Bayern to continue their recovery

Mainz v Bayern Munich
Saturday 27 October, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video
Although Bayern are still four points adrift of Borussia Dortmund in the title race, and therefore aren't quite out of crisis mode yet, there are signs that under-fire coach Niko Kovac is turning the ship around. A 3-1 win at Wolfsburg last Saturday was followed by a vital 2-0 victory at AEK Athens in the Champions League.
Neither victory was particularly sparkling, but the background noise has at least died down a little, and a win at Mainz would underline the impression that Bayern are heading in the right direction once again. Mainz are perhaps the perfect opponents for Bayern at the moment. The Opta stats show that Bayern have beaten Die Nullfunfer in 10 of the last 12 attempts, and last season they beat them 4-0 and 2-0.
After a promising start to the campaign, a young Mainz team has really started to struggle. They haven't scored in any of their last five league matches, and they have claimed just two points in that time. Coach Sandro Schwarz doesn't seem to know what his best attack is, and as a team Mainz have scored just four goals in eight games.
Even without the suspended Arjen Robben, Bayern have enough firepower to overwhelm Mainz here. Indeed, Robben's absence could give Serge Gnabry another chance to impress, and the former Arsenal speedster has started to look like he is settling in well. Back Bayern to win by two goals or more by using the Asian Handicap.

Foals to stumble in the Black Forest

Freiburg v Borussia Monchengladbach
Friday 26 October, 19:30
Live on BT Sport
After two seasons of mid-table obscurity, Borussia Monchengladbach are showing signs that they can return to the big time. With Schalke, Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen struggling, there is a huge opportunity for a club like Gladbach to claim a place in the top four.
A switch to 4-3-3 has reaped rewards, with a clutch of players coming to the fore. Jonas Hofmann scored a hat-trick in last weekend's 4-0 win over Mainz, having struggled for years with injuries and poor form. Young midfielder Florian Neuhaus has been a revelation, while summer signing Alassane Plea has been a potent force in attack since arriving from Nice.
However, if Gladbach are to truly take a step forward, they have to improve their away form. The Fohlenelf won 3-0 at Bayern Munich in their most recent away game, but they have only taken maximum points from two of their last 15 road trips in the league.
Freiburg coach Christian Streich turns water into wine every season with the Breisgau-Brasilianer, and the collection of nine points from the first eight matchdays is a decent effort, especially when you consider that chief goal-getter Nils Petersen has been struggling with injury. Holding Hertha Berlin to a 1-1 draw in the capital was impressive, and SCF have lost just one of their last six games.
Teams hate going to Freiburg's Schwarzwald Stadion for night games. It's cold, the fans are right on top of players at a tight ground, and the Freiburg supporters give their team vociferous backing. Opta tell us that Freiburg are unbeaten in their last ten Bundesliga home matches against Gladbach, and I think they can extend that run. Back Home and Draw by using the Double Chance market.

Wobbling Leverkusen to lose again

Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen
Sunday 28 October, 17:00
Live on BT Sport 3
Although they have more points than Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen are arguably the biggest underachievers in the Bundesliga right now. They scraped a 2-2 draw with Hannover last weekend, leaving them with a feeble tally of eight points from eight games. To make matters worse, they lost 3-2 at Zurich in the Europa League on Thursday.
Reports suggest that Bayer sounded out former Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhuttl about the possibility of replacing embattled coach Heiko Herrlich, but Hasenhuttl isn't keen. That alleged snub has perhaps bought Herrlich a game or two more, but it seems clear that a defeat at the Weserstadion this Sunday would be the final straw, especially with sporting director Rudi Voeller copping plenty of flak from disgruntled fans.
Although Bayer have top young attacking players like Leon Bailey, Julian Brandt and Kai Havertz, the team lacks solidity in defence and grit in midfield. Bailey hasn't been performing consistently for months, and it was notable that Herrlich suggested after the Hannover game that not every player was giving 100%.
While the Leverkusen ship is listing, the Werder one is cruising serenely towards the stated aim of European qualification. Coach Florian Kohfeldt has bedded down a system which involves fast-paced and direct attacks, and Werder's defensive unit looks more settled than it has done for years. A deserved 2-0 win at Schalke was their fourth victory in the last five Bundesliga matches, and it's worth noting that Werder haven't lost a home match since Kohfeldt took charge, a run of 17 competitive games.
Werder are in far better shape than Leverkusen, so I'll back the home win. 
RECOMMENDED BETS
Back Bayern Munich -1.5 and - 2.0 on the Asian Handicap v Mainz at 1.87
Back Home and Draw in the Double Chance market in Freiburg v Borussia Monchengladbach at 1.88
Back Werder Bremen to beat Bayer Leverkusen at 2.42

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