Our German Bundesliga writer previews matchday 21 of the 2016/17 season.
Losses for Leipzig, Dortmund and Frankfurt meant that Bayern Munich were the only top-four club to pick up any points over the weekend, further extending their lead at the top of the table and tightening their grip on a record fifth-straight Bundesliga title. It’s a seven-point gap now for Munich - and it’s becoming rather difficult to see anyone challenging them.
Friday 17 February
Augsburg 43/20 | Draw 22/10 | Bayer Leverkusen 13/10
Augsburg started brightly against Mainz last weekend but would ultimately leave with nothing in a 2-0 loss. Relegation will not be something pressing Augsburg at present - two wins and two defeats since the league resumed sees the club eight points clear of the drop zone.
Javier Hernandez scored twice as Leverkusen returned to winning ways against high-flying Frankfurt. It was a comprehensive 3-0 victory, with Kevin Volland putting the result beyond doubt in the closing stages. I like Leverkusen to get a result on the Double Chance at 7/20.
Saturday 18 February
Dortmund 9/20 | Draw 36/10 | Wolfsburg 11/2
Dortmund suffered an embarrassing 2-1 defeat to bottom club Darmstadt at the weekend that all but ends any hope of a title challenge. It could have been a far heavier loss if not for the exploits of BVB shot-shopper Roman Burki, who made numerous saves.
Wolfsburg came from behind to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 with Daniel Didavi netting the winner from close range. The win ensured that Wolfsburg are six points above the relegation zone and have picked up four wins from their past six league matches. I like Wolfsburg to get something here on the Double Chance at 33/20.
Mainz 19/20 | Draw 5/2 | Werder Bremen 26/10
Mainz brought a run of four games without a win to an end with a 2-0 victory over Augsburg, climbing to ninth place in the Bundesliga in the process. Mainz took the lead through Levin Oztunali before sealing all three points from the penalty spot.
Werder Bremen were beaten 1-0 by Monchengladbach and have now lost all four matches since the league resumed, leaving the club mired in relegation. Neither side are at their best but the home win makes enough appeal at 19/20.
Hertha Berlin 13/2 | Draw 33/10 | Bayern Munich 4/10
Hertha Berlin were beaten 2-0 away from home at Schalke as their awful form continued. The Old Lady have lost five of their last seven league matches and have plummeted down the table in the process. Life is not about to get any better with the visit of league leaders Bayern Munich.
Arturo Vidal and Arjen Robben struck late goals as Bayern once again were made to labour for victory, this time against Ingolstadt. Although it has been a less than convincing league resumption for the club, picking up three points even when performing badly is the hallmark of champions. The away win at 4/10 is the tip.
Hoffenheim 9/20 | Draw 34/10 | Darmstadt 11/2
Hoffenheim missed a chance to go third in the league as they gave up a goal lead to lose 2-1 against Wolfsburg. They made a good start but failed to make the early pressure count. Darmstadt caused the upset of the season so far with a 2-1 win over Dortmund in a match in which they could easily have trounced the Bundesliga giants.
Darmstadt actually dominated the match and had the Dortmund goalmouth at serious risk of regular breach. Darmstadt are still rooted to the bottom of the table, the victory being their first in the league since October last year. The home win is tipped at 9/20.
Eintracht Frankfurt 11/10 | Draw 21/10 | Ingolstadt 11/4
Frankfurt were dismantled 3-0 by Leverkusen last weekend in a rather tame display away from home. Frankfurt’s defending left much to be desired and they will be hoping to bounce back strongly against struggling Ingolstadt.
The minnows defended with gusto against Bayern Munich and were only breached in the 90th minute, conceding again shortly after to be left with a scoreline that was not a true reflection of the match. Nevertheless, they’ll struggle here. Back the home win at 11/10.
Hamburg 1/1 | Draw 47/20 | Freiburg 26/10
Bundesliga battlers Hamburg defied the odds to beat Leipzig 3-0 last weekend and move three points clear of the relegation zone. That’s three wins in a row for Hamburg including the DFB-Pokal - and all have come against impressive, in-form clubs. They welcome Freiburg to Volksparkstadion with hopes of creating further daylight between themselves and Werder Bremen in 16th.
Freiburg’s Maximilian Philipp scored 13 minutes from time to earn his side a 2-1 home win over Cologne. It was a match in which Freiburg were clearly the better side, but they still tend to struggle on the road. Back Hamburg at even money.
Sunday 19 February
Monchengladbach 31/20 | Draw 9/4 | Leipzig 17/10
Thorgan Hazard’s early strike was enough to see Monchengladbach through to a 1-0 win against Werder Bremen last weekend, making it three consecutive league wins for the club. It leaves Monchengladbach mid-table with the potential to climb into European contention with a sustained run of form.
Leipzig’s unexpected title challenge suffered a further setback as they were beaten 3-0 at home by Hamburg. That’s two consecutive defeats for the club, who are now seven points behind Bayern Munich and cannot afford any further slip-ups. Both Teams to Score is the tip at 7/10.
Cologne 27/20 | Draw 43/20 | Schalke 21/10
Despite Anthony Modeste’s best efforts, Cologne lost 2-1 away to Freiburg and missed the chance to go fourth in the league. It was Modeste’s 16th goal of the season, leaving the striker only one goal behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the race for the Bundesliga Golden Boot.
Schalke picked up a valuable three points to remain mid-table with a 2-0 victory over Hertha Berlin. Leon Goretzka scored a fine individual goal, collecting the ball at the centre circle before advancing forward to strike into the bottom left corner from 20 yards out. This is bound to be a tough match for both sides and Under 2.5 Goals looks a decent bet at 13/20.
TREBLE @ 5/1
Bayern Win 4/10
Eint. Frankfurt Win 11/10
Hamburg Win 1/1
Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets