Our German Bundesliga writer previews matchday 24 of the 2016/17 season.
It was a weekend full of goals as Bayern Munich pulled seven points clear of nearest challengers RB Leipzig, who were made to settle for a draw at Augsburg on Friday night. Munich have lost only once this season and one struggles to imagine that any club could possibly reign them in.
A certain amount of space has been created in the race to the Champions League, with Dortmund and Hoffenheim in the driving seat.
Friday 10 March
Leverkusen 6/10 | Draw 31/10 | Werder Bremen 4/1
Leverkusen kept fighting back against Dortmund but were ultimately thrashed 6-2 as the final 20 minutes of the game got away from the club. Kevin Volland and Wendell got the goals in a losing cause that saw Leverkusen drop deep into mid-table.
Werder Bremen leapfrogged Wolfsburg and moved further from the relegation zone thanks to a late brace from Max Kruse to down Darmstadt 2-0. It was Werder Bremen’s third successive win, however, I’m tipping their luck to run out this week. Back the home win at 6/10.
Saturday 11 March
Bayern Munich 1/10 | Draw 7/1 | Eintracht Frankfurt 22/1
Unlikely Spaniards Javi Martinez and Juan Bernat put Bayern Munich 2-0 up at Cologne, before substitute Franck Ribery rounded out the scoring in a week in which the champions scored 14 goals without reply.
Eintracht Frankfurt slipped to their fourth successive Bundesliga defeat, losing 2-1 at home to Freiburg. Branimir Hrgota’s goal got Frankfurt off to a flying start but, unable to hold on, they are now in danger of falling out of the reckoning for Europe entirely. The home win offers no value but Over 2.5 Goals will do at 1/4.
Hertha Berlin 39/10 | Draw 29/10 | Dortmund 13/20
Hertha Berlin lost 1-0 to Hamburg last weekend in a match of few chances. Berlin’s form has stuttered in recent times, with two wins, two losses and a draw from their last five matches.
Bundesliga top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the quickest Dortmund player to score 75 league goals as the club dismantled Leverkusen 6-2 in a dominant display. Youngster Christian Pulisic came off the bench and netted his third league goal of the season, while also teeing up Raphael Guerreiro late on. Dortmund are in fine form. Back the away win at 13/20.
Darmstadt 47/20 | Draw 22/10 | Mainz 12/10
Darmstadt hit the post during an impressive first half against Werder Bremen, but that was as close as they came as the club lost 2-0 and remain without a point on the road the entire season. One feels that relegation must be a foregone conclusion for the club.
Mainz came from behind to secure a point at home to Wolfsburg, Jhon Cordoba tapping in to cancel out the visitors’ opener. Getting the Mainz away win at 12/10 looks like a great bet.
Freiburg 2/1 | Draw 47/20 | Hoffenheim 13/10
Florian Niederlechner netted a brace as Freiburg came from a goal down to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 away from home. It was two shots and two goals for the German poacher, who capped off a clinical display with all three points.
Hoffenheim thrashed Ingolstadt 5-2, scoring four goals in the final half-hour to come back and secure a remarkable win. Hoffenheim are currently on track for Champions League qualification and will be aware of the importance of these tricky away fixtures. I fancy Both Teams to Score at 11/20.
Leipzig 6/10 | Draw 29/10 | Wolfsburg 9/2
Timo Werner scored his 14th goal of the season and Emil Forsberg his 10th assist, but it was not to be enough as Leipzig’s title challenge faltered with a 2-2 draw against Augsburg.
From losing twice in consecutive matches to stabilizing with two wins and a draw, Leipzig are now seven points adrift of Bayern Munich. Mario Gomez scored his 10th goal in six games under new Wolfsburg manager Andries Jonker, but it was only enough to draw 1-1 at Mainz. Don’t look further than the home win at 6/10.
Ingolstadt 31/20 | Draw 2/1 | Cologne 37/20
Ingolstadt had a 2-1 lead against Hoffenheim but began to concede with regularity in the final third of the match, losing 5-2 and worsening their relegation woes. Ingolstadt have won only one of their last five matches, the two goals last weekend the only times that they’ve netted in that period.
Cologne were soundly beaten by Bayern Munich 3-0 in a match in which the club was almost a non-entity. Cologne have endured a horrible run, losing four and drawing one of their last five matches. I’m tipping them to turn their form around and win away from home at 37/20.
Sunday 12 March
Schalke 15/20 | Draw 5/2 | Augsburg 37/10
Schalke’s somewhat indifferent form continued with a 4-2 loss to Monchengladbach last weekend. It means the club are winless in their last five matches and have dropped to 13th in the league. Nabil Bentaleb scored his first Bundesliga penalty and for Leon Goretzka, his first headed goal, but it was not enough to avoid embarrassment.
Augsburg punched above their weight to secure a draw against high-flying Leipzig. Goals from Kostas Stafylidis and Martin Hinteregger were enough to leave with a point. Schalke should put their poor form behind them and grab the win at 15/20.
Hamburg 7/4 | Draw 9/4 | Monchengladbach 31/20
Hamburg beat Hertha Berlin 1-0 as both sides struggled to break down organised defences. Hamburg are now level with Wolfsburg on points for the promotion/relegation place although they still have 10 goals to make up.
A Fabian Johnson brace inspired Monchengladbach to a fantastic 4-2 win over Schalke. It was the Foals’ fifth win in seven matches under new manager Dieter Hecking as the club has quickly climbed the table. Monchengladbach should have enough to get up for the away win at 31/20.
TREBLE @ 46/10
Leverkusen Win (6/10)
Leipzig Win (6/10)
Mainz Win (12/10)
Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets