football writer previews gameweek 13 of the German Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich quickly got back to winning ways last weekend but trail league leaders RB Leipzig by three points heading into the closing stages of the Hinrunde.
It’s a strange complexion to the top of the Bundesliga table, with the newly promoted club in the lead and Bayern Munich followed by the likes of Eintracht Frankfurt, Cologne and Hoffenheim. Fallen giants litter mid-table and below as the most competitive season in recent memory continues with the winter break looming.
Friday 2 December
Mainz 17/2 | Draw 9/2 | Bayern Munich 3/10
Mainz lost 2-1 to Hertha Berlin last weekend in a match in which both sides were reduced to ten men. Aaron Seydel marked his Bundesliga debut with a tap-in but Mainz could not hold onto the advantage and find themselves bang mid-table in ninth position.
Mats Hummels’ debut goal saved a blunt Bayern Munich attack further blushes as the central defender headed home to secure all three points against Leverkusen. Of course, winning ugly is a necessary attribute for champions and the 2-1 victory certainly fell into that category. Thomas Muller’s barren run continued and even Robert Lewandowski was uncharacteristically subdued. Nevertheless, Bayern Munich should still be backed at 3/10.
Saturday 3 December
Dortmund 9/20 | Draw 36/10 | Monchengladbach 52/10
Thomas Tuchel was anything but veiled in his criticism of Dortmund as they sunk to a 2-1 defeat in Frankfurt last weekend. Despite largely dominating the first half, Frankfurt scored first just after the break. Dortmund responded through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but conceded a minute later to leave with nothing. Nine points off the pace of Leipzig, this could be another season of frustration for Tuchel’s charges.
Monchengladbach are without a league win in seven matches and currently lie thirteenth with just three victories this season. Despite this, they were confident on the ball against Hoffenheim but could not make the quality count, drawing 1-1. I’m happy to back a Dortmund home win at 9/20 here.
Leverkusen 5/10 | Draw 33/10 | Freiburg 5/1
Leverkusen put up a good fight in Munich and could conceivably have left the Allianz Arena with a share of the spoils had they not conceded a Hummels header. Hakan Calhanoglu brought the visitors level five minutes after going 1-0 down, playing a neat one-two with Julian Brandt before firing past Manuel Neuer. With a few attacking changes from the manager, Leverkusen made a game of it and could have equalised again late on, Kevin Volland unable to head home from the tightest of angles.
Freiburg have conceded four in each of their last two matches and barely troubled Leipzig in a 4-1 loss at home last weekend. The mid-table club will find it difficult to snatch anything on the road here. Leverkusen at 5/10 is the bet to take.
Wolfsburg 11/10 | Draw 9/4 | Hertha Berlin 26/10
Wolfsburg could only wangle a 1-1 draw from their visit to a struggling Ingolstadt last time out. It’s been a calamitous season so far for Wolfsburg, who have now admitted that playmaker Julian Draxler may leave the club in the summer with Arsenal heavily linked. Wolves have won only one of their last eleven league matches and are only two points above the drop zone.
A brace from Vedad Ibisevic, followed by a red card, helped Hertha Berlin to a 2-1 victory over Mainz. It bumped the men from the capital up into third position and an away trip to Wolfsburg probably couldn’t come at a better time. Back the away win at a valuable 26/10.
Werder Bremen 13/10 | Draw 47/20 | Ingolstadt 2/1
Werder Bremen remained in the bottom three as they drew 2-2 with bottom-of-the-log Hamburg last weekend. All of the goals came in the first period as Serge Gnabry scored the second equaliser on the stroke of half-time, his fifth goal in eleven league games making him the club’s only player to score more than once in the Bundesliga this season.
Ingolstadt held out for a 1-1 draw at home to Wolfsburg but remain mired in relegation with only six points this season. This match may lack quality but that doesn’t mean it will lack goals. Over 2.5 Goals is the tip at 9/10.
Hoffenheim 11/10 | Draw 49/20 | Cologne 49/20
Hoffenheim extended their unbeaten start to the season to twelve matches with a 1-1 draw away at Monchengladbach. Hoffenheim have registered five wins and seven draws so far this season; only Leipzig can boast an unbeaten record at this stage. Both Hoffenheim and Cologne have 22 points, the away side holding a superior goal difference of three coming into this fixture.
High-flying Cologne were held to a frustrating goalless draw at home to Augsburg last time out, twelve-goal striker Anthony Modeste shackled into drawing a blank. This is bound to be a close fixture with both sides desperate to keep pace with the top four. Both Teams to Score at 7/10 is the bet.
Leipzig 1/1 | Draw 49/20 | Schalke 26/10
Leipzig continued their fairytale start to life in the top flight with a 4-1 rout of Freiburg that not only ensures they are still three points clear of Bayern Munich, but just a strike behind in terms of goal difference. Naby Keita opened the scoring in the second minute before Timo Werner scored a brace, all before the first half was over. Marcel Sabitzer rounded out the scoring with ten minutes to go and the home side will face up to Schalke full of confidence.
The away side endured a horror start to the season but have since steadied the ship. They came from behind to soundly beat Darmstadt 3-1 last week and have now gone seven games unbeaten in the league, twelve in all competitions. This will probably be the match of the weekend and Both Teams to Score looks a great bet at 7/10.
Sunday 4 December
Darmstadt 7/4 | Draw 43/20 | Hamburg 16/10
Darmstadt opened the scoring early on their visit to Schalke but were ultimately overpowered by a side made up of stronger quality and on a great run of form. The only thing currently separating Darmstadt from the drop zone is goal difference.
Hamburg remain rooted to the bottom of the league as they once again failed to pick up their first win of the season. The club shared the spoils with Werder Bremen in a match that they would have hoped for all three points. Scoring goals has been a problem for Hamburg, who have netted only eight times this season. This is another fixture that they simply must get something from if they hope to turn anything around before the winter break. The Hamburg Double Chance is the tip at 4/10.
Augsburg 7/4 | Draw 2/1 | Eintracht Frankfurt 7/4
Augsburg extended their run without a loss in the Bundesliga to three matches with a 0-0 draw at Cologne last time out. That’s two scoreless draws on the trot for an Augsburg side keen on stern defensive displays to keep themselves out of the relegation zone. They had a good phase midway through the second half against Cologne but were more than happy to settle for the point.
Frankfurt have won four of their last five league games, drawing one. Their form is strong and they seem to be improving with every positive result. The recent surge has seen them move to fourth in the league, only three points behind Bayern Munich. Go for value and back the away side to get the win at 17/10.
Hoffenheim vs Cologne BTTS 7/10
Leipzig vs Schalke BTTS 7/10
Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets