Schalke's recovery to hit a Werder wall

Schalke v Werder Bremen
Saturday 20 October, 17:30
Live on BT Sport Extra
Having started the campaign with five straight Bundesliga defeats, Schalke have little margin for error in their efforts to return to the top end of the table. A nervy 1-0 win over Mainz was followed by a more secure 2-0 victory at Fortuna Dusseldorf, results that sandwiched an incredibly important Champions League victory against Lokomotiv in Moscow.
While that winning run was both necessary and welcome, it doesn't necessarily mean that Schalke are playing well enough to be 2.12 favourites to win this game. Their opponents Werder Bremen are in far better shape right now in the standings, and coach Florian Kohfeldt is doing a fine job.
Kohfeldt has taken the strong defensive base he inherited from his predecessor Alexander Nouri, and he has added an attacking flourish. Werder move through the gears quickly in attack, and new signings like midfielder Davy Klaassen and the returning Claudio Pizarro have hit the ground running.
Werder have won at Augsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt, and although they are yet to put together a top performance that has lasted 90 minutes, there is enough confidence in the group to pick up a result. I see these two teams as being evenly matched at present, and on that basis I'll happily get the draw and the away win into my portfolio by using the Double Chance market.

Bayern will have to fight their way out of slump

Wolfsburg v Bayern
Saturday 20 October, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video
These are unusually uncertain times at Bayern Munich's Sabener Strasse. Bayern were soundly beaten 3-0 at home by Borussia Monchengladbach, their fourth straight game without a win. The attack has broken down (two goals in four games), and the defence is making errors. In many ways, the problems in Bayern's side mirror those of the German national team - a sudden loss of confidence and form, with players insisting things will eventually come good if they believe enough.
I still think new coach Niko Kovac can turn things around (he's a talented man-manager with an excellent squad), and although that process may begin at Wolfsburg this weekend, I don't believe that a comfortable victory is on the cards.
Wolfsburg have been pretty solid under Bruno Labbadia, and although they haven't won any of their last five games, their performances have been decent. The only game in that stretch where die Wolfe really underperformed was a 3-1 home defeat to Freiburg. The defence has achieved a level of consistency, and the team has good shape and organisation.
Wolfsburg held Bayern to a draw in Munich last season, and pushed them all the way at the Volkswagen Arena before conceding a last-gasp penalty in a 2-1 defeat. I'll give the hosts a goal-and-a-half start on the Asian Handicap against a Bayern side that may have to start winning ugly before it hits top gear again.

Miserly Mainz can frustrate Gladbach

Borussia Monchengladbach v Mainz
Sunday 21 October, 17:00
Live on BT Sport
These are exciting times for Borussia Monchengladbach fans. The decision to stick with experienced coach Dieter Hecking during last season's difficulties is proving to have been a sensible one. Hecking has adjusted his tactics, and a new-look 4-3-3 is operating well. Last season's crippling injury list has shortened, and the Foals are finally getting a tune out of attacking midfielder Jonas Hofmann, a player who is finally moving from "promising" to "effective." Add in the goals of summer signing Alassane Plea and the trickery of Thorgan Hazard, and you have an effective attacking unit.
However, the Fohlenelf could be in for a frustrating evening on Sunday. Mainz made some solid signings in the summer, and have turned into something of a safety-first outfit. They have already played out two goalless draws, and their seven league games have featured a combined total of eight goals. Die Nullfunfer haven't scored in their last four league matches, but they have only conceded two goals in that time.
If you look at recent meetings between these two, you can see that five of the last six have featured fewer than three goals, so backing Under 2.5 Goals at 2.42 is the sensible play.
RECOMMENDED BETS
Back Draw and Away in the Double Chance market in Schalke v Werder Bremen at 1.88
Back Wolfsburg +1.5 on the Asian Handicap v Bayern Munich at 1.86
Back Under 2.5 Goals in Borussia Monchengladbach v Mainz at 2.42

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