Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim Friday 24 August, 19:30 Live on BT Sport 2
Hoffenheim to give Bayern a scare
Sweden delivered our first winner of the week, as a thrilling 2-2 draw between Malmo and Midtjylland in the Europa League comfortably landed our BTTS bet.
Any long-term readers of these scribblings will know the Bundesliga is very much a favourite of mine, so we have to drop in on the league's big kick-off. Bayern Munich begin their bid for a seventh consecutive Bundesliga title tonight, as they take on Hoffenheim.
It's been all change at Bayern this summer, with former FCB midfielder Niko Kovac taking over as coach. Last season the Croatian delivered Eintracht Frankfurt's first major trophy in 30 years, beating Bayern in the final of the DFB Pokal. He kicked off his spell with the champions by crushing his former club Frankfurt 5-0 in the German Supercup, although a 1-0 success against Regionalliga side Drochtersen/Assel in the Pokal hardly set the pulse racing.
Hoffenheim finished a barely believable third in the Bundesliga last term, despite losing three of their best players to Bayern. Niklas Sule, Sebastian Rudy and Sandro Wagner all moved to Sabener Strasse, and yet coach Julian Nagelsmann somehow achieved a higher finish than he had the season before.
Nagelsmann is one of the best young coaches in the sport, and Hoffenheim are losing him to RB Leipzig next summer. Despite losing more players over the summer (Serge Gnabry has returned to Bayern after a successful loan spell at TSG, and Mark Uth has joined Schalke), Hoffe still thrashed Kaiserslautern 6-1 in the cup.
Hoffenheim are without Croatian striker Andrej Kramaric because of a knee problem, but watch out for Brazilian forward Joelinton. The 22-year-old has been on loan for the last two seasons at Rapid Vienna, but he scored a hat-trick on Saturday at Lautern, and looked incredibly sharp.
Hoffenheim beat Bayern 2-0 at the Rhein-Neckar Arena last season, and led at the Allianz Arena before crumbling to a 5-2 reverse. I think they can give Kovac a few things to think about, and it's worth noting they have scored at least once in 19 of their last 20 competitive games.